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President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

WASHINGTON – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts:

  • Brian T. Baenig, Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations, Department of Agriculture
  • Meg Bartley, Judge, United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
  • Mary Beth Leonard, Ambassador to the Republic of Mali, Department of State
  • Gloria Wilson Shelton, Judge, United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims


The President also announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

  • Christopher Che, Member, President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness
  • Linda K. Kerber, Member, Permanent Committee for the Oliver Wendell Holmes Devise
  • Judge Trina Thompson, Member, Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention


President Obama said, “These fine public servants bring both a depth of experience and tremendous dedication to their new roles.  Our nation will be well-served by these men and women, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come.”

President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts:

Brian T. Baenig, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations, Department of Agriculture
Brian Baenig is currently the Deputy Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the Department of Agriculture, where he facilitates domestic and international marketing of U.S. agriculture. From 2009 to 2011, Mr. Baenig served as Deputy Staff Director on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.  Prior to that, Mr. Baenig served as Senior Policy Advisor to Senator Leahy and as staff on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He also served for several years as a Legislative Assistant for Senator Paul Wellstone. Mr. Baenig holds a B.S. in Political Science from Saint Michael’s College.

Meg Bartley, Nominee for Judge, United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
Meg Bartley is currently senior staff attorney at the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) and also Director of Outreach and Education for the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program, where she has served since 2005.   Additionally, Ms. Bartley is the Editor of The Veterans Advocate® where she previously worked as Assistant Editor and contributing writer.  Ms. Bartley has represented veterans and their dependents and survivors before the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) and the Board of Veterans’ Appeals since 1995. Following law school, Ms. Bartley served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Jonathan R. Steinberg , formerly of the CAVC.  Ms. Bartley holds a B.A. from Pennsylvania State University and a J.D. from American University Washington College of Law.

Mary Beth Leonard, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Mali, Department of State
Mary Beth Leonard, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, currently serves as Director of the Office of West African Affairs at the Department of State. Prior to this assignment, she most recently served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Mali. She was also Deputy Chief of Mission in Suriname.  Other positions overseas include: Deputy Principal Officer in Cape Town, South Africa; Economic and Commercial officer in Togo; Consular Officer in Namibia; and Consular and Economic Officer in Cameroon.  In Washington, Ms. Leonard has served in the State Department Operations Center and twice as a Desk Officer, in the Office of Southern African Affairs and Central African Affairs.  Ms. Leonard received a B.A. from Boston University, an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and an M.A. in Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College.

Gloria Wilson Shelton, Nominee for Judge, United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
Gloria Wilson Shelton is currently a staff attorney at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  Prior to joining the VA, she was a Bureau Chief in the Office of the Attorney General of Maryland from 2007 to 2010. From 2003 to 2007, Ms. Shelton served as Principal Counsel in the Office of the Attorney General of Maryland Courts and Judicial Affairs Division. Ms. Shelton’s previous positions include Maryland State Assistant Attorney General, Deputy Legal Counsel for the Baltimore Police Department, Assistant Solicitor for the Baltimore City Housing Authority, and a judicial clerkship for the Court of Appeals of Maryland. Ms. Shelton has also served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland School of Law.  Ms. Shelton holds a B.S. from Morgan State University, an M.S. from Coppin State College, and a J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law.

President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

Christopher Che, Appointee for Member, President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness
Christopher Che is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ohio-based Hooven Dayton Corporation, a provider of prime product labels, flexible packaging, promotional coupons and specialty printing solutions. He is also the President and CEO of a holding company, Che International Group, which owns Hooven Dayton. Previously, Mr. Che served as Chief Financial Officer for several companies, including Government Acquisitions, Inc., Corbus, LLC, and OR Group, Inc.  He has also served as a Board Member for a number of business and civic organizations, including the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, the Dayton Minority Economic Development Council, and the Dayton Area Business Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.  Mr. Che received a B.A. in Accounting from Wilmington College (Ohio) and an M.A. from Miami University of Ohio.

Linda K. Kerber, Appointee for Member, Permanent Committee for the Oliver Wendell Holmes Devise
Linda K.  Kerber is the May Brodbeck Professor in the Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Iowa and a lecturer in the University of Iowa College of Law.  In her writing and teaching, Professor Kerber has emphasized the history of citizenship, gender, and authority.  Among her books is No Constitutional Right to Be Ladies: Women and the Obligations of Citizenship, which won the Littleton-Griswold Prize for the best book on U.S. legal history and the Joan Kelley Prize for the best book on women's history.  Professor Kerber is an elected member of the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and she has served as President of the American Historical Association, President of the Organization of American Historians and President of the American Studies Association.  Professor Kerber received an A.B. from Barnard College, and M.A. from New York University, and a Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Judge Trina Thompson, Appointee for Member, Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Judge Trina Thompson is the Presiding Judge of the Alameda County Juvenile Court.  She was first elected to the Alameda County Superior Court in November 2002 and sworn into office in January 2003.  Prior to her appointment as the Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Court in 2010, Judge Thompson presided over felony jury trials, adult truancy court, and was responsible, along with one of her colleagues, for managing the domestic violence calendar for Alameda County.  In 2001, Judge Thompson was appointed as a Juvenile Court Commissioner, responsible for hearing juvenile delinquency and dependency matters. Additionally, she was chair of the Alameda County Educational Task Force for the juvenile court to ensure the education of state-raised children. Prior to her appointment as Court Commissioner, Judge Thompson managed a private criminal defense practice from 1991 to 2000, focusing on juvenile, misdemeanor, felony and capital defense trials, and served as a public defender in Alameda County from 1987 to 1991.   Judge Thompson received an A.B. in Legal Studies from the University of California at Berkeley and graduated from UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law.

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