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President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts, 1/19/10

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

  • Dana K. Bilyeu, Member, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board 
  • Michael Kennedy, Member, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board
  • JoAnn Lynn Balzer, Member, Board of Trustees of the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Arts Development
  • Cynthia Chavez Lamar, Member, Board of Trustees of the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Arts Development
  • Daryl J. Boness, Chairman, Marine Mammal Commission 
  • Michael F. Tillman, Member, Marine Mammal Commission 
  • John Coppola, Member, National Museum and Library Services Board, National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities
  • Carla D. Hayden, Member, National Museum and Library Services Board, National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities
  • Winston Tabb, Member, National Museum and Library Services Board, National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities
  • Robert Wedgeworth, Member, National Museum and Library Services Board, National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities
  • Hernán D. Vera, Member, Board of Directors of the State Justice Institute

President Obama has also appointed one individual to serve on the U.S. Commission of the International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico, and intends to appoint one individual to serve on the President’s Commission on White House Fellows.  Their names and bios are below.

President Obama said, “These individuals will bring proven talent and dedication to their roles. I am grateful they have chosen to serve in my administration, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”

President Obama announced today his intent to nominate the following individuals:

Dana K. Bilyeu, Nominee for Member, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board
Dana K. Bilyeu has served as the Executive Officer of the Public Employees' Retirement System of Nevada since October of 2003. She is responsible for all aspects of fund management including analysis of plan funding, investment oversight, operational and strategic planning,  as well as fiduciary and governance issues.  Mrs. Bilyeu served for eight years, beginning in 1995, as the System's Operations Officer, managing all aspects of benefit administration, including survivor, disability, and retirement programs. Preceding   her tenure at the System, Mrs. Bilyeu was assigned in 1989  as the Retirement System's legal counsel in the Office of the Nevada Attorney General and served in that  capacity until her appointment as Operations Officer. In 2006, Mrs. Bilyeu was nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate to the Social Security Advisory Board. Mrs. Bilyeu is a member of the executive committee of the National Association of State Retirement Administrators, is a member of the National Council on Teacher Retirement, the National Conference of Public Employee Retirement Systems, the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys and the Public Employees’ Board of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. She received her juris doctor from California Western School of Law in 1985 and her B.A. from the University of Arizona in 1982.

Michael Kennedy, Nominee for Member, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board
Michael Kennedy is a Senior Client Partner at Korn/Ferry International and a member of the firm’s Global Financial Services Practice based in Atlanta.  Prior to joining Korn/Ferry, he founded and led Venture South, a private equity advisory firm.  Previously, he served as a Vice President in the Corporate Finance Group at GE Capital Corporation and, prior to that, as a Vice President for Wachovia Corporation’s US. Corporate Finance Group.  Mr. Kennedy began his financial services career in investment management at J.P. Morgan & Company in New York.  Mr. Kennedy has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Georgia Employees Retirement System’s pension fund since 2000, serving as its Chairman from 2000 to 2005. He also is currently Chairman of the Board of Visitors at the University of North Carolina, and is an active member of the Atlanta Venture Forum and the National Association of Securities Professionals. Mr. Kennedy holds a B.A. with highest honors in history and political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.

JoAnn Lynn Balzer, Nominee for Member, Board of Trustees of the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Arts Development
JoAnn Lynn Balzer, a community leader and arts advocate, helped found the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, the Institute of American Indian Arts Foundation, the Museum of Spanish Colonial Arts, the Code of the West Foundation, and the Center for Cowboy Ethics and Leadership in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Ms. Balzer currently serves on the boards of the Lensic Performing Arts Center, the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market and is an advisory trustee of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation. Balzer formerly served on the boards of the Southwest Museum and Autry National Center in Los Angeles, Creative Santa Fe, and New Mexico Women in the Arts, and was Executive Director of the Institute of American Indian Arts, Code of the West, and Center for Cowboy Ethics and Leadership Foundations. In 2003, she was appointed by Governor Bill Richardson to serve as President of the New Mexico Film Museum and as a Commissioner of the state arts agency. In addition to her educational experience teaching mathematics at Pepperdine University and Pennsylvania State University, she has twenty-five years of technology and business experience with IBM. Balzer is a magna cum laude graduate of Westminster College, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in mathematics with a minor in education, and holds a Master’s of Science in mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University.

