On Thursday, Cassandra Butts, the former Deputy White House Counsel died in her Washington D.C. home after suffering from a brief illness, reports The Root. She was 50.
During President Obama’s first year in office, Butts served as a member of his cabinet and held her year-long position before being named by POTUS as the senior adviser to the foreign aid agency, Milennium Challenge Corporation.
Both Butts and President Obama attended Harvard Law and in a statement released regarding her passing on Friday, POTUS described his fellow Law alum as someone “who made you want to be better.”
“Cassandra and I met as law students, and we quickly discovered a shared passion for jazz – and for public service,” the statemet read. “It was a passion she’d chase for the rest of her life – on Capitol Hill, at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, at the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and as an advisor of mine – but above all, as a citizen, always pushing, always doing her part to advance the causes of opportunity, civil rights, development, and democracy. Cassandra was someone who put her hands squarely on that arc of the moral universe, and never stopped doing whatever she could to bend it towards justice.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with Butts’ family and friends.