Rahm Israel Emanuel ( born November 29, 1959) is an American politician who served as the 55th mayor of Chicago from 2011 to 2019. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as the 23rd White House Chief of Staff from 2009 to 2010, and as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Chicago between 2003 and 2009. Born in Chicago, Emanuel is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College where he was accomplished in the arts as a ballet dancer with a full scholarship and also Northwestern University. Working early in his career in Democratic politics, Emanuel was appointed as director of the finance committee for Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign. In 1993, he joined the Clinton Administration, where he served as the assistant to the president for political affairs and as the Senior Advisor to the President for policy and strategy before resigning, in 1998. Beginning a career in finance, Emanuel worked at the investment bank Wasserstein Perella & Co. from 1998 for 2½ years, and served on the board of directors of Freddie Mac. In 2002, Emanuel ran for the seat in the U.S. House of Representatives vacated by Rod Blagojevich, who resigned to become governor of Illinois. Emanuel won the first of three terms representing Illinois's 5th congressional district, a seat he held from 2003 to 2009. During his tenure in the House, Emanuel held two Democratic leadership positions, serving as the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from 2005 to 2007, and as the chair of the House Democratic Caucus, from 2007 to 2009. After the 2008 presidential election, President Barack Obama appointed Emanuel to serve as White House chief of staff. In October 2010, Emanuel resigned as chief of staff to run as a candidate in Chicago's 2011 mayoral election. Because of questions about his eligibility to run for mayor, Emanuel's candidacy was initially rejected by the Illinois First District Appellate Court, though he was later found eligible to run in a unanimous decision by the Supreme Court of Illinois. Emanuel won with 55% of the vote over five other candidates in the non-partisan mayoral election, succeeding 22-year incumbent Richard M. Daley. At his reelection, although Emanuel failed to obtain an absolute majority in the February 2015 mayoral election, he defeated Cook County board commissioner Jesús "Chuy" García in the subsequent run-off election in April. By July 2017, Emanuel was said to have raised $1.6 million towards a potential run for a third term in the 2019 election. He initially announced in October 2017 he planned to run for a third term, but on September 4, 2018, Emanuel reversed this decision and stated he would not seek a third term due to personal obligations. The Chicago Tribune assessed Emmanuel's performance as mayor as "mixed." Some saw him as making meaningful reforms, while others criticized him as mayor-for-the-wealthy. Test scores rose in schools but his decision to close schools in economically hard hit neighborhoods was controversial. Chicago's downtown boomed, attracting corporate headquarters but other areas of the city saw population losses. Crime both dipped to historically lowest levels, and rose to high levels in depressed parts of the city. The city's finances were put on a much better footing but regressive taxes also rose. In late 2015, Emanuel's approval rating plunged to "the low 20s" in response to a series of scandals, most directly the police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, the city's subsequent attempts to withhold a video of the shooting, and the lack of an investigation into the matter. In early December 2015, the federal Justice Department announced an investigation into the operations of the Chicago Police Department, a move which Emanuel initially opposed. At one point, half of Chicagoans favored Emanuel's resignation, with highly critical evaluations of the mayor concerning the McDonald death appearing in such sources as The New York Times and The New Yorker, and coming from such figures as the Reverend Al Sharpton. He later made steady progress in recovering his political support.