As a Rhodes Scholar and graduate of Yale Law School, Luke A. Bronin has an impressive resume at the age of 33.
On Tuesday, he was named as the new chief legal counsel for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
Bronin, a Democrat, worked for Malloy during his unsuccessful primary race for governor in 2006 against New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, who later lost to Republican M. Jodi Rell. He also worked in 2004 on the reelection campaign in Stamford for state Sen. Andrew McDonald, who became Malloy’s chief legal counsel before being nominated for the Connecticut Supreme Court.
“He’s a friend of mine,” Malloy told reporters Tuesday outside his state Capitol office. “The role of counsel is to advise me and run an office with three other attorneys. He will continue the practice that I had with Andrew of assisting me with judicial nominations and the like, as well as other appointments to the government.”
When asked about Bronin’s youth and experience, Malloy said, “He’s got a great mind, quite frankly, and a great track record of experiences necessary to give me advice. … There are only a couple of folks that I would have considered for this job – both of those I had longstanding relationships with. This is a very personal position, but one that requires great intelligence and great expertise and great fluency. All of those are possessed by this guy.”
Regarding his habit of working seven days a week at times, Malloy said, “Some of you joke that I work hard. This is a guy who actually puts me to shame on the work output level. So we’re a good match.”
Malloy recalled that he met Bronin around 2002, even before Bronin started helping McDonald on his reelection efforts.
Malloy laughed about their initial meeting and said, “He forgot, and I remembered.”
In his most recent of multiple jobs, Bronin served in Washington, D.C. as the deputy assistant secretary for terrorist financing and financial crimes at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. As part of that job, he worked on the federal government’s efforts against regimes in Syria and Iran, battled organized crime, and attempt to block money going to the Taliban and other terrorist groups worldwide.
“Luke brings a diverse range of experience to the Governor’s Office, from fighting illicit finance for the Department of Treasury to his service as an officer in the United States military and his work in one of our country’s largest investment and insurance companies,” Malloy said in a statement. “I’ve known Luke for a number of years and trust that his counsel will serve our office well as we continue our efforts to make state government leaner and more efficient while still being responsive to residents.”
After four years in Washington, D.C., Bronin – a former Connecticut resident who lived on Elm Street in Hartford and Elm Street in New Haven - said he is happy to be back with his wife – who teaches at UConn law school – and two children. His wife, Sara C. Galvan, is a fellow Rhodes Scholar, and their wedding was touted in The New York Times.
“This will be a homecoming for me, back to my home state,” Bronin told reporters. “We’re thrilled to be coming home. Though I have been away, I’ve been paying close attention to what has happened here.
Bronin added, “Governor Malloy has built an administration that tackles hard problems head-on, with energy, with discipline, and with seriousness of purpose, and I’m honored to be joining his team.”
Bronin will be earning $160,000 per year, which is more than Malloy, who is paid $150,000 per year and receives the free use of the governor’s mansion in Hartford’s West End.
“During his time as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, Luke Bronin was an integral part of Treasury’s efforts to protect the integrity of the U.S. financial system, and advance core national security and foreign policy interests of the United States,” Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen said.
Cohen, who always uses his middle initial in a name that is widely familiar, added, “His leadership and expertise were critical to targeting those threatening the United States, and have contributed greatly to the successful accomplishment of Treasury’s national security mission. He was our point man on some of the most challenging issues related to national security from combating terrorist financing in Afghanistan and Pakistan to traveling around the globe to preempt Iranian attempts to evade international sanctions. Luke has a bright future and he will be missed here at Treasury as he begins the next part of his career.”
Before his latest position, Bronin worked as senior advisor to the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Treasury and as the chief of staff to the president and chief operating officer of The Hartford Financial Services Group’s property & casualty division.
As a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve, he served in a non-combat role in Afghanistan as a member of the anti-corruption task force from September 2010 to April 2011.
After graduating from Yale College with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, Bronin became a Rhodes Scholar and later graduated from Yale Law School in New Haven.