Cynthia Chavez Lamar, Nominee for Member, Board of Trustees of the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Arts Development
Dr. Cynthia Chavez Lamar (San Felipe Pueblo, Hopi, Tewa, and Navajo) is the director of the Indian Arts Research Center at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, NM, where she works to foster collaborative relationships and projects among Native peoples, organizations, and institutions. She is the former Museum Director of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (IPCC) in Albuquerque, NM, and the former Associate Curator of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington DC.  While at NMAI, she led the development of the inaugural exhibition, Our Lives: Contemporary Life and Identities. She holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of New Mexico, a B.A. from Colorado College, and a M.A. in American Indian Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. In 2008 Dr. Chavez Lamar received an honorary doctorate from her alma mater Colorado College.  In 2009 she received a governor’s appointment to the New Mexico Arts Commission.

Daryl J. Boness, Nominee for Chairman, Marine Mammal Commission 
Daryl J. Boness is a retired Senior Scientist with the Smithsonian Institution where, before his retirement, he led the Zoological Research and Conservation Biology Departments at the National Zoological Park.  He currently serves as Chairman of the Committee of Scientific Advisors for the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission, of which he has been a member since 1994, Editor-in-Chief of the scientific journal Marine Mammal Science, and a Research Professor in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and School of Marine Science at the University of Maine.  He has also served as an Adjunct or Research Professor at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada, American University in Washington, DC, and La Rochelle University in France, and as an advisor at other academic and scientific institutions. Dr. Boness joined the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park in 1978 as a Curator of Mammals and subsequently became a full-time Research Zoologist there in 1985. He has since published more than 100 scientific papers, book chapters, and major reports, served on the Committee of Scientific Advisors for the Marine Mammal Commission and on review panels for the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Fish & Wildlife Service, the Office of Naval Research, the North Pacific Research Board, and the Alaska Department of Fish & Game. Dr. Boness earned his Ph.D. in Psychology with an emphasis on Behavioral Ecology from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia in 1979; a M.A. in Human Psychophysiology from Hollins College 1973; and a B.A. from Cornell College in 1972.

Michael F. Tillman, Nominee for Member, Marine Mammal Commission 
Dr. Michael F. Tillman currently serves as an independent contractor to the National Marine Fisheries Services of NOAA, acting as senior advisor to the U.S. delegation to the International Whaling Commission (IWC).  He is also a non-resident Research Associate working on marine wildlife conservation issues at the Center for Marine Biodiversity & Conservation with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.  Dr. Tillman is a former career senior executive with the National Marine Fisheries Service, having served as the agency’s first Chief Scientist,  Deputy Director, and ultimately as Director of the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, CA.  His extensive experience in international marine conservation includes appointments by President Clinton as Deputy U.S. Commissioner to the IWC and U.S. Commissioner to the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission.  Among Dr. Tillman’s numerous career awards are the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Service for sustained excellence in supporting U.S. goals of protecting whales internationally and recovering protected species domestically, the prestigious Animal Welfare Institute’s Albert Schweitzer Medal for whale conservation efforts, and three Department of Commerce Bronze Medals for outstanding contributions to international marine resource management. His current marine wildlife research interests include the conservation and management of marine mammals generally, the whaling issue specifically and the subsistence use of marine wildlife resources. Dr. Tillman is a Viet Nam era veteran and a member of the Tlingit Indian Tribe of Southeast Alaska.  He received his Ph.D. in fisheries science with a minor in natural resource economics in 1972, his M.S. in 1968, and a B.S. in Fisheries Science in 1965; all from the University of Washington.

John Coppola, Nominee for Member, National Museum and Library Services Board, National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities
John Coppola has consulted on strategic planning and professional training for museums throughout Latin America and the Middle East since 1996. Previously, he served as the Director of the Office of Exhibits Central at the Smithsonian Institution; as Chief of the Bureau of International Expositions and Exhibitions Program Manager, Arts America, for the U.S. Information Agency; and as a Foreign Service Officer.  Mr. Coppola has organized and managed exhibitions for the Museum of Latin American Art, Smithsonian Latino Center, National Museum of Women in the Arts at St. Thomas University, and Stonewall Library & Archives.

