K.T. McFarland Educational Background: How Well-Educated is Trump’s Advisor?

Kathleen Troia McFarland, better known as K.T., is a former member of the National Security Council and a current national security analyst for Fox News. On November 25th of 2016, Donald Trump announced that McFarland would succeed Avril Haines as Deputy National Security Advisor. This isn’t the first time she’s shown interest in public office either. In 2008, she ran against incumbent Hillary Clinton for a seat in the United States Senate.  She lost. When not involved in matters of national security, or criticizing Obama’s approach to combatting terrorism, K.T. McFarland works as a board member for The Jamestown Foundation. Kathleen’s currently married to Alan McFarland and a busy mother of five. We’ll now take a brief look at her formative years before diving fully into the extent of her education.

The future security advisor came into the world on July 24th of 1951. That’s where any semblance to normal youth ended. Kathleen Troia McFarland did not have a happy childhood. In a lengthy interview with The Associated Press, she described her formative years as a “nightmarish ordeal” filled with memories of an abusive father. Suffice to say, Kathleen left home as soon as she could. At the age of 18, K.T. left for college and tried her best to leave that childhood behind.

It didn’t take her long to discover her passion. After less than a year at George Washington University, her original alma mater, Kathleen Troia jumpstarted her career in public service.  George Washington University, famous for its Law School and Graduate School of Education and Human Development, was a perfect place to develop her passion. After her graduation, she spent seven years in the West Wing and eventually worked her way into Henry Kissinger’s National Security Council. After her time with the Ford Administration, McFarland returned to the hallowed halls of higher education. She then completed her masters in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics at Oxford University. While she never finished her dissertation, her doctoral studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in which she concentrated on nuclear weapons, likely proved invaluable to her knowledge of national security.

It’s unlikely, with how busy she’s likely to become, that she’ll have time to write that thesis any time soon. So, for now, K.T. McFarland will remain the holder of a master’s degree.


John Brennan Educational Background: How Educated is the Current Head of the C.I.A.?

(c) JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

Likely to be succeeded by Mike Pompeo in the Trump administration, John Brennan is the current director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He has held this position since March 8th of 2013. Before that, Brennan served the U.S.A. as a chief counterterrorism advisor to President Barack Obama. He’s worked in intelligence for more than three decades.  During his time away from the government, Brennan became chairman of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) and served as CEO of The Analysis Corporation (TAC). Just how educated must a man be to run an “intelligence” agency? Read on to find out.

John Owen Brennan, the son of two Irish immigrants, came into the world on September 22nd of 1955. As a child, he attended the Immaculate Heart of Mary Elementary School. After graduating Immaculate Heart, John moved on to the Saint Joseph of the Palisades High School in West New York, New Jersey. Due to dwindling enrollment, this private, Roman Catholic high school permanently shut its doors in 2009. After graduating from this doomed institution, Brennan enrolled at New York’s Fordham University. This private, co-educational facility serves 15,000 students in a wide variety of fields. During his time at Fordham, Brennan spent a year abroad learning Arabic and spent time studying at the American University of Cairo. It’s likely this time that laid the foundation for his later master’s degree. In 1977, he graduated from Fordham with a B.A. in political science. Shortly after that, John Brennan enrolled at the University of Texas – Austin to pursue a master’s degree in Government and Middle Eastern studies.

His ability to speak Arabic fluently, and his deep understanding of Islam, may have given Brennan an advantage during his time fighting the War or Terror. It seemed that his choice to serve the CIA, sparked by an advertisement he saw on the way to Fordham, served this wanderer well.


Kellyanne Conway Educational Background: Is She Educated Enough to Advise?

Recently appointed as a counselor to President-Elect Trump, Kellyanne Conway will assume her new governmental role on January 20th of 2017. Currently, she’s an American Republican, pollster, and strategist.  Conway also serves as CEO of The Polling Company.  When away from her pet project, she can be seen moonlighting as a political commentator on Fox Business, Fox News, and CNN. Before being nominated to her current position, Kellyanne served as President-Elect Trump’s campaign manager; when he secured the presidency, Conway also became the first woman in US history to successfully head a presidential campaign. Read on to find out just where this mother of four, and co-author of What Women Really Want: How American Women Are Quietly Erasing Political, Racial, Class, and Religious Lines to Change the Way We Live, completed her education.

Her story begins on January 20th 0f 1967 in Camden, New Jersey. Her story wasn’t exactly all white picket fences. Her parents divorced when she was just three, leaving her to be raised by her mother and two aunts.  She never complains about her broken family, however, and seems highly-appreciated of the women who helped raise her. In 1985, Kellyanne graduated from St. Joseph High School. This private school, fixated on promoting the Catholic faith, currently serves about 400 students in grades nine to twelve.

