Who is Doug Band, and what did he do for Bill Clinton?
A little bit of everything, it turns out.
He helped launch the Clinton Foundation, came up with the idea for the Clinton Global Initiative, brokered deals for paid speeches that enriched Clinton, and then started a private consulting firm called Teneo that made the Foundation, Bill Clinton, and Band himself even wealthier.
All of that became clear in the latest batch of hacked emails released by WikiLeaks, which include messages from Band and a 12-page memo that he wrote both explaining and defending his and his company’s work on Clinton’s behalf. For Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the publication of the Band memo is yet another WikiLeaks-induced headache, as it provides even more detail into the unsavory-if-not-illegal intersection of interests at the heart of her family’s philanthropic work.
Band, now 44, was to Bill Clinton what Huma Abedin has been to Hillary. He started as a junior staffer in the White House straight out of college in the 1990s, and once the Clintons left office in 2001, he never left Bill’s side.
Here’s how one Clinton loyalist describes Band:
Doug turned down a lucrative job at Goldman Sachs to help the President transition into private life, even in the midst of a difficult time when President Clinton’s approval rating was lower than it had ever been, and many had left the President’s side for greener pastures. The decision Doug made to stick with the President was made out of loyalty, and I always admired that.
But in a very short period of time, and at an astonishingly young age, Doug not only helped build and guide the Clinton Foundation, he also traveled the world with the President, came up with the idea for the Clinton Global Initiative, and worked to turn it into an entity that has helped literally hundreds of millions of people across the globe.
Those were Band’s own not-so-modest words, taken from a reference letter he wrote for John Podesta to send out in his name in 2013, at a time when news stories were painting a negative portrait of Band’s influence in Hillaryland. The most damaging was a profile by Alec MacGillis in the New Republic that was headlined “Scandal at Clinton Inc.” and identified Band as the cause of the turmoil. The crux of the piece was that after helping to build the Clintons’ philanthropic empire, he was now using it to amass riches for himself through Teneo, the consulting firm he started in 2011 with the Irish businessman Declan Kelly. And the unseemly way in which he was going about it risked tarnishing both Hillary Clinton’s future presidential run and Bill Clinton’s post-presidential brand.