THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release May 12, 2009
President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals for key administration posts: María Otero, Under Secretary of Global Affairs, Department of State; Philip L. Verveer, for the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Communications and Information Policy in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs and U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy, Department of State; Arturo Valenzuela, Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Department of State; Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, Department of Justice; Craig E. Hooks, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Administration and Resource Management, Environmental Protection Agency; Nicole Lurie, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Department of Health and Human Services; Dennis M. McCarthy, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, Department of Defense; Zachary J. Lemnios, Director of Defense Research & Engineering, Department of Defense; and Daniel B. Ginsberg, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Department of the Air Force, Department of Defense.
President Obama said, "It gives me great confidence that these talented individuals will be joining my administration as we work to rebuild our economy, preserve our environment and keep our nation safe. Their experience and dedication will be of great value to the American people, and I look forward to working with these individuals in the coming months and years."
President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals today:
María Otero, Nominee for Under Secretary of Global Affairs, Department of State
María Otero, born and raised in La Paz, Bolivia, is president and CEO of ACCION International, a pioneer and leader in microfinance working in 25 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and in the United States. Under Otero’s tenure as CEO, ACCION’s network has expanded its reach from serving 460,000 people to over 3.7 million, through a combined portfolio that has grown from $274 million to nearly $3.6 billion. She has become a leading voice on sustainable microfinance, publishing extensively on the subject and speaking throughout the world on microfinance, women’s issues and poverty alleviation. Prior to her work with ACCION, Otero served for five years at the Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA). Otero was also the Economist for Latin America for the Women in Development office of USAID. Otero chairs the board of ACCION Investments, a $50 million microfinance investment company and serves on the boards of BancoSol; the Calvert Foundation; BRAC of Bangladesh, one of the world’s largest NGOs; and the Public Welfare Foundation. In June 2006, Otero was appointed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to the UN Advisors Group on Inclusive Financial Sectors, and in 2007 was named to the Advisory Councils of the Inter-American Foundation and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Otero holds an M.A. in literature from the University of Maryland and an M.A. in international relations from Johns Hopkins’ Nitze School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS), in Washington, D.C. Since 1997, she has also served as an adjunct professor at SAIS.
Philip L. Verveer, Nominee for the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Communications and Information Policy in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs and U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy, Department of State
Philip L. Verveer is Of Counsel to the law firm of Jenner & Block LLP. He has practiced communications and antitrust law in the government and in private law practice for more than thirty-five years. From 1969 to 1981, Verveer practiced as a trial attorney in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, as a supervisory attorney in the Bureau of Competition of the Federal Trade Commission, and as the chief of the Cable Television Bureau, the Broadcast Bureau, and the Common Carrier Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission. Between 1973 and 1977, he served as the Antitrust Division’s first lead counsel in the investigation and prosecution of United States v. American Tel. & Tel. Co., the case that eventuated in the divestiture of the Bell System. As a Bureau Chief at the FCC, Verveer participated in a series of decisions that enabled increased competition in video and telephone services and limited regulation of information services. In 1979, Verveer became a charter member of the Senior Executive Service and in 1980 received the Distinguished Presidential Rank award. Since 1981, Verveer has engaged in private law practice in Washington, DC. In 1995 and 1996 he chaired the Federal Advisory Committee that identified the spectrum requirements necessary to afford public safety organizations efficient and interoperable wireless communications. He has served on the Visiting Committee of the University of Chicago Law School and the Executive Committee of the Alumni Board of Governors of Georgetown University.
Arturo Valenzuela, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Department of State,
Dr. Arturo Valenzuela is Professor of Government and Director of the Center for Latin American Studies in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He is a specialist on the origins and consolidation of democracy; the institutional dimensions of democratic governance; Latin American politics; and U.S.-Latin American relations. Prior to joining the Georgetown faculty he was Professor of Political Science and Director of the Council on Latin American Studies at Duke University. He has been a Visiting Scholar at Oxford University, the University of Sussex, the University of Florence (Italy) and the Catholic University of Chile. During the Clinton administration, Valenzuela served at the White House as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Inter-American Affairs at the National Security Council and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs in the United States Department of State, where his primary responsibility was United States foreign policy towards Mexico. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, he has been listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Higher Education and has served on the editorial boards of leading academic journals. For his diplomatic contributions he has been honored with the National Order of the Southern Cross by the government of Brazil and the Order of Boyacá by the government of Colombia. Valenzuela has served on the board of directors of Drew University, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and the advisory boards of America’s Watch and the Institut des Amériques in Paris. He holds a Doctorate and a Master’s degree in Political Science from Columbia University, and a B.A. summa cum laude in Political Science and Religion from Drew University.