Setting her sights on a career in law, Conway enrolled in Trinity College to pursue a B.A. in political science. Just by being accepted, no small feat at this highly-selective liberal arts school, Kellyanne showed herself to be a true academic. She graduated from that same school, with highest honors, in 1989. Without taking a break, she enrolled at George Washington University’s Law School to complete her J.D. Without a doubt, during her time there, she likely experienced one of the 400 student organizations that the highly-rated private school had to offer. That final degree marked the end of Conway’s career in higher education.

At this time, she’s expressed no desire to return to school.


James Mattis: How Well-Educated is America’s Warrior Monk?

General James Mattis

A four-star general who served under Barack Obama as the Head of Central Command (Centcom), Mattis was recently nominated as President-Elect Trump’s Secretary of Defense.  For his service, James earned a variety of awards, including the Edmund S. Muskie Distinguished Public Service Award, the Ryan C. Crocker Global Citizen of the Year, and the Marine Corps University Foundation Semper Fidelis Award. Mattis also earned a few monikers to accompany his accolades: “Mad Dog”, “The Warrior Monk”, and “Chaos”. Retired Maj. Gen. Robert Scales, a Ph.D. in history, said the following about Mattis, ““He is one of the most urbane and polished men I have known. He can quote Homer as well as Sun Tzu.” Currently, after giving much of his collection away to local libraries, Mattis has roughly 1,000 books in his personal collection. Read on to find out how education left its impact on our new, somewhat controversial, Secretary of Defense.

Born on September 8th of 1950, Mattis grew up in Washington state. His family’s close ties to the military, one working as a merchant marine and one as an army intelligence officer, may have contributed to his decision to serve.  In 1968, he graduated from White Salmon’s Columbia High School. This co-educational, public school serves about 400 students during each academic year and has received Washington State’s Achievement Award for Overall Excellence for the past five years. In 1969, Mattis enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. While serving in the reserve, he attended classes at Central Washington University. After four years of studying at one of his state’s premier universities, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. In 2014, in honor of his service, George Washington University awarded James Mattis an honorary doctorate of law. While formal schooling’s behind him, Mattis is still a strong believer in the power of intellect. After all, as he told his troops time and time again: “The most important 6 inches on the battlefield is between your ears.”


Sebastian Vettel’s Educational Background: Are His Grades as Stunning as His Speed?

Currently driving for Ferrari, Sebastian Vettel is a Formula One (F1) driver and winner of four world championships. It’s no wonder he’s considered one of the best racers in history; his paycheck shows it.  In 2015, Forbes estimated that Sebastian and his driving ability netted him about 33 million dollars per year. Vettel doesn’t spend all his time, or money, zipping around the track at death-defying speeds.  He also enjoys watching old British comedies, listening to the Beatles, and spending time with his young family. In addition, Vettel’s dabbled briefly in voice acting by providing the voice of Sebastian Schnell in the localized German version of Cars 2.  This famous F1 racer was not born with a steering wheel, or voice actor’s microphone, clutched in his hands; he was just darn close.  Long before he learned to drive, he was just a boy growing up in West Germany. We’ll take a brief look at his life before exploring just how far this racing Rockstar made it down the educational track.

Sebastian Vettel was born to Heike and Norbert Vettel on July 3rd of 1987. He has one younger brother, Fabian, and two older sisters, Stefanie and Melanie. Before he wanted to race, a young Sebastian professed to wanting to follow in the moonwalking shoes of Michael Jackson. However, at the age of three-and-a-half, his first experience with amateur carting displaced his dreams of singing stardom. He quickly made a name for himself on the track. By the age of eight, Sebastian was accepted into the Red Bull Junior Team. By age 19, he became the youngest F1 driver in history to participate in the Grand Prix. His record in school was never quite as astounding. In the classroom, per a 2014 German-language interview, Sebastian claims he never performed all that well. While he did earn respectable grades, book-learning does not seem to have been his passion.

What education he did receive, took place at Heppenheim’s Starkenburg Gymnasium High School. Home to roughly 1200 students, this educational institution is a testing ground for a variety of technology-based initiatives. It maintains exchange partnerships with West Bend (USA), St. Petersburg (Russia) and Le Chesnay (France). As earning his abitur at Starkenburg marked the end of his educational career, Sebastian Vettel has no other alma maters or degrees to speak of. You can learn more about Starkenburg by visiting their website (if you read German).


Michael Jordan’s Educational Background: Just Where Was He Educated?

