A few years ago, Brian Deese put his studies at Yale Law School on hold to volunteer for the presidential campaigns of Sen. Hillary Clinton LAW ’73 and, after she dropped out of the race, then-Sen. Barack Obama. After the election, it might have seemed likely that Deese would return to the Law School, where he was once a member of the class of 2008, to receive his degree.

But it turned out President Obama had another assignment in store for Deese: He would be made responsible for the fate of the U.S. auto industry.

A special assistant to the president for economic policy, Deese, 31, has been a key player in Obama’s automotive task force since Election Day.

“There was a time between Nov. 4 and mid-February when I was the only full-time member of the auto task force,” Deese told The New York Times. “It was a little scary.”

The Times published a profile of Deese on Monday, titled “The 31-Year-Old in Charge of Dismantling G.M.”

Deese has played a leading role in the White House’s plan to allow General Motors to enter bankruptcy protection, which it did this morning. Under the restructuring plan, G.M. will close 11 plants and idle another three, emerging as a viable but much smaller company.

(Photo: The New York Times)