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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 a-key Administration posts:

  • Arnold A. Chacon – Director General of the Foreign Service, Department of State
  • Arun M. Kumar – Assistant Secretary and Director General of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce
  • Daniel Bennett Smith – Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Research, Department of State
  • Helen Tierney – Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Management, Department of Veterans Affairs 
  • Kelly R. Welsh – General Counsel, Department of Commerce

President Obama said, “The extraordinary dedication these men and women bring to their new roles will greatly serve the American people.  I am grateful they have agreed to serve in this Administration 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:

Arnold A. Chacon, Nominee for Director General of the Foreign Service, Department of State
Arnold A. Chacon is the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Guatemala, a position he has held since August 2011.  A career Foreign Service officer, he has served in a number of leadership positions in Latin America and Europe, including Deputy Chief of Mission in Spain from 2008 to 2011.  Previously, Ambassador Chacon served as the State Department Director of Andean Affairs from 2007 to 2008 and as Deputy Executive Secretary in Washington, D.C. from 2005 to 2007.  From 2002 to 2005, Ambassador Chacon was Deputy Chief of Mission in Ecuador.  Prior to that, he served as a consular officer in Honduras, a political officer in Italy, Chile, and Peru, and a staff assistant to the Chief of Mission in Mexico.  Previously, he was a volunteer and then worked on the staff at Amigos de las Americas, a non-profit organization that promotes volunteering for high school and college students in Latin America.  Ambassador Chacon received a B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Arun M. Kumar, Nominee for Assistant Secretary and Director General of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce
Arun M. Kumar was a partner and member of the Board of Directors at KPMG LLP.  From 2005 until his retirement in September 2013, Mr. Kumar led the firm’s West Coast Finance Management Consulting practice.  He also led the firm’s U.S.-India practice from 2007 to 2013.  Mr. Kumar joined KPMG in 1995 as a Finance Management Leader.  From 1993 to 1995, Mr. Kumar was the founder and CEO of Planning & Logic, Inc., a software company.  Prior to that, he was co-founder and CFO of Netlabs, Inc. from 1991 to 1993; the CFO of Elite Microelectronics, Inc. from 1990 to 1991; the Director of Planning & Management Information at Silicon Graphics, Inc. from 1989 to 1990; and co-founder, CFO, and Vice President of Operations for Cydrome, Inc., a minisupercomputer company, from 1984 to 1988.  From 1980 to 1984, he was the controller of Elxsi Inc.  Mr. Kumar received a B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Kerala, India, and an S.M. in Management from the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Daniel Bennett Smith, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Research, Department of State
Daniel Bennett Smith most recently served as the United States Ambassador to Greece from 2010 to 2013.  As a career officer in the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Career Minister, Ambassador Smith served previously as Executive Secretary of the State Department from 2007 to 2010.  He has held other senior positions in the Department, including Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs and Deputy Executive Secretary.  Ambassador Smith’s overseas service includes tours in Bern, Istanbul, Ottawa and Stockholm.  He has also taught Political Science at the U.S. Air Force Academy.  Ambassador Smith received his B.A. from the University of Colorado in Boulder and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Helen Tierney, Nominee for Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Management, Department of Veterans Affairs  
Helen Tierney currently serves as the Executive in Charge in the Office of Management at the Department of Veterans Affairs.  From 2011 to June 2013, she served as Executive Director and Deputy in the Office of Management at the Department of Veterans Affairs.  From 2008 to 2011, she was Executive Director of Planning, Program Analysis and Evaluation for Customs and Border Protection at the Department of Homeland Security.  Previously she served as an Army Senior Fellow from 2007 to 2008 with assignments as Chief of Planning, Evaluation and Analysis and Chief of Strategic Planning.  She also served at the Department of Defense as Senior Financial Management Analyst and Director of the Army Business Initiative Council from 2005 to 2006 and as a Financial Management Analyst from 2003 to 2005.  Before that, she was Chief of Plans and Strategy for the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Germany from 1995 to 2000.  Earlier in her career, Ms. Tierney held a number of installation support positions at the Department of Defense.  Ms. Tierney received a B.A. from Cornell University, an M.P.M. from Georgetown Public Policy Institute, and an M.S. in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University

Kelly R. Welsh, Nominee for General Counsel, Department of Commerce
Kelly R. Welsh is the Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Northern Trust Corporation, a position he has held since 2000.  Previously, Mr. Welsh served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Ameritech Corporation from 1996 to 1999, also serving as Vice President and Associate General Counsel from 1993 to 1996.  From 1989 to 1993, Mr. Welsh held the position of Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago.  From 1985 to 1989, Mr. Welsh was a partner at Mayer Brown and an associate with the firm from 1979 to 1985.  Mr. Welsh worked as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Luther M. Swygert of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  Mr. Welsh received an A.B. from Harvard College, an M.A. from Sussex University, U.K. and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

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