THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release April 1, 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: Martha J. Kanter, Under Secretary of Education; Krysta Harden, Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations, United States Department of Agriculture; and Stephen A. Owens, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances, Environmental Protection Agency.
President Obama said, "The decision of these talented individuals to serve their country is admirable. Their commitment and expertise make them valuable additions to my administration, and I look forward to working with them."
President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals today:
Martha J. Kanter, Nominee for Under Secretary of Education
Martha J. Kanter currently serves as Chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, one of the largest community college districts in the country, serving more than 44,000 students. Prior to her tenure at De Anza College, Kanter served as Vice President of Instruction and Student Services at San Jose City College where she formerly worked as a teacher and created the school’s first program for students with learning disabilities. Kanter also served as a Director, Dean and subsequently Vice Chancellor for Policy and Research of the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office in Sacramento. Kanter earned her bachelor's degree from Brandeis University, a master's in education from Harvard University and a doctorate in organization and leadership from the University of San Francisco. Kanter has taught across the country and currently serves as National Chair of the Community College Advisory Panel of The College Board.
Krysta Harden, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations, United States Department of Agriculture
Krysta Harden joined the National Association of Conservation Districts as Chief Executive Officer in March 2004. Operating from NACD headquarters in Washington, D.C., she was responsible for the association’s policy development and member services programs and coordinated strategic planning, budget formulation and related business operations. Harden previously served as the senior vice president of Gordley Associates, a Washington, D.C. consulting firm. In that capacity, she worked with a variety of commodity organizations, most notably the American Soybean Association. Her major areas of responsibility included conservation, environmental and energy issues. Prior to working for Gordley, Harden served in various positions on Capitol Hill for 12 years. While on the Hill, Harden served as a professional staff member for the House Agriculture Committee and as chief of staff for former House member Charles Hatcher of Georgia. Harden holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia.
Stephen A. Owens, Nominee for Assistant Administrator for the Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances, Environmental Protection Agency
Steve Owens served as Director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality from January 2003 and until January 2009, making him the longest serving Director in ADEQ’s history. Steve graduated with honors from Brown University in 1978 and received his law degree in 1981 from Vanderbilt Law School, where he was Editor in Chief of the Vanderbilt Law Review. From 1982-84, Owens served as counsel to the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology. During 1985-88, he was chief counsel and later state director for then U.S. Senator Al Gore. From 1999-2002 Owens served as a member of the Joint Public Advisory Committee of the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation. As ADEQ Director, Owens chaired Arizona’s Climate Change Advisory Group, served as co-chair of the Western Climate Initiative and was Secretary of The Climate Registry. Among other key concerns, Owens made children’s environmental health a top priority for ADEQ and established an Office of Children’s Environmental Health at the department. In September 2008, Owens was elected President of the Environmental Council of the States, the national state environmental agency directors association, serving until he left ADEQ.