Michael Jordan’s (MJ’s) NBA biography puts it best: “By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time.” As one of the most effectively marketed athletes of his generation, Jordan was vital in popularizing professional basketball throughout the 1980s and 1990s.  And, he had plenty of time to do it. Before his retirement in 2003, Jordan played 15 seasons in the NBA for the Washington Wizards and the Chicago Bulls. In that time, Jordan managed to rack up an impressive 32,292 points. With his playing days long over, this basketball star has moved into the role of team owner and entrepreneur. Currently, he owns a car dealership, seven restaurants, and an 80-percent stake in the Charlotte Bobcats. Thanks to the combination of his endorsements and businesses, Michael Jordan now makes more per annum than he accumulated over the entirety of his basketball career. Might he have a business degree to back it all up? Read on to find out.

On February 17th of 1963, James and Delores Jordan welcomed their fourth child, Michael Jeffrey, into their Brooklyn home. He would be followed shortly after by his younger sister, Rosalyn. While born in the Big Apple, the Jordan family did not stay in the city long.  Before Michael had even set foot in a kindergarten classroom, his family had packed it all up and moved to Wilmington, South Carolina. It’s there that Michael would set the foundations for his future basketball career and discover his love of the game. His launch to stardom all started when he, after failing to make varsity, began to wow coaches on his high school’s JV squad.

Jordan completed his primary education at Emsley A. Laney High School in Wilmington, North Carolina. This school, founded in 1976, is currently home to over 2,200 hundred students and a vital part of the New Hanover County School district. Aside from Jordan, Laney’s notable alumni include Terence Williams, Greg Lindquist, and Harvest Smith. Following his high school graduation, Michael Jordan received numerous offers from Duke, South Carolina, Syracuse, Virginia, and North Carolina. In 1981, Jordan accepted a basketball scholarship from North Carolina State University at Chapel Hill. This flagship university boasts nearly 30,000 students, in-state tuition of 8,374 USD, and an acceptance rate of just 26-percent. On its campus, students have access to 33 fraternities, their own NPR radio stations, and an anthropology research lab.  In 1984, before kicking off his professional career, Jordan graduated with a degree in cultural geography. His sound investment instincts obviously came from somewhere else. Since earning his baccalaureate, Michael Jordan has shown no interest in continuing his schooling.


Rudy Giuliani: Is His Educational Resume As Big as the Big Apple?

The former mayor of New York City and a figure of heated controversy, Rudy Giuliani is a businessman, public speaker, former presidential candidate, and lawyer. While formerly a Democrat, Giuliani has been a loyal member of the Republican Party for over 30 years.  During his time as mayor, he helped lower the rate of violent crime, stymy urban decay, and battle back a tide of corrupt corporate financiers. Additionally, in 2001, Rudy provided some much-needed leadership for a Big Apple left reeling by September 11th. His work for NYC helped him to be named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2001. After failing to secure the 2008 presidential nomination, Rudy Giuliani has departed politics in favor of the private sector. Considering his advanced age, it seems unlikely he will go beyond his current level of education. Just how educated is old Rudolph?

Born to Helen and Harold Giuliani on May 28th of 1944, Rudolph William Louis Giuliani grew up surrounded by a family consisting mostly of firefighters and police officers. His father, once arrested for robbing a man at gunpoint, drilled a deep sense of respect for authority, order, and personal property into his young son.  While his grades qualified for few accolades, Rudy showed a deep interest in politics from an early age. His father’s constant lecturing on the importance of societal order drove Giuliani to take his place in the courtroom.

In 1961, Giuliani ended his primary school career at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High. From there, Giuliani moved enrolled at  Manhattan College. This co-educational, Roman Catholic liberal arts institution, serves about 4,000 students annually across all of its urban campus. Centrally located in the Bronx, the school is best known for its high return on investment. After graduating from this prestigious school in 1965, he attended, and graduated from, the New York University Law School.  You can find out more about New York’s oldest law school by peeking at our entry on EduInReview. One thing’s for certain about Giuliani’s law degree: he used it.


Steven Mnuchin’s Educational Background: How Well-Educated Is the Future Secretary of the Treasury?

Now best-known as Trump’s pick for Secretary of the Treasure, Steve Mnuchin worked for over 20-years as a Goldman Sachs partner and hedge fund investor.  Commonly praised by the owner of Trump Industries, Mnuchin partnered up with the Republican National Committee to help raise tens of millions of dollars for Donald Trump’s winning campaign. He’s vowed to help simplify the tax code for businessmen, and Americans, across the country. Considering his track record, that goal may be within the realm of possibility. As a businessman, he’s credited with starting and successfully running a variety of finance-based businesses. When away from Wall Street, and Washington, Mnuchin has worked as a producer for some well-known films, including, American Sniper, Suicide Squad, and The Lego Movie. Forbes estimates his net worth to be around 46-million-dollars. Did you know he a degree from an Ivy league?

