Huma Abedin, One of the Most Influential Women on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Team


Huma Abedin, Chelsea Clinton and Hillary stop by the tony shops in East Hampton.(nydailynews) DIANE COHEN

Huma Abedin’s been orbitting Bill and Hillary Clinton ever since she joined the White House as an intern at age 21. When Huma Abedin first joined the Clinton White House in the 1990s, she hoped to be assigned to the press office. Instead, she was assigned to Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff, Melanne Verveer. Two decades later, Abedin is at the center of Clinton’s presidential bid, with a title of campaign vice chair. And by most accounts, she is candidate Clinton’s closest aide.

“I’m not sure Hillary could walk out the door without Huma. She’s a little like Radar on M*A*S*H. If the air-conditioning is too cold, Huma is there with the shawl. She’s always thinking three steps ahead of Hillary,” Clinton communications aide Mandy Grunwald told Vogue

“Both Hillary and Huma are extraordinary people who are also workaholics,” says Oscar de la Renta, who has often hosted the two at his house in the Dominican Republic. “The E-mailing! It never stops. I tell Hillary, ‘Just because you are working in the sun, that doesn’t make it a vacation.’ They are lucky to have found each other.”

“I don’t think you could say they are like mother and daughter. It’s more like an older sister–younger sister relationship, but it’s definitely familial,” according to a longtime Hillary friend, actress Mary Steenburgen.

Married to former New York congressman Anthony Weiner, Huma Abedin is currently vice chair of the campaign – Hillary for America.

According to Politico, “Abedin is overseeing the campaign operation and serving more often as an independent surrogate for her boss. She’s even taking meetings in place of her boss.”

“For all intents and purposes, she’s number three on the campaign, after [campaign chairman John] Podesta and [campaign manager Robby] Mook,” a Clinton campaign aide said.
Huma’s late father, Syed Zainul Abedin, was a graduate of Aligarh Muslim University and of Indian descent. He was a university lecturer and her mother a sociology professor; both received their PhD’s from the University of Pennsylvania. Born in Kalamazoo, Michigan before moving to Saudi Arabia, Abedin speaks fluent Arabic. She graduated from George Washington University.

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