The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts, 4/6/10

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

  • Marina C. McCarthy, Chair, Commission on Presidential Scholars
  • José Miguel Amaya, Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars
  • Michael A. Caplin, Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars
  • Martha A. Darling, Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars
  • I. King Jordan, Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars
  • Colin Kippen, Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars
  • Yvette Lewis, Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars
  • Reginald Lewis, Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars
  • Sheldon Pang, Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars
  • Srinija Srinivasan, Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars
  • Donald M. Stewart, Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars
  • Cynthia Telles, Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars

These individuals will join the National Teacher of the Year, Anthony Mullen, as members on the Commission.

President Obama said, “The Commission on Presidential Scholars is charged with recognizing the future leaders of our country and honoring them for their outstanding achievements. I am grateful that these impressive men and women have agreed to serve on this commission and help a new generation realize their potential and pursue their dreams.”

President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key administration posts:

Marina C. McCarthy, Appointee for Chair, Commission on Presidential Scholars
Dr. Marina C. McCarthy has over three decades of research, teaching, administrative, and consulting experience in education.  She has also taught courses in education at Harvard and Brown Universities and at Boston College.  In addition, Dr. McCarthy has supervised student teachers in the Brown University teacher training program and has been a case writer for a University-wide faculty development program run by the Harvard Business School.  She has served as an Allston Burr Senior Tutor (resident academic dean) at Harvard College and as a Study Group Leader on educational policy and politics at Harvard’s Institute of Politics and also taught in public and independent schools in the U.S. and Europe, and has served on a number of educational boards and committees including the MATCH Charter School in Boston. She holds an Ed.D. in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard.

José Miguel Amaya, Appointee for Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars
Dr. José Amaya is currently the Director of Diversity for Hy-Vee, Inc., an employee-owned retail corporation operating 230 retail stores in eight Midwestern states.  From 1997-2005, he served as an Assistant Professor of English and Latino Studies at Iowa State University where he conducted research and taught courses in American literature and Latino studies.  During Dr. Amaya's tenure at Iowa State, he also served as the President of The State of Iowa Humanities Council and the Iowa Learns Education Council, an education council convened by former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack.  Prior to his position at Iowa State University, he was an Assistant Professor of English at The Ohio State University.  Dr. Amaya holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in English from UCLA.

Michael A. Caplin, Appointee for Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars
Michael A. Caplin is an attorney and President of Turtle Island Consulting, which provides strategic planning advice to the non-profit community.  He has been involved in a wide array of non-profit projects including programs in performing arts, social services, education, and environmental stewardship.  His non-profit experience includes serving for 11 years as the Director of Eastern Operations for Childhelp USA. He also has worked as a public defender, a federal prosecutor, an educator, an entertainment attorney, and a music producer.   Mr. Caplin currently serves as Chairman of the Board and a member of the faculty of the Phoenix Project, a non-profit that educates and empowers emerging social entrepreneurs; in addition, he is President of the Board of the New York Center for Children, a non-profit free clinic providing care and treatment for abused children. Mr. Caplin holds a B.A. from Swarthmore College, a J.D. from the University Virginia Law School, and an LL.M. from Georgetown University Law School.

Martha A. Darling, Appointee for Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars
For the past decade, Martha Darling has consulted on education issues for the National Academy of Sciences and other nonprofits.  She retired from The Boeing Company in Seattle, having held senior management assignments in 747 Program Management, Government Affairs, and Boeing’s Corporate Offices where she supported the CEO on education policy.  Previously, Ms. Darling was Vice President for Strategic Planning at Seattle-First National Bank and Executive Director of the Washington Business Roundtable’s Education Study.  She has served as a White House Fellow and Executive Assistant to Secretary of the Treasury Michael Blumenthal and as a Senior Legislative Aide to U.S. Senator Bill Bradley.  Earlier, she was a free-lance consultant to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and other international organizations for four years in Paris. Darling is a founding co-chair of Washtenaw County’s Success by Six early childhood initiative and serves on a variety of other boards.   She is a graduate of Reed College and of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

I. King Jordan, Appointee for Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars
Dr. I. King Jordan was the first deaf President of Gallaudet University, the only university with all programs and services designed specifically for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. He first joined the faculty of Gallaudet's Department of Psychology in 1973, in 1983 he became Chair of the Department, and three years later he was appointed Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.  He served as the University’s President from 1988-2006 and is presently President Emeritus.  Dr. Jordan is a recipient of the U.S. Presidential Citizen's Medal and in 1990 was appointed as the Vice Chair of the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities; he was reappointed to this position in 1993.  Dr. Jordan earned a B.A. in psychology from Gallaudet in 1970. The following year he earned an M.A., and in 1973 a Ph.D., both in psychology and both from the University of Tennessee.

Colin Kippen, Appointee for Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars
Colin Kippen is currently Executive Director of the Native Hawaiian Education Council, which aims to assess and coordinate innovative education programs for Native Hawaiians and make policy recommendations to improve the education and well being of Native Hawaiians.  Mr. Kippen has worked most of his professional life as an advocate for Native Americans in a number of venues. He has served as Senior Counsel to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in the U.S. Senate, Deputy Administrator for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Chief Judge of the Suquamish Indian Tribe on the Port Madison Indian Reservation in Western Washington, Appellate Judge for several Indian tribes in Washington and Oregon, and trial attorney and Deputy Prosecutor in King County, Washington. Kippen is also the former Chairman of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation and Act (NAGPRA) Review Committee. Mr. Kippen holds a J.D. and a M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Iowa.

