Source: The American Prospect

For a first-time candidate, Ronnie Chatterji has his goals set high. Chatterji is seeking the office of state treasurer, a position that manages $100 billion in pension investments and has several positions in state bodies like the Board of Education among others. Chatterji hopes to use the power of the office to address issues that are close to him like climate change and diversity, according to a profile of the candidate in The American Prospect.

Chatterji is a tenured business school professor at Duke University and previously served in the Obama White House as a senior staffer on the Council of Economic Advisers. That analytical background led Chatterji to believe he would be more of a numbers guy than the candidate. But he has decided to run this year.

“I thought if I was going to be in public service, I would be the person running the numbers,” Chatterji says. “I think we’re probably conditioned to think of ourselves in these roles, probably to our detriment sometimes, but I didn’t see a lot of people like me running for office, so I thought I’ll be the numbers guy,” Chatterji told the Prospect.

But after Obama won in 2008, it changed Chatterji’s mind about who can run for office.

What I saw with President Obama was because of his diverse background—which is completely unique, out of this world, in the contemporary American political situation—people really related to him. And I thought maybe because I’m so different and there’s not a lot of people out there like me, maybe I can help create the new playbook and create some of that trust,” Chatterji said.

Read the full profile of Ronnie Chatterji from The American Prospect.