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Office of the Press Secretary

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

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

  • Matan Koch, Member, National Council on Disability
  • Stephanie Orlando, Member, National Council on Disability

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

  • Denis J. Cruz, Member, President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics  
  • Dr. Millie García, Member, President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
  • Monica R. Martinez, Member, President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
  • Veronica E. Melvin, Member, President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
  • Brenda S. “Sue” Fulton, Member, Board of Visitors to the United States Military Academy
  • Tom Healy, Member, J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board
  • Warren Glenn Hioki, Member, Board of Trustees of the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation
  • Marc Lefar, Member, President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee

President Obama said, “I am proud to nominate such impressive men and women to these important roles, and I am grateful they have agreed to lend their considerable talents to this Administration. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”

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

Matan Koch, Nominee for Member, National Council on Disability
Matan Koch is an Associate at Kramer, Levin, Naftalis, & Frankel LLP, where he focuses on Commercial Litigation and Advertising matters. He was born with Cerebral Palsy and has been actively involved in the disability community for many years. From 2001 until 2002, Mr. Koch served as the Vice Chairman of the New Haven Commission on Disabilities where he also chaired the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)  Subcommittee. In addition, he has served as a member of the Union for Reform Judaism-Department of Jewish Family Concerns' Disability Task Force and currently serves on  the union's Special Needs Camping Committee. While working in the Legal Division of Procter & Gamble, Mr. Koch was a member of the company's People with Disabilities Network. Mr. Koch also served on the board of Jewish Vocational Services of Cincinnati. He has a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. cum laude from Yale University where he served as the President of the student disability community.

Stephanie Orlando, Nominee for Member, National Council on Disability
Stephanie Orlando is the Director of YOUTH POWER! of Families Together in New York State, a statewide advocacy network comprised of young people who have disabilities and experience in state child-serving systems.  After receiving children’s mental health, special education and residential services herself, Ms. Orlando has become a strong advocate for youth with disabilities on county, state and national levels.  Beginning in 2006, she served a term as Chairperson of the Youth Advisory Committee to the National Council on Disability. Ms. Orlando serves on the New York State Commissioners’ Committee on Cross-Systems Services for Children & Youth, the New York State Commissioner’s Advisory Panel for Special Education Services, the New York Mental Health Services Planning Council, and the Board of Directors of the Children’s Mental Health Coalition of Western New York.  She received the Diana Vietz Award in 2008 from the National Council on Independent Living, the mpower Award in 2006 from Mental Health America (formerly National Mental Health Association) and the 2004 Erie County Executive Award for Disability Employment Awareness Month. Ms. Orlando earned her Bachelor of Arts in 2005 from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

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

Denis J. Cruz, Appointee for Member, President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics  
Denis J. Cruz is the principal of Laurel Elementary School, in the East Whittier School District in California.  Previously, Mr. Cruz held a number of posts in the East Whittier School District, including Curriculum Director, Middle School Program Specialist and Language Arts Coach; but he spent the majority of his career as a fifth and sixth grade teacher.   As Director of Curriculum, Mr. Cruz assisted teachers in the curriculum alignment process that identified the specific academic needs of English Language Learners and at-risk students;   he also facilitated the writing of lessons for all grade levels on topics including integrity, courage, bully prevention, perseverance, and assertive behaviors.  Mr. Cruz was named California’s Teacher of the Year in 2006.  Mr. Cruz holds a Master of Arts in Education from Champan University and a B.A. from California State University, Long Beach.

Dr. Millie García, Appointee for Member, President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
Dr. Millie García is the seventh president of California State University, Dominguez Hills, and the first Latina president in the California State University system.  Previously, Dr. García served as President of Berkeley College in New York and New Jersey.  Her research concentrates on equity in higher education and its impact on policy and practice.   She has authored numerous books, articles, book reviews and commissioned reports, concentrating her research on equity in higher education and its impact on policy and practice.  Dr. García serves on several boards, including the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education and the Advisory Board for Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education.  Additionally, Dr. García is a founding member of National Council for Community and Education Partnerships.  Dr. García holds a Doctor of Education and M.A. from Columbia University, an M.A. from New York University, a B.S. from Bernard Baruch College, and an A.A.S. from New York City Community College.