Yvette Lewis, Appointee for Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars
Yvette Lewis is the founder and director of “So This is Opera,” a program that introduces young audiences to the world of opera in performance, workshop and residency settings.  She is also a lyric soprano who has performed extensively, including appearances with the Washington Opera, the Baltimore Opera, the Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia, the Baltimore Symphony, and at the Spoleto Festival in Melbourne, Australia.  Ms. Lewis has almost fifteen years experience as an elementary general music teacher in the Baltimore City and Montgomery County, Maryland Public Schools.  She also worked for a period as a staff assistant at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.   Ms. Lewis holds a Mus.B. from Howard University and is a member of the American Guild of Musical Artists.

Reginald Lewis, Appointee for Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars
Reginald Lewis currently serves as the City Administrator for the City of East Orange, New Jersey, where he oversees the complete day-to-day operations of all municipal services for 70,000 residents.  As the City’s Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Lewis manages a workforce of nearly 1,000 employees and an annual operating budget of $131 million. From 2005 to 2006, Mr. Lewis was Executive Vice President at the United Way in Newark, New Jersey.  He also previously served in senior management roles in New Jersey State Government from 2002 to 2005 as Special Assistant and Director of the Commissioner’s Office of External Affairs in the Department of Human Services and as Special Assistant to the Assistant Commissioner for the Division of Abbott Implementation in the Department of Education. Mr. Lewis also spent nearly eight years serving on the program staffs of various foundations as Program Assistant to the Director of the Urban Poverty Program of the Ford Foundation in New York City, Program Officer at the Victoria Foundation in Montclair, New Jersey, Program Officer for Education at the Joyce Foundation in Chicago, and Director of Policy and Program Development at the Fund for New Jersey.  Mr. Lewis holds a B.A. in Urban Studies from Morehouse College, and a M.A. in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago.

Sheldon Pang, Appointee for Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars
Sheldon Pang is currently a Vice Chairman of RBC Capital Markets, a major part of the Royal Bank of Canada’s global business.  From 2004-2006, he served as President of RBC Capital Markets Pacific Group, where he was involved in developing RBC’s business in the Asian Pacific region. Prior to joining RBC, Mr. Pang spent twelve years with AIG Trading Group, first as a Vice President then as a Managing Director, providing services to international clients in commodities, foreign exchange, and fixed income trading. He started his career as a Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Mr. Pang has for years been involved in promoting educational causes, including the establishment of scholarships at MIT and Brown University, and supporting New York Huaxia Chinese School. Pang received an Sc.B. from Zhejiang University, an M.S. from Vanderbilt University, and an Sc.D. degree from MIT.

Srinija Srinivasan, Appointee for Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars
Srinija Srinivasan is Vice President and Editor in Chief at Yahoo!.  Since joining the company as its fifth employee in 1995, Srinivasan has led a range of editorial and policy functions, beginning with the organization and evolution of the Yahoo! directory.  She has overseen network editorial standards and original content development, guided the company’s corporate responsibility arm, and directed policy issues including privacy and data use, advertising standards, youth safety, community guidelines, and accessibility.  Prior to joining Yahoo!, Srinivasan was involved with the Cyc Project, a ten-year artificial intelligence effort to build an immense database of human commonsense knowledge.  She chairs the Board of Trustees for SFJAZZ, a non-profit organization dedicated to jazz creation, presentation, and education.  She is also a member of the 2000 class of Henry Crown Fellows at the Aspen Institute.  She holds a B.S. with distinction from Stanford University in Symbolic Systems, and was honored as a Presidential Scholar in 1989.

Donald M. Stewart, Appointee for Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars
Donald M. Stewart is currently a Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy Studies where he has taught since 2005.  He previously served as CEO and President of the Chicago Community Trust. Prior to joining the Trust, Stewart was a Senior Program Officer and Special Advisor to the President at the Carnegie Corporation of New York.  For over 12 years, Mr. Stewart was President and CEO of the College Board, which provides SAT and Advanced Placement assessments to help students make the transition from high school to college.  Stewart is also former President of Spelman College, the 129 year old historically black women’s college in Atlanta.  Stewart was a program officer in the Overseas Development Division of the Ford Foundation serving  in Nigeria, Egypt and Tunisia.  He is currently a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  He earned a B.A. from Grinnell College and a M.A. from Yale University as well as Master and Doctoral degrees in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He also completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.

Cynthia Telles, Appointee for Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars
Dr. Cynthia Ann Telles has been on the faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry since 1986.  She is currently the Director of the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute Spanish-Speaking Psychosocial Clinic where she is responsible for managing the clinical operations of this model psychiatric clinic, as well as the training program, research, and budget.  Among many corporate, non-profit, and public service board memberships, Dr. Telles was also appointed to the National Advisory Council of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the advisory group on Health Care Reform, and the Regional Selection Panel for the White House Fellows Program during the Clinton Administration.  Dr. Telles received her B.A. from Smith College and doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Boston University.

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