Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Analysis: Who Is Marcus Jadotte?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

On May 22, 2014, President Barack Obama nominated Marcus Jadotte to lead the Bureau of Industry and Analysis in the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration. If confirmed, Jadotte will represent U.S. business interests in trade negotiations. It’s a return to government for Jadotte, who spent the previous nine years in the private sector.


Born in 1971, the son of Marcel Jadotte and Jacqueline Oliver-Jadotte, Marcus Jadotte is originally from Nassau, Bahamas, and came to the Miami area as a fourth grader. He attended Carol City High School, where he competed as a wrestler, and graduated in 1989. He got his first brush with politics there, going with a group in 1989 to Washington to attend George H.W. Bush’s inauguration. In a newspaper story written about the trip, Jadotte said he considered himself a Republican, a preference which has apparently changed. Jadotte went on to Florida State University, where he earned a B.S. in economics and met his wife, Jennifer.


After college, Jadotte became active in the Florida political scene. He worked as communications director for the Florida AFL-CIO, as a staffer on the Finance and Tax Committee in the Florida House, was an aide to then-Governor Lawton Chiles and ran the Volusia County campaign for President Bill Clinton in 1996.


In 1998, Jadotte was a strategist for the ultimately unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign of Democrat Buddy McKay. After that, Jadotte joined the Clinton administration in the Labor Department, remaining there until 2000.


During the 2000 campaign, Jadotte was Florida State Director for Vice President Al Gore’s ill-fated run. The following year, Jadotte became chief of staff for Rep. Peter Deutsch (D-Florida), serving in that job until 2003. He then jumped back into presidential politics as the deputy campaign manager for the Kerry-Edwards campaign.


After John Kerry’s defeat, Jadotte moved back to Capitol Hill, this time as chief of staff for Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, remaining there until 2005.


Jadotte moved away from public service in 2005, becoming vice president for public affairs and multicultural development for NASCAR, the nation’s premier stock-car racing circuit. Jadotte spent much of his time with NASCAR leading diversity programs for the organization, working to bring in minority drivers, pit crew and other team members. He did continue to dabble in politics, acting as an advisor to Organizing for America, the 2012 Obama campaign, and as a regular member of National Journal’s “Political Insiders” panel of political experts. Jadotte left NASCAR shortly before being nominated to the Commerce post.


Jadotte and his wife have two children, Ashton and Sofia.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Florida Voice Has Kerry’s Ear (by Adam C. Smith, St. Petersburg Times)

Testimony Before Senate Commerce Committee (pdf)


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