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President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts, 6/18/10

WASHINGTON – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individual to a key administration post:

  • Michael S. Owen, Ambassador to the Republic of Sierra Leone, Department of State

President Obama also announced his intent to appoint several individuals to serve as members on the American Battle Monuments Commission. Their bios are below.

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 individual to a key administration post:

Michael S. Owen, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Sierra Leone, Department of State
Michael S. Owen is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service.  He is currently Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.  Prior to that he was the Office Director for India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Maldives in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.  Mr. Owen previously served as Consul General at the U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai, India, and was the Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  He was also Counselor for Economic Affairs for the U.S. Embassy in Accra, Ghana.  Other overseas posts include Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Mauritania, and Ireland.  Mr. Owen received a B.S. in Civil Engineering and Economics from Rice University, and a Masters in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. 

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

Darrell Dorgan, Appointee for Member, American Battle Monuments Commission
Mr. Dorgan has served as the Executive Director of the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame since 1997. In that capacity, he spearheaded the effort to build the western heritage center that was recently named the Cowboy Museum of the Year for 2010.  Prior to that service, Mr. Dorgan spent two and a half decades in journalism, finishing his journalistic career as a producer, anchor, and writer of Prairie News Journal, an hour-long news program viewed in three states and two Canadian Provinces.  Mr. Dorgan served as the first Journalist in residence at the University of Maine, Presque Isle, has been invited back in that capacity, and has had a scholarship named after him at the University. He also continues to write and produce historical documentaries for television.   Mr. Dorgan is a Vietnam Veteran, a member of AMVETS and a life member of the Disabled American Veterans.

John L. Estrada, Appointee for Member, American Battle Monuments Commission
Sergeant Major John L. Estrada USMC (Ret) currently works for the Lockheed Martin Corporation as the Senior Manager for Lockheed Martin Training Solution Incorporated. He was the 15th Sergeant Major of the United States Marine Corps from June 2003 to April 2007 prior to stepping down from the position in 2007 after 34 years of service in the Marine Corps. His personal awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with three gold stars, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Joint Services Achievement Medal, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. Sergeant Major Estrada is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Southern Watch. Sergeant Major Estrada is a board member for Operation HomeFront, a nonprofit organization that provides emergency assistance for military troops, the families they leave behind, and wounded warriors when they return home; he is also a member of Mission Readiness.

Evelyn Foote, Appointee for Member, American Battle Monuments Commission
Brigadier General Pat Foote, USA (Ret), a native of Durham, North Carolina, served over 30 years of active duty with the United States Army. Commissioned in 1960, she commanded soldiers at the company, battalion, brigade and major installation levels of authority. She was the first woman Army officer to serve on the faculty of the U.S. Army War College, the first woman officer to command an Army brigade in Europe, and the first and only woman to date to be appointed the Army Deputy Inspector General for Inspections. Today she serves on a number of boards, including the Alliance for National Defense, the Army Women’s Foundation Advisory Board, and the Board of Directors of the Friends of the World War II Memorial Foundation.

Rolland Kidder, Appointee for Member, American Battle Monuments Commission
Rolland Kidder is a Director of Friends of the National World War Memorial, Inc., a Washington-based nonprofit organization.  From 1994 to 2001, Mr. Kidder served on the American Battle Monuments Commission and was a member of its World War II Memorial Committee.  He is the author of A Hometown Went to War, an oral history of thirty-seven veterans describing their experiences during World War II.  Mr. Kidder is a Vietnam War veteran.

Richard L. Klass, Appointee for Member, American Battle Monuments Commission
Colonel Dick Klass, USAF (Ret) is a retired Air Force Colonel who serves as president of the Veterans Alliance for Security and Democracy (VETPAC), a political action committee that supports veterans and other candidates dedicated to the values for which veterans served, fought and died.  In Vietnam, he flew over 200 combat missions as a Forward Air Controller.  His military decorations include the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit and Purple Heart. After retiring from the military, Klass held several senior positions with U.S. aerospace and consulting firms.  He sits on the boards of the Falcon Foundation at the Air Force Academy and the Council for a Livable World.  Colonel Klass is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and the National War College.  He received M.A. and M.Litt. degrees from Oxford University, England as a Rhodes Scholar and served as a White House Fellow.

Merrill A. McPeak, Appointee for Member, American Battle Monuments Commission
General Merrill McPeak, USAF (Ret) was chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force from 1990 to1994. A career fighter pilot, he flew 269 combat missions in Vietnam, some of them while in command of the Misty squadron of high speed forward air controllers. In 1967-68, he performed as a Demonstration Pilot in 199 official air shows as a member of the Air Force's elite aerobatic team, the Thunderbirds. Before becoming Air Force chief, he commanded the 20th Fighter Wing, Twelfth Air Force, and the Pacific Air Forces. Since retirement from active military service, General McPeak has made a second career as an investor and director of public and private companies. He is Chairman of Ethicspoint, a leading provider of risk-management and compliance software-as-a-service, including secure, anonymous reporting of ethical violations in the workplace. General McPeak holds a B.A. from San Diego State College, an M.S. from George Washington University, and is a graduate of the National War College.

Constance Morella, Appointee for Member, American Battle Monuments Commission
Ambassador Constance Morella served as a Congresswoman for the state of Maryland for 16 years, during which she was a member of the Committees on Science and Government Reform as well as Chair of the Subcommittees on Technology and the District of Columbia. She also served as the Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. During that time she was a key participant in negotiations to enlarge the OECD with five new member states. After leaving the OECD in 2007, she began serving as a professor at American University’s School of Government, where she teaches courses in Women, Politics, and Public Policy.

Maura C. Sullivan, Appointee for Member, American Battle Monuments Commission
Former Marine Captain Maura Sullivan was born and raised in Evanston, Illinois and attended Northwestern University on an ROTC scholarship.  After graduating, she served over five years on active duty in the Marines as a logistics and operations officer.  Her first assignment was to Okinawa, Japan where she served throughout Southeast Asia in support of Joint Military exercises.  She deployed to Fallujah, Iraq in 2005 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and served there with distinction, earning a Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal.  Upon separating from active duty, Sullivan began degree programs at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Business School, where she was elected Co-President of Harvard's Armed Forces Alumni Association.  Captain Sullivan graduated from Harvard in 2009 and accepted a role in PepsiCo's Leadership Development Program.

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