Thursday, April 19, 2007

Former Lugar Aide Snags $250,000 Job

Former Hoosier Kevin Kellems once worked as an aide to Sen. Richard Lugar (R) and ran unsuccessfully for the 9th congressional district seat now held by Rep. Baron Hill. With the help of former Defense Department official Paul Wolfowitz, who recently became president of the World Bank, Kellems has landed a job paying nearly $250,000 a year, tax-free and has been granted quasi-tenure status--meaning he will still have a job beyond Wolfowitz' term. News of Kellem's and another colleague's cushy jobs is creating a bit of a scandal at the World Bank. The Indiana Daily Insight picks up this item from the Financial Times:

As World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz tries to survive damaging allegations against him, the Financial Times raises some additional questions about his administration of the agency as it relates to personnel, including generous pay deals for aides Robin Cleveland and Kevin Kellems. Kellems, of course, is a former Indiana congressional candidate who had previous stints with the the Vice President, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and then-Ohio Gov. Robert Taft (R).:

"Two sources told the Financial Times that Xavier Coll, the Bank’s senior human resources officer, was not consulted over the terms and conditions offered to Robin Cleveland and Kevin Kellems, former Bush administration officials who Mr Wolfowitz brought with him to the Bank. Ms Cleveland and Mr Kellems were given salaries of about $250,000 net of tax – the same amount paid to the highest ranked career Bank officials, who typically have 25 years of development experience. World Bank policy is that the president has the authority to make an appointment at any level, but it would be normal for the head of HR to be consulted over the terms of such appointments, two sources told the FT. It is understood that mid-ranking HR officials were consulted over the appointments. The FT’s revelations are potentially damaging because they suggest that irregular processes over appointments under Mr Wolfowitz were not limited to his personal involvement Riza affair.

" Washington Post op-ed columnist Sebastian Mallaby adds this: "there is no moral clarity emanating from the bank right now. Instead, there is demoralizing scandal. The scandal centers on the pay of people around Paul Wolfowitz, the World Bank president. Kevin Kellems, an unremarkable press-officer-cum-aide who had previously worked for Wolfowitz at the Pentagon, pulls down $240,000 tax-free -- the low end of the salary scale for World Bank vice presidents, who typically have PhDs and 25 years of development experience. Robin Cleveland, who also parachuted in with Wolfowitz, gets $250,000 and a free pass from the IRS, far more than her rank justifies. Kellems and Cleveland have contracts that don't expire when Wolfowitz's term is up. They have been granted quasi-tenure."


Wilson46201 said...


( It's OK if you are Republican! )

Anonymous said...

I've met and talked with Kevin. The article properly describes him.

Tax-free money. Dayum.

Anonymous said...

And what exactly does this have to do with "Advancing Indiana?' A connected person gets a cush job? Shocking.

Anonymous said...

Kellems is an incredibly intelligent guy, even though the article slants it otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Uh, no he's not, 2:33...he's a hack. Plain and simple. He ought to be ashamed at the job he got, leap-frogging over career employees.

But I doubt he is, given his employment record.

Anonymous said...

I went to high school with Kevin Kellems and always laughed at his extreme desire to ingratiate himself with anyone who could help further his interests. Kevin was naive at the very least, though I always suspected ulterior motives. He certainly had a less than mediocre intellect. It came as no surprise to see he had risen as far as bootblack to the neocons. I wouldn't doubt that he often thought he was telling the truth when Cheney told him what to say. Clearly, he will go no further now.