Monica R. Martinez, Appointee for Member, President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
Monica R. Martinez is currently an independent educational strategist for foundations and non-profits.  She is a leading national expert in secondary and post secondary education with experience directing and researching major education innovation and reform initiatives.  Most recently, Ms. Martinez was the CEO of New Tech Network where she directed the organization’s strategic direction and growth strategy.  Previously, she was the Vice President of Education Strategy for KnowledgeWork, and a Senior Associate at the Institute for Educational Leadership.  Ms. Martinez holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education from the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University, and she received her B.A. from Baylor University.  

Veronica E. Melvin, Appointee for Member, President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
Veronica E. Melvin is the Chief Operating Officer for Communities for Teaching Excellence, which partners with communities across the U.S. to advocate for effective teaching for all students.  Previously, Ms. Melvin served as the Executive Director of the Alliance for a Better Community (ABC), an organization that promotes equity for Latinos in the areas of education, health, economic development and civic participation.  As its first Executive Director, Veronica led the organization through various community based advocacy campaigns that included promoting college preparatory curriculum for all Los Angeles Unified high school students, seeking greater access to quality preschool for L.A.’s children, and banning junk food and sodas in schools.  ABC achieved its goals by organizing local communities in policy advocacy and by facilitating the development of model programs that demonstrate innovation and excellence.  Ms. Melvin holds a B.A. from UC Berkeley and a M.P.P. from UCLA’s School of Public Affairs.

Brenda S. “Sue” Fulton, Appointee for Member, Board of Visitors to the United States Military Academy
Brenda S. “Sue” Fulton is the Executive Director and co-founder of Knights Out, an organization of LGBT West Point graduates and allies.  She is also a Founding Board member of OutServe, and serves as Communications Director for the Forum for the Military Chaplaincy and the Service Academy Gay and Lesbian Association.  Ms. Fulton worked until recently at Schering-Plough/Merck.  Prior to this, she did volunteer work in the U.S., India, and Israel from 1988 to 1989 after working for Procter & Gamble from 1986 to 1988.  In 1980, Ms. Fulton was commissioned in the Army Signal Corps and served for five years in Germany.  She commanded a Military Intelligence company and was honorably discharged from the Army at the rank of Captain.  Ms. Fulton is a 1980 West Point graduate, part of the first class to admit women.

Tom Healy, Appointee for Member, J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board
Tom Healy is a poet and writer.  His book, What the Right Hand Knows, was a finalist for the 2009 L.A. Times Book Prize and the Lambda Literary Award.  Mr. Healy teaches at New York University and was recently a fellow at the Goree Institute in Dakar, Senegal.  He served as President of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and received the 2006 New York City Arts Award from Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his work to rebuild the downtown art community after 9/11.  Mr. Healy opened one of the first contemporary art galleries in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.  Under President Clinton, Mr. Healy served on the White House Council on HIV/AIDS and has remained engaged in AIDS and microfinance projects across the world.  He received an A.B. from Harvard University and an M.F.A. from Columbia University.

Warren Glenn Hioki, Appointee for Member, Board of Trustees of the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation
Dr. Warren Glenn Hioki is the Executive Director of Technical Programs and High School Partnerships for the College of Southern Nevada (CSN).  Prior to starting his career with CSN in 1995, Dr. Hioki worked as a senior design engineer and project engineer for Electromagnetic Systems Laboratories (ESL) in Silicon Valley. He also taught full-time for 14 years at San Jose City College.  Dr. Hioki has served in various capacities for CSN, including teaching faculty, Director of Engineering Technology, Associate Dean, Interim Chief Campus Administrator, and Principal Investigator for CSN’s National Science Foundation grant.  He is the author of Telecommunications, a Prentice-Hall publication and leading seller in the college area for over a decade.  Dr. Hioki holds a B.S. in Engineering Technology from California Polytechnic State University, an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from San Jose State University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Marc Lefar, Appointee for Member, President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee
Marc Lefar is the CEO of Vonage Holdings Corp.  Prior to joining Vonage, Mr. Lefar was Chief Marketing Officer of Cingular Wireless, now AT&T Mobility.  Prior to joining Cingular, Mr. Lefar served as Executive Vice President, Marketing and Value-Added Services for Cable and Wireless Global.  He also held senior leadership roles at Verizon Wireless and GTE Wireless.  Mr. Lefar’s career began at Procter and Gamble.  He holds a B.S. from the University of Virginia.

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