Steven Mnuchin was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth; he was born with the entire flatware set. The second son in a wealthy Jewish family, he came into the world on December 12th of 1962.  Born and raised in New York City, partially by a father deeply involved with Goldman Sachs, it’s little wonder that Mnuchin moved into the life of an investor and financier. For his primary education, Steven attended the private and co-educational Riverdale County School. This institution serves 1,140 students from preschool to high school every year. Following his high school graduation, Mnuchin continued his education at Yale University. While at the Ivy League institution, he served as a publisher for the Yale Daily News and became a member of the exclusive Skull and Bones society. Steven graduated from Yale in 1985. He then moved directly into a profitable position at Goldman Sachs. At this time, Steven has shown no interest in furthering his education.


Alec Baldwin’s Educational Background: Did He Act Up in the Classroom?

American producer, comedian, writer, and actor, Alec Baldwin is best known for his role on hit-comedy 30 Rock. He rocketed back into the spotlight on October 1st of 2016 when he debuted his portrayal of Donald Trump on SNL. During his long career the stage, Baldwin’s been a recipient of multiple awards including an Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Award.  Before he took to primetime television, and late night comedy, he spent much of his thespian career bouncing between the silver screen in Broadway; his early credits include Forever Lulu, The Doctors, and Loot. When not working on set, Alec Baldwin spends much of his time acting on behalf of animal rights. He also contributes time to community theater organizations and serves on the board of directors for a variety of acting-focused non-profits. While his 2004 divorce left him bitter, Baldwin has since rediscovered happiness with his second wife and two young children.

The second of six children born to Alexander and Carol Baldwin, Alexander Rae Baldwin III came into the world on April 3rd of 1958. Along with his five siblings, Alec was raised in the Massapequa suburb of Long Island. He attended, and played football for, Alfred G. Berner High School. Due to falling enrollment throughout the 1980s, the school permanently shuttered its doors in 1987. Little information can be found on this defunct institution. His education did not end there.

In 1976, Alec began his baccalaureate education at George Washington University. While there, Baldwin majored in political science with every intention of becoming a lawyer. However, after he rediscovered his childhood love of acting, he left his dreams of courtroom drama behind.  After uncovering his passion, Alec enrolled in the drama department at New York University.  While his political science didn’t end in law school, it might have helped him in his portrayals of Donald Trump. However, considering his career, it’s likely his education at New York University that proved vital.

 


Kevin Durant’s Educational Background: How Educated is He?

Kevin Durant A winner of the NBA’s MVP award, four NBA scoring titles, and two Olympic gold medals, Kevin Durant currently plays small forward for the Golden State Warriors. Before he joined Oakland’s basketball team in 2016, Durant played nine seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder.   His life isn’t all basketball, however. The 6’9’’ player describes himself as a “high school kid” at heart and enjoys nothing more than kicking back with a video game.  In addition to being an amateur gamer, Durant’s an entrepreneur. He owns several properties in Oklahoma City and runs his own restaurant in the Bricktown neighborhood. Possessing a heart big enough to match his frame, Durant’s known for dedicating his time to philanthropic causes. However, long before he picked up a basketball or broke ground on his restaurant, he was a kid growing up in the suburbs of Washington.

Kevin Durant was born to two government workers, Wayne and Wanda Pratt, on September 29th of 1988.  His father’s departure before his son’s first birthday left Kevin, and his three siblings, to be raised by his mother and grandmother, Barbara.  Interestingly enough, when he was younger, Durant always felt self-conscious about his height. It was his grandmother that helped him see that towering above other students was nothing to be ashamed of and encouraged him to make use of it.  During the time Durant struggled with his height, he spent hours  at the local Boys and Girls Club. His time there helped him discover a passion, and innate ability, for basketball. At the age of 11, he led his AAU team, the Jaguars, to a national championship. From that moment on, Durant decided to play for the NBA. Before transferring to basketball factory Oak Hill Academy as a junior, Kevin played as a freshman and sophomore at Montrose Christian.

Postgraduation, he joined the other Longhorns at the University of Texas. During his  semesters there, Durant continued to set records on the court and even became the first freshman to earn the Naismith College Player of the Year.  An article from the NY Times quotes Durant as saying the following about earning his degree: “To walk across the stage will be just as important as being drafted,. Maybe even more important because that lasts an entire lifetime.” Durant later earned a bachelor’s in education with a minor in social work.