Todd Aaron Levett

April 19, 1983October 30, 2014

Todd Aaron Levett, was born April 19,1983. He is survived by his loving and adoring family: grandparents Paula and Karl Lasman, parents Barry and Susie Levett, sister and brother-in-law Jennifer and Jordan Toplitzky, and niece Avery, to whom he was "Unkie Toddy." Todd, who was a respected foreign policy and national security expert, passed away peacefully after a battle with Glioblastoma on October 30th at the Johns Hopkins Hospital surrounded by his loved ones. During his career, Todd was revered by his peers and leaders for his accomplishments on Capitol Hill and as an Appointee for the Obama Administration at the United States Department of State. Todd served as an expert on a range of national security issues, both during his time as a Senior Advisor at the House Homeland Security Committee and as the Chief of Staff at the State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. Todd brought a unique strategic vision and passion to his work and was recognized as a leader in the field through his work at the Truman National Security Project. Early in his career he wrote and edited the NEXT feature section of the Cleveland Plain Dealer and developed media engagement and marketing strategies at TAL Entertainment and for Elektra Records. He attended and was a "lifer" at University School before moving to Washington D.C. where he ultimately met his true love, Rene Hanna. Todd obtained a B. A. in Political Science from American University while working for a Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt (D-MO). He continued on to complete graduate courses at the Naval War College and the University of Connecticut. He touched many hearts and will be sorely missed by all. Services will be held Sunday November 2 at 2:30 PM at The Temple-Tifereth Israel, 26000 Shaker Blvd., Beachwood, OH 44122. Interment Mayfield Cemetery. Family will receive friends at the residence of Susie and Barry Levett SUNDAY FOLLOWING SERVICES UNTIL 8 PM, MONDAY & TUESDAY 2 PM-5 PM & 7 PM-9 PM. Friends who wish may contribute to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or The Gathering Place East for Cancer.


  • Funeral Service Sunday, November 2, 2014
  • Committal Service Sunday, November 2, 2014

Todd Aaron Levett

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Daniel Goddard

March 12, 2015

To the levett family. I have just become aware of todd's passing. I am absolutely devastated and I am so sorry for your loss. Todd was one of my best friends and I love him dearly. I heard he was sick and I tried to reach out to him but was unable to reach him by phone. The saying "only the good die young" comes to mind. Todd wasn't just good. He was great.

December 6, 2014

Dear Barry, Susie, and Jen,
Todd was the shooting star who touched all our lives. Even as a child you knew he was on his own path for greatness. His mind worked at such a velocity and his leadership and enthusiasm were infectious. It was a challenge, honor and privilege to know him. There are no words to lessen his loss, but we hope the knowledge that he was so special to so many comforts you. Always, Jim and Eileen Harth

Marisa Frydman

November 27, 2014

Dearest Cousins Paula. Carl. Susie. Barri & Jen...I m truly sorry. I heard today. Praying God s comfort during this trial. I have dear memories of him as a child. Let me know what I can do for you. Love.....Marisa Frydman & Family

Marisa Lino

November 23, 2014

Dear Barry and Susie,
I just read the notice in the Washington Post today and was immensely saddened as I did not know he had taken a turn for the worse. It had been a little while since I had spoken to Todd, but the last time I did, he was optimistic about getting better. Please accept my condolences for your terrible loss. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for you. I knew Todd from his time on the Hill, when I was, at the time, an official at the Dept. of Homeland Security and testified before his committee. We remained friends, and after he had been at the State Dept. for a few years, we had lunch and coffee because he wanted my advice on a transition to the private sector, where I now work. He was a person who could make anyone smile and his enthusiasm and optimism were infectious. He touched so many lives in a positive way, you must be very proud of the lovely son you had. I read the article in the Ohio press about Todd and was not in the least surprised the President, Secretary of State and so many others called and worried about him. Your son was an amazing person and I feel fortunate to have known him and so very, very sorry he is gone.
Marisa Lino

Chad Berbert

November 17, 2014

Dear Susie and Barry:

So sorry to hear of Todd's passing. I have the greatest respect for him. Todd and I worked together at the U.S. Embassy in London. He was a natural leader and motivator, even as a young Embassy intern.

Not sure if he told you the story but one of my fondest memories of Todd was from the night of the 2004 Embassy London Election Night celebration. Todd and I had worked closely together in helping to organize the festivities. About 3am as the festivities wore down we headed to the Ambassador's office to catch a few hours of sleep before having to start work early the next morning. Todd got one couch and I the other.

Before we fell asleep we discussed the future of U.S. politics. I distinctly remember Todd saying to me "keep your eye on Barack Obama." That was in 2004, well before President Obama had entered the national consciousness.

That is how I remember Todd. Sharp, and highly insightful, not to mention, a true friend. While Todd and I only worked directly together for those few months in London, he was always eager to keep in touch. I loved connecting with him when we'd pass through DC. I have the utmost respect for Todd. He will truly be missed.


Jodi Herman

November 11, 2014

I had the pleasure of working with Todd on many issues confronting the Western Hemisphere while he was at INL and I was working in the Senate. Todd's insights and knowledgeable were unparalled, but more importantly his sense of humor and positive perspective. He knew how to cut through the baloney and the bureaucracy and get things done.

Truly a remarkable person. I didn't know he was ill and was so saddened to hear of his passing.

My your memories of Todd be a source of comfort.

November 11, 2014

Dear Susan and Barry,
My mother, Dora Zyndorf is a lifelong dear friend of your mother, Paula. Although we never met in person, mom and I want to send our sincere condolences to you and your family during this difficult time. Todd did amazing things during his life. May you be comforted with wonderful memories.
Dora Zyndorf
Anita Bloom


November 4, 2014

Barry & Susie, I am so sorry & saddened to hear of Todd's passing. He was a joy to be around, my prayers go out to all of you in your time of sorrow.

Joseph Graziano

November 3, 2014

Mr. & Mrs. Levett
We had the pleasure of meeting your son at Dena Graziano's on several occasions. We just wanted to express our condolences to you and your family.
Joe Graziano and Judy Radice

Mandy Lord

November 3, 2014

Levett Family & Rene-

My sincere condolences on Todd's passing. I had the pleasure of working with Todd on joint congressional matters. Not only was he an outstanding colleague, he was also a kind heart and a good friend. I will remember Todd fondly for the early morning frank discussions we had weekly on a variety of topics. His guidance on the inner workings of Capitol Hill continues to be invaluable to me. He had a great sense of humor and no ego which is rare in DC. I pray that you find comfort and peace knowing how many lives he shaped and made safer through back channels in a life cut too short.

Sincerely, Mandy Lord