Ignacia S. Moreno, Nominee for Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, Department of Justice
Ignacia S. Moreno is a leading practitioner in the field of environmental and natural resources law, with over 18 years of experience in the federal government and in private and corporate practice. She is currently Counsel, Corporate Environmental Programs at the General Electric Company, and serves pro bono as General Counsel to the Hispanic National Bar Association. President Clinton appointed Moreno to the Department of Justice, where she served first as Special Assistant (1994-95) and then as Principal Counsel (1996-2001) to the Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division. In these positions she provided advice and counsel to the Assistant Attorney General on a wide variety of matters, participated in management of the Division, led significant environmental enforcement initiatives, expanded and managed the Division’s international program, and represented the United States in international negotiations and litigation. While at the Department of Justice, Moreno received Special Commendations for Outstanding Service from the Environment and Natural Resources Division, two Bronze Medals from the Environmental Protection Agency for Outstanding Service, and a federal award for excellence in partnership-building. Moreno then joined Spriggs & Hollingsworth in Washington, D.C. where she specialized in environmental and mass tort litigation with an emphasis on science-based advocacy. Moreno began her career at Hogan & Hartson LLP in Washington, D.C. where she practiced with the firm’s environmental and litigation groups after graduating from the New York University School of Law. She currently serves on the Board of Advisors for the Center for International Environmental Law, the Board of Trustees for the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, and the Advisory Board for BNA’s Environmental Due Diligence Guide.
Craig E. Hooks, Nominee for Assistant Administrator for the Office of Administration and Resource Management, Environmental Protection Agency
Craig E. Hooks is currently serving as the Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Administration and Resources Management (OARM) at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). OARM is responsible for governing the agency’s resources management including grants and contracts, human resources and facilities management. Hooks has spent 21 years serving at EPA . Other positions he has held at EPA include Director of the Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds within the Office of Water where he served as Chairman of the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force Coordinating Committee and EPA representative on the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, which is responsible for preservation and protection of coral reef ecosystems. Hooks has served as the Acting Principal Assistant Administrator in the Office of Environmental Information and the Director of the Federal Facilities Enforcement Office within the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance . Before joining EPA, Hooks worked at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as a physical scientist. Hooks received a Masters degree in Oceanography from the Texas A&M University and a Bachelor's degree in Zoology from the University of Florida.
Nicole Lurie, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Department of Health and Human Services
Nicole Lurie is Senior Natural Scientist and Paul O'Neil Alcoa Professor of Policy Analysis at the RAND Corporation. She is an internationally recognized leader in health care and public health with experience working in academia and in government at the federal and state level. As co-director of the RAND Center for Domestic and International Health Security, she leads RAND’s work in public health and preparedness. Over the past 6 years, Lurie has worked extensively with the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, state and local health departments and private sector companies on public health and pandemic influenza preparedness. In addition, she directs RAND’s Center for Population Health and Health Disparities. From 1998-2001, she worked in the federal government as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to that, she worked in state government as Medical Advisor to the Commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Health and as a Professor of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Minnesota and Hennepin County Medical Center. Lurie attended college and medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, and completed her residency and MSPH at UCLA, where she was also a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar. Lurie also volunteers in a community clinic in Washington, DC.
Dennis M. McCarthy, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, Department of Defense
Dennis McCarthy is a retired Marine Corps Lieutenant General whose 41 years of active and reserve service were interspersed with over 20 years of private law practice. Since 2005 he has been Executive Director of the Reserve Officers Association of the United States. This 67,000 member organization is chartered by Congress to "support and promote … a military policy for the United States that will provide adequate national security." In this capacity he led educational efforts concerning issues of key importance to both active and reserve components. He has published a number of articles on Reserve and National Guard issues, and worked closely with the Commission on National Guard and Reserves and other groups studying reserve component policy. Lieutenant General McCarthy began his military service in combat in Vietnam, and remained on active duty until 1978. He was then an active "traditional reservist" in various infantry units and was recalled to active duty for Desert Shield/Desert Storm and on several subsequent occasions. He also served on the Secretary of Defense’s Reserve Forces Policy Board. From 1984 until his retirement in 2005, he commanded eight different Marine Corps or Joint organizations for a total of 161 months, including overall command of the Marine Corps Reserve as it undertook its largest mobilization in history.
Zachary J. Lemnios, Nominee for Director of Defense Research & Engineering, Department of Defense
Zachary Lemnios is currently the Chief Technology Officer at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, a Federally Funded Research and Development Center that is chartered to apply advanced technology to problems of national security. He has served two tours at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as Program Manager and Director of the Microsystems Technology Office (MTO), Deputy Director of the Information Processing Technology Office (IPTO) and Assistant Director of the Electronics Technology Office (ETO). In these positions, Lemnios launched national research initiatives in cognitive systems, advanced microelectronics, high speed signal processing and a wide range of special projects. Lemnios has held various positions within industry at Hughes Aircraft Company, Westinghouse Electric Corporation and Ford Microelectronics, Inc. Lemnios has served on numerous DoD, industry and academic committees, including various Defense Science Board Studies, the DARPA Information Science and Technology Study Group and the DARPA Defense Science Research Council. He received his BSEE from the University of Michigan, his MSEE from Washington University in St. Louis and attended the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security. Lemnios has authored over 40 papers, holds 4 patents and has been awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service.
Daniel B. Ginsberg, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Department of the Air Force, Department of Defense
Daniel Ginsberg is currently Senior Defense Policy Advisor to U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont. Serving as a legislative assistant to the senior Senator from Vermont since 1999, Ginsberg assists Senator Leahy with his work as a top member of the U.S. Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and as the co-chair of the U.S. Senate National Guard Caucus. Previously, Ginsberg served on the staff of U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services during the chairmanship of U.S. Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia. Mr. Ginsberg has held various positions at RAND, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, and the United States Mission to NATO. In addition to completing studies at the London School of Economics and a yearlong fellowship at the University of Chicago, Ginsberg holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan and an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies.