Presidential Counsel - Y Magazine
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Alumni Updates

Presidential Counsel

By Jeffrey G. Mulcock, ’03

When D. Kyle Sampson, ’93 (Noelle Transtrum, ’93), gives legal advice to his client, he is counseling one of the most powerful men in the world. As a legal advisor to President George W. Bush, Sampson’s work affects the lives of millions.

After the 2000 election Sampson joined the White House staff and oversaw all of President Bush’s legal staff appointments. Last year he assumed additional duties as a member of the White House Counsel’s office. Sampson provides legal advice to the president and others, helps develop policy initiatives, and ensures that the Constitutional powers of the presidency are both protected and exercised appropriately. 

“We are blessed with the best system of government in the world,” Sampson says. “The founding fathers were truly wise men raised up to establish the Constitution.” 

After leaving BYU in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in American studies, Sampson graduated with honors from the University of Chicago Law School. BYU helped him prepare for his work in government. “At BYU I learned to work hard, play well, and love learning—all skills I use today.” 

“Kyle has played a key role in many of the administration’s personnel decisions and is the reason so many BYU alumni, including myself, have positions in the Bush administration,” says Taylor M. Oldroyd, ’91, a friend of Sampson and a White House staff member. 

Working long days for President Bush, Sampson often returns home just in time to read to his children and put them to bed. “There is a small moment in time when I can engage in this sort of public service,” says Sampson. “I know it will come to an end, so that makes the long hours worthwhile.”