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President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

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

  • Margaret Louise Cummisky – Assistant Secretary for Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs, Department of Commerce
  • Michael Yudin – Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education
  • Matthew Winthrop Barzun – Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Department of State
  • John Hoover – Ambassador to the Republic of Sierra Leone, Department of State
  • Crystal Nix-Hines – United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization with the rank of Ambassador, Department of State
  • John R. Phillips – Ambassador to the Italian Republic and the Republic of San Marino, Department of State

President Obama said, “I am proud that such experienced and committed individuals have agreed to serve the American people in these important roles. 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:

Margaret Louise Cummisky, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs, Department of Commerce

Margaret Louise Cummisky is the General Counsel on the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, a position she assumed in 2013.  From 2009 to 2013, she served as Deputy Staff Director.  From 2005 to 2009, she served as the Democratic Staff Director and Chief Counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.  Ms. Cummisky served as Legislative Director in the personal office of U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye from 1992 to 2005.  She served as Legislative Assistant in the same office from 1991 to 1992, as well as from 1987 to 1990.  From 1990 to 1991, she was a litigation attorney with Reinwald, O’Connor, Marrack & Hoskins, where she previously worked from 1982 to 1986.  Ms. Cummisky received a B.S. from Georgetown University and a J.D. from the University of Southern California.

Michael Yudin, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education

Michael Yudin is currently the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) at the U.S. Department of Education (DoEd), a position he has held since August 2012.  In addition, Mr. Yudin served as Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at DoEd from August 2012 to March 2013.  Mr. Yudin previously served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Strategic Initiatives for OESE from August 2010 to June 2012.  He served as Legislative Director for U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen from 2009 to 2010, Senior Counsel to U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman from 2003 to 2008, and Counsel to U.S. Senator James Jeffords on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions from 2001 through 2002.  Mr. Yudin served as Director of Employment Policy for the organizations Arc and United Cerebral Palsy in 2002.  Mr. Yudin worked in the Office of the General Counsel at the Social Security Administration from 1994 to 2001 and in the Office of Administrative Law Judges at the U.S. Department of Labor from 1991 to 1994.  He received a B.A. from State University of New York at Albany and a J.D. from the Western New England College School of Law.

Matthew Winthrop Barzun, Nominee for Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Department of State

Matthew Winthrop Barzun served as National Finance Chair of Obama for America from 2011 to 2012.  From 2009 to 2011, he served as U.S. Ambassador to Sweden.  From 2007 to 2008, he served as a member of the National Finance Committee for Obama for America.  Mr. Barzun has advised and invested in start-up internet companies, including MedTrackAlert and JiWire since 2004.  From 1993 to 2004, he worked at CNET Networks where he occupied a number of roles, including Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer, and member of the executive committee.  He has served on the boards of several nonprofits, including the Louisville Public Media, the Kentucky Long Term Policy Research Center, and Center for Interfaith Relations.  He received an A.B. from Harvard College.

John Hoover, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Sierra Leone, Department of State

John Hoover, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, is Director of the Office of Regional and Security Affairs for the Bureau of African Affairs at the Department of State.  Previously, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Uganda from 2008 to 2010.  Mr. Hoover has served in a number of overseas assignments, including Economic Counselor in Nairobi, Kenya from 2004 to 2008, Political-Economic Chief at the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai, China from 2000 to 2004, and Economic Officer at the American Institute of Taiwan from 1997 to 2000.  In addition, he served as Political-Economic and Consular Officer in Swaziland from 1990 to 1992 and Consular Officer in Paris, France from 1988 to 1990.  He received an A.B. from Princeton University.

Crystal Nix-Hines, Nominee for United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization with the rank of Ambassador, Department of State

Crystal Nix-Hines is Of Counsel at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges in Los Angeles.  Previously, she served as Of Counsel at Fairbank & Vincent from 2006 to 2007, Special Counsel in the Litigation Department of O’Melveny & Myers, LLP from 1997 to 2000, and Assistant to the General Counsel/Senior Vice President of Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. from 1992 to 1993.  From 1993 to 1997, she held several positions at the State Department, including Counselor to the Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Member of the Department’s Policy Planning Staff, and Special Assistant to the Legal Adviser.  From 1991 to 1992, she clerked on the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice Thurgood Marshall and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.  She also clerked for Justice William Norris on the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit from 1990 to 1991.  During her career, Ms. Nix-Hines has also been a writer and producer on several network television shows such as Commander-in-Chief, Alias, and The Practice.  She began her career as a reporter for The New York Times.  She received an A.B. from Princeton University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

John R. Phillips, Nominee for Ambassador to the Italian Republic and the Republic of San Marino, Department of State

John R. Phillips was founder and partner in the Washington, DC Law Firm of Phillips & Cohen, LLP from 1988 to 2013.  He currently serves as Member and Chair of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.  Mr. Phillips was previously appointed to this Commission in 1997.  From 1988 to 1993, he was a member of the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference.  In 1971, he founded the Center for Law in Public Interest for which he served as co-director for 17 years.  He is the founder of Taxpayers Against Fraud and currently serves on its board of directors.  He received a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and a J.D. from the University of California Berkeley School of Law.

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