Cameron Kerry

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Cameron Kerry
Cameron Kerry official portrait.jpeg
United States Secretary of Commerce
In office
June 1, 2013 – June 26, 2013
PresidentBarack Obama
DeputyPatrick D. Gallagher (Acting)
Preceded byRebecca Blank
Succeeded byPenny Pritzker
Personal details
Cameron Forbes Kerry

(1950-09-06) September 6, 1950 (age 68)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
RelationsSee Forbes family
ParentsRichard Kerry
Rosemary Forbes
Alma materHarvard University (A.B.)
Boston College (J.D.)

Cameron Forbes Kerry (born September 6, 1950) is an American politician who served as general counsel of the U.S. Department of Commerce. He is the younger brother and political confidant of John Kerry, former Massachusetts Senator, 2004 presidential nominee, and former U.S. Secretary of State.[1]

Kerry was appointed Acting United States Secretary of Commerce on June 1, 2013,[2] and resumed his position as general counsel on June 26, 2013, when Penny Pritzker was sworn in as the 38th Secretary of Commerce. As the General Counsel of the Department of Commerce, Kerry was the principal legal advisor to the Secretary of Commerce and third-ranking secretarial officer. He resigned his position on September 4, 2013.[3]

Early life[edit]

Cameron Forbes Kerry was born on September 6, 1950, in Washington, D.C. He is the fourth child of U.S. diplomat Richard Kerry and Rosemary Forbes of the Forbes family and Dudley–Winthrop family. He graduated from Harvard College in 1972, and Boston College Law School in 1978.


After graduation from law school, Kerry was an associate with Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr in Washington, D.C. and served as law clerk to U.S. Senior Circuit Judge Elbert Tuttle, former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (now the Eleventh Circuit). He has been an Adjunct Professor of Telecommunications Law at Suffolk University Law School and has written on First Amendment and cable television issues.[4] From 1983 to 2008, he worked as a partner at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo, focusing on civil litigation, environmental issues, and communications regulation.[citation needed]

In 1983, Cameron Kerry converted from Roman Catholicism to Judaism before marrying Kathy Weinman.[5] Cameron Kerry traveled across the country speaking to his brother's views on Israel, campaigning with Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, writer-comedian Larry David, and Jewish elected officials.[6]

In 2004, Cameron Kerry served as an influential advisor in his brother's presidential campaign. Kerry played a role in decisions behind the scenes and as a campaign surrogate.[7]

In 2006, Cameron Kerry explored a run for Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth but decided not to run when the Democratic incumbent William F. Galvin announced that he would seek re-election.[8]

During the 2008 presidential campaign, he was the Vice-Chair of the National Jewish Democratic Council and defended Barack Obama in the Jewish press.[9]

On April 20, 2009, President Obama nominated him, and on May 21, 2009, he was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate as the General Counsel of the Department of Commerce. In this role, Kerry was the principal legal advisor to the Secretary of Commerce and third-ranking secretarial officer. He served as the department's chief legal officer and oversees the work of over 325 lawyers in 14 offices. Kerry also serves as the department's chief ethics officer, and co-chairs the secretary's Internet Policy Task Force, which brings together Commerce agencies with expertise on the internet in the 21st-century global economy.[10]


  1. ^ "Cameron F. Kerry". The Washington Post. July 25, 2012.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-02. Retrieved 2013-06-03.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Cameron F. Kerry". Office of the Chief Counsel. Department of Commerce. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo Biography".
  5. ^ "Cameron Kerry and his in-laws talk of the Democratic frontrunner". Detroit Jewish News. Archived from the original on 2006-11-14. Retrieved 2006-08-27.
  6. ^ Neuman, Johanna (October 29, 2004). "Kerry's entree to Jewish vote". Los Angeles Times.
  7. ^ O'Brien, Timothy L. (February 15, 2004). "THE 2004 CAMPAIGN: THE CONFIDANT; Kerry Turns to His Brother For Help on Big Decisions". New York Times. Retrieved April 28, 2010.
  8. ^ Phillips, Frank (July 27, 2005). "Kerry's brother mulls a run". Boston Globe.
  9. ^ "Obama is calling to Jews". Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA). Archived from the original on 2012-05-09.
  10. ^ Profile,; accessed August 5, 2015.
Political offices
Preceded by
Rebecca Blank
United States Secretary of Commerce

Succeeded by
Penny Pritzker