The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

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

  • Thomas Rothman – Member, National Council on the Arts
  • Peter A. Selfridge – Chief of Protocol, with the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service, Department of State
  • Douglas Alan Silliman – Ambassador to the State of Kuwait, Department of State
  • Robert A. Wood – Rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service as United States Representative to the Conference on Disarmament, Department of State
  • Portia Y. Wu – Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Administration, Department of Labor 

President Obama said, “These dedicated and accomplished individuals will be valued additions to my Administration as we tackle the important challenges facing America. 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:

Thomas Rothman, Nominee for Member, National Council on the Arts

Thomas Rothman is Chairman of Tristar Productions, an entity of Sony Pictures Entertainment.  From 2000 to 2012, he was Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment, the parent company of 20th Century Fox.  He joined Fox Filmed Entertainment in 1994 as the founder and first President of Fox Searchlight.  Mr. Rothman was President of Worldwide Production for the Samuel Goldwyn Company from 1989 to 1994 and Executive Vice President of Columbia Pictures from 1987 to 1989.  Earlier in his career, he was a partner at the entertainment law firm Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz.  Mr. Rothman is a member of the Board of Directors of Brown University, the California Institute of the Arts, and the Sundance Institute.  He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and is a board member emeritus of the American Film Institute.  Mr. Rothman received a B.A. from Brown University and a J.D. from Columbia Law School.

Peter A. Selfridge, Nominee for Chief of Protocol, with the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service, Department of State

Peter A. Selfridge is currently the Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Advance & Operations at the White House, a position he has held since 2011.  He previously served as Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Advance in 2011, and Director of Advance for the Vice President from 2009 to 2011.  Mr. Selfridge served as Deputy Director of Advance for both the Presidential Transition Office and Obama for America from 2008 to early 2009.  Prior to this, he worked as the Los Angeles City Director at the Clinton Climate Initiative and as a Public Affairs Consultant from 2005 to 2007.  From 2003 to 2005, Mr. Selfridge served as Associate Director in the Office of Scheduling and Advance for John Kerry for President.  He was Senior Associate and Associate at Citigate Communications/Citigate Sard Verbinnen from 2001 to 2003.  Mr. Selfridge was a Media Logistics Coordinator for the Gore-Lieberman campaign in 2000 and from 1997 to 2000, he served as a Policy Analyst for The City of New York, Department of Citywide Administrative Services.  Mr. Selfridge was Director of Scheduling Correspondence and Deputy Director in the Office of Scheduling and Advance at the White House from 1995 to 1997.  From 1993 to 1995, he served as Legislative Correspondent and Staff Assistant in the office of Senator Tom Harkin.  Mr. Selfridge received a B.A. from the University of Iowa and an M.I.P.P. from Johns Hopkins University.

Douglas Alan Silliman, Nominee for Ambassador to the State of Kuwait, Department of State

Douglas Alan Silliman, a career member of the Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, was most recently Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, a position he held since 2012.  From 2011 to 2012, he was Counselor for Political Affairs in Baghdad.  Before serving in Iraq, he was Deputy Chief of Mission in Ankara, Turkey from 2008 to 2011.  Mr. Silliman was Deputy Director and then Director of the Office of Southern European Affairs in the Department of State from 2004 to 2007. From 2000 to 2004, he was Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan.  His previous assignments in the Department of State include Regional Officer for the Middle East in the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Desk Officer in the Office of Soviet Union Affairs, Lebanon Desk Officer and Staff Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs.  His overseas assignments with the Department of State include Political Officer in Islamabad, Pakistan, Visa Officer in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and Political Officer in Tunis, Tunisia.  He joined the Foreign Service in 1984.  He received a B.A. from Baylor University and an M.A. from the George Washington University.

Robert A. Wood, Nominee for Rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service as United States Representative to the Conference on Disarmament, Department of State

Robert A. Wood, a Career Member of the Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, is Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Mission to the European Union.  From 2010 to 2013, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Mission to the International Organizations in Vienna, Austria.  From 2008 to 2010, Mr. Wood was the State Department's Deputy Spokesman and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs.  From 2004 to 2008, he served as the Press Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, Germany.  Prior to his assignment to Berlin, he was Deputy Spokesman at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York from 2001 to 2004.  Mr. Wood has been a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State and the former U.S. Information Agency since 1988.  In Washington, Mr. Wood has worked as a public affairs advisor for the Bureau of African Affairs, as a Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, and in several positions dealing with the Balkans.  Mr. Wood has also served in public affairs positions in Mexico City, Mexico; Lagos, Nigeria; Islamabad, Pakistan; and Pretoria, South Africa.  He received a B.A. from The City University of New York.

Portia Y. Wu, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Administration, Department of Labor

Portia Y. Wu currently serves as Special Assistant to the President for Labor and Workforce Policy at the White House Domestic Policy Council (DPC).  From 2011 to 2012, she served as the Senior Policy Advisor for Mobility and Opportunity at DPC.  Prior to joining the Administration, she was the Vice President at the National Partnership for Women and Families from 2010 to 2011.  From 2003 to 2010, Ms. Wu worked at the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee in a number of roles, including Labor and Pensions Counsel, Chief Labor and Pensions Counsel, and Labor Policy Director and General Counsel.  Prior to working in the U.S. Senate, Ms. Wu was an attorney at Bredhoff & Kaiser, PLLC, and clerked for Judge Richard A. Paez in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Ms. Wu received a B.A. from Yale College, an M.A. from Cornell University, and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

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