Two with Upper Valley ties will have jobs in Biden administration

  • Then-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, and his chief of staff, Jon Finer, meet with members of a U.S. delegation in Vienna, Austria, in 2015. Finer, a Norwich native, has been named to a senior post in the Biden White House. ap file — CARLOS BARRIA

  • Moran

Valley News
Published: 1/20/2021 5:15:26 PM

Two Upper Valley natives will assume prominent posts in the White House when President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on Wednesday.

Jon Finer, a Norwich native and 1994 Hanover High School graduate, will become principal deputy national security advisor, the Biden transition team announced earlier this month.

And Tyler Moran, a Canaan native and 1987 Mascoma Valley Regional High School graduate, was named special assistant to the president for immigration for the Domestic Policy Council.

Moran, who worked most recently as executive director of the advocacy group Immigration Hub, said Monday that she’s excited to take up the new post.

“After four years of an administration that drove immigration policy based on cruelty and chaos, I’m ready to join an administration that’s ready to fix the immigration system and do it in a way that’s aligned with our values,” she said while walking between meetings in Washington.

Moran previously worked as a senior policy advisor to then-Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and in the Domestic Policy Council during the Obama Administration.

During her previous stint at the White House, she helped draft the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program that protects undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children from deportation and provides them a work permit.

Moran said her focus will include building a path to citizenship for the “Dreamers,” who are thought to number about 700,000 across the country. She also hopes to help reverse the Trump administration’s travel ban on people from several Muslim-majority countries and work to preserve DACA.

“I think this president is going to do more across the government on day one than any other president and there’s a lot on the immigration agenda that will need to be implemented,” said Moran, who worked at the National Immigration Law Center, the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition and taught high school at the private Tilton (N.H.) School prior to her government work.

Finer also has years of government experience under his belt.

He previously served in the Obama White House and State Department, including as a Middle East advisor and speechwriter for then-Vice President Biden. Finer was also a chief of staff and director of policy planning for Secretary of State John Kerry during negotiations for the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

He currently serves as deputy head of foreign and national security policy on the Biden transition team under incoming National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, who held a teaching residency at Dartmouth from 2019 to 2020. 

Finer, through a spokeswoman for the Biden transition team, declined to comment on Monday.

He grew up in Norwich with three younger siblings, his mother Susan, a former Frances C. Richmond Middle School principal, and father Chad, a physician.

“He’s worked very hard and we’re just pleased he is back doing what he wants to do,” Chad Finer said in a brief phone conversation Monday.

Before entering government, Finer was a foreign and national correspondent for The Washington Post, where he covered the 2003 invasion of Iraq and eventually oversaw the paper’s Baghdad bureau.

Chuck Bohi, who taught history at Hanover High for 27 years, said he isn’t surprised that Finer is taking up a job inside the Biden White House, saying the incoming president seems to find those “very competent and capable people” for top roles.

“Jon Finer would definitely fit in that category,” he said. “He thoroughly deserves it and will undoubtedly do a good job.”

Tim Cam erato can be  reached at or 603-72 7-3223.


Susan Finer is a former Frances C.  Richmond Middle School principal. An earlier version of this story on the web misidentified the school.

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