The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts, 12/21/2011

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

  • Margaret Murnane – Chairman, President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science
  • Judith Kimble – Member, President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science
  • Henry T. Yang – Member, President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science
  • Beth White – Member, National Capital Planning Commission
  • Susan York – Member, Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad

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 individuals, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come.”
 
President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:
 
Dr. Margaret Murnane, Appointee for Chairman, President's Committee on the National Medal of Science
Dr. Margaret Murnane is a Fellow of JILA and a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Colorado.   Dr. Murnane is also a Fellow of  the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2006 and the National Academy of Sciences in 2004.  In recognition of her work, she has been awarded the 2011 Royal Dublin Society Irish Times Boyle Medal for Scientific Excellence, the 2010 R.W. Wood Prize of the Optical Society of America, the 2010 Schawlow Prize of the American Physical Society, the 2009 Ahmed Zewail Award of the American Chemical Society, and a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship in 2000.  She was first appointed to the President's Committee on the National Medal of Science in 2010.  Dr. Murnane received her B.S and M.S. from University College Cork, Ireland, and her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.
 
Dr. Judith Kimble, Appointee for Member, President's Committee on the National Medal of Science
Dr. Judith Kimble is the Vilas Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. One of her major contributions was discovery of the first stem cell ‘niche,’ which controls stem cell maintenance.  Dr. Kimble is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.  She has been President of the Genetics Society of America and the Society for Developmental Biology, and has served on numerous boards and committees, both nationally and internationally.  Dr. Kimble completed her postdoctoral training at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England.  She received her A.B. from the University of California, Berkeley and her Ph.D. from University of Colorado at Boulder.
 
Dr. Henry T. Yang, Appointee for Member, President's Committee on the National Medal of Science
Dr. Henry T. Yang is the Chancellor of the University of California, Santa Barbara.  He was formerly the Neil Armstrong Distinguished Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University, where he also served as the dean of engineering for ten years.  Dr. Yang is a member of the National Academy of Engineering,  and a Fellow of ASME, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).  He is currently the chair of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, a member of the Kavli Foundation board, and Chair of the Thirty Meter Telescope project. Dr. Yang is also the past chair of the Association of American Universities and he served as a selection committee member for the Millennium Technology Prize.  His research awards include the ASEE Lamme Award, the AIAA SDM Award, and seven honorary doctorates.  Dr. Yang was first appointed to the President's Committee on the National Medal of Science by President George W. Bush in 2009.  He earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from National Taiwan University, an M.S. in Structural Engineering from West Virginia University, and a Ph.D. in Structural Engineering from Cornell University.
 
Beth White, Appointee for Member, National Capital Planning Commission
Beth White is the Director of the Chicago Region Office of The Trust for Public Land.  Her previous positions include serving as the Managing Director of Communications and Policy for the Chicago Housing Authority, the Chief of Staff for the Chicago Transit Authority’s Chicago Transit Board, and the Assistant Commissioner for the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development.  In addition, Ms. White was the founding executive director of Friends of the Chicago River.  She serves on the board of NeighborSpace and is the former Chair of the Lakewood Balmoral National Historic District Committee.  Ms. White received a B.Phil. from Northwestern University and M.A. in Urban Studies from Loyola University.
 
Susan York, Appointee for Member, Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad
Susan York serves on the board of directors of Women in Need and directs fundraising for the New York-based Marymount and Browning schools. Before her current commitments, Ms. York had volunteered with the New York Public Library, Library Cubs, and the Christ Church Day School.  From 1985 to 1994, Ms. York worked for Vogue, Vanity Fair, House & Garden, W, and Glamour magazines, and from 1981 to 1984, she was an Assistant Fashion Director at Saks Fifth Avenue.  Ms. York received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley.

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