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Lawrence appoints first Brandeis chief of staff

Published: January 28, 2011
Section: Front Page


Boston lawyer and Brandeis alum David Bunis ’83 has been named chief of staff to President Fred Lawrence, who met Bunis while both men were working on the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Civil Rights Committee.

There has never before been a chief of staff at Brandeis for any past president at Brandeis. Bunis will “manage and coordinate the activities of my office,” Lawrence said in a statement for The Hoot.

Bunis, who met his wife while both were students here, will return to campus and begin work Feb. 1.

“I am thrilled to be returning to Brandeis,” Bunis wrote in a statement upon accepting the position. “Although years have passed and much has changed at Brandeis since my graduation, my pulse still quickens as I turn off South Street onto campus. The university has always been a very special place for me, and our large circle of friends is full of Brandeis alums. I am excited about working with trustees, faculty, students, alumni and staff who are the heart and soul of this great institution.”

The chief of staff’s job will be primarily to harmonize the many other administrative officers, who all report to the president, and the president’s inner office staff, executive assistant and thus Lawrence’s schedule.

“I will be helping [to] coordinate and manage President Lawrence’s priorities,” around the campus, both administrative and otherwise Bunis wrote. “Fred and I have worked closely together for several years. From that experience I know the energy and dedication and inspired leadership that he is bringing to Brandeis. Returning to Brandeis to work with Fred is a once in a lifetime opportunity I just couldn’t resist and I can’t wait to get started.”

Lawrence said that his decision to hire a chief of staff is one that involves trust. His previously announced plans to travel across the country and abroad in the coming year played into the decision to hire a chief of the president’s staff. Lawrence wants Bunis to keep him updated on all the workings of the university when he is absent.

Although Brandeis has never before used the title, nearby Tufts University in Medford has a presidential chief of staff, and Brown University’s staff director post is similar. According to Lawrence, Bunis will face the job of “immersing himself in the university.”

Bunis will be leaving a post at the firm of Dwyer and Collora. In addition to working at the ADL and Dwyer and Collora, (where he had represented Tufts University) he has represented low-income families throughout Greater Boston facing eviction, and is a vice president of Temple Emanuel in Newton, where he lives with his wife.