Carla D. Hayden, Nominee for Member, National Museum and Library Services Board, National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities
A veteran of the Chicago public library system, Dr. Carla Hayden is a past president of the American Library Association and the current Chief Executive Officer of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland.  She previously served as Deputy Commissioner and Chief Librarian of the Chicago Public Library, Assistant Professor in the School of Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh, and Library Services Coordinator for the Museum of Science and Industry, one of Chicago's leading cultural institutions. Dr. Hayden began her career with the Chicago Public Library in 1973 as a library associate and children's librarian and then as a young adult services coordinator with the Chicago system, one of the largest in the United States.

Winston Tabb, Nominee for Member, National Museum and Library Services Board, National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities
Winston Tabb is the Sheridan Dean of University Libraries and Museums at Johns Hopkins University where he leads and coordinates the university’s entire system of libraries, directs the Sheridan Libraries, and oversees the Homewood Museum and the Evergreen Museum & Library. Prior to joining Hopkins, Mr. Tabb served at the Library of Congress for over 30 years, ultimately serving as associate librarian. He holds a degree in library science from Simmons College, a master’s degree from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Baptist University.

Robert Wedgeworth, Nominee for Member, National Museum and Library Services Board, National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities
Robert Wedgeworth was the founding President of ProLiteracy Worldwide, the largest non-governmental adult literacy training organization in the world, until his retirement in June 2007. He previously served as University Librarian, Professor of Library Administration, and Professor of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also served as the Dean of the School of Library Service at Columbia University, the Executive Director of the American Library Association, and as President of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.  In 1975 President Gerald R. Ford appointed Mr. Wedgeworth to the National Commission on New Uses of Copyrighted Works. He is a life member of the American Library Association, a life member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a member of the Board of Trustees of Wabash College, the Board of Trustees of the Newberry Library, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Poetry Foundation.

Hernán D. Vera, Nominee for Member, Board of Directors of the State Justice Institute
Hernán D. Vera is the President & Chief Executive Officer of Public Counsel, the nation’s largest pro bono, public interest law firm. He is the first Latino leader of the 40-year-old civil rights organization, which is based in Los Angeles.  Prior to joining Public Counsel in 2002, Mr. Vera was a commercial litigator with the international firm of O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where he specialized in class actions. Mr. Vera has also worked as an Education Staff Attorney for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund and clerked for the Honorable Consuelo B. Marshall, U.S. District Court Judge for the Central District of California. He makes frequent media appearances on issues relating to access to justice, civil rights, and consumer protection.  Mr. Vera received an A.B., with Distinction, from Stanford University, and his J.D. from the UCLA School of Law.

President Obama also announced his appointment of a member of the U.S. Commission of the International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico, and his intent to appoint a member to the President’s Commission on White House Fellows:

Edward Drusina, Commissioner, U.S. Commission of the International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico
Edward Drusina is an engineer from El Paso, Texas with extensive management experience in government and the private sector.  From 2004-2009, Mr. Drusina held various principal and executive engineering positions in the as Area Director of Paragon Project Resources, Inc.,  President of OMNI Construction Services, and Senior Project Engineer and Corporate Associate with Moreno Cardenas, Inc.  From 1997-2004, he worked for the City of El Paso as Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Municipal Services and Director of Public Works.  Mr. Drusina also has 20 years of federal experience with the Department of Defense, including 16 years with the US Army at Fort Bliss, Texas where he held various positions including Chief of Design for the Directorate of Public Works and Logistics, and Deputy Director of the Source Selection Evaluation Board.  Mr. Drusina holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso, is a graduate of the United States Army Management Staff College, and is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas.

Steven Gunderson, Member, President’s Commission on White House Fellows
Steven Gunderson is the President and CEO of the Council on Foundations, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit membership association of approximately 2,100 grant making foundations and corporations. He previously served as the senior consultant and managing director of the Washington office of The Greystone Group, a strategic management and communications consulting firm. In 1981 he was elected to U.S. Congress, where he served 16 years as a representative of Wisconsin, having already served three terms in the Wisconsin State Legislature.  Mr. Gunderson currently sits on the Advisory Board of Partner for Surgery – a philanthropic effort bringing surgery to the rural poor of Guatemala. He has served on the boards of Gallaudet University, the Mary Fisher Family AIDS Network and the Human Rights Campaign.

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