Gray's sixth-grade teacher on Long Island recalls a girl with poise and intellect. Mary Anne Harroun told the Riverhead News-Review that Gray, while studying Greek and Sumerian culture, "learned the basics of political dogma with flair and courtesy." It served her well: Today, Gray's résumé is something to behold. A Duke undergrad, Gray went on to Harvard Law where she was an editor on the Law Review; coauthored an amicus brief from the Black Law Students Association in a Supreme Court case, Grutter v. Bollinger; and was even voted by her classmates "most likely" to join the high court. The 34-year-old has worked as a clerk for Merrick Garland on the D.C. Circuit, the nation's second most important court, and for Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court. In 2006, she took a leave from the law firm Skadden, Arps to campaign for then-Sen. Barack Obama. Gray worked as deputy national policy director for the presidential campaign, which lined her up nicely to work in the White House Counsel's Office, where she handled Supreme Court nominations. After a stint at the Justice Department's Civil Division, she came back to the White House to serve on the National Economic Council before being named this year to be Cabinet secretary, which makes her the liaison between the White House and the heads of Cabinet agencies.