President Biden Announces His Intent to Nominate 11 Key Administration Leaders on National Security and Law Enforcement
WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate 11 members of his Administration to lead on national security and law enforcement at White House and across key agencies.
The President has tapped Christy Abizaid for Director of National Counterterrorism Center at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Chris Inglis for National Cyber Director in the Executive Office of the President, Christine Wormuth for Secretary of the Army at the Department of Defense, Gil Cisneros for Under Secretary of Defense, Personnel and Readiness at the Department of Defense, Anne Milgram for Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration at Department of Justice, Susanna Blume for Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation at the Department of Defense, Marcela Escobari for Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean at USAID, C.S. Eliot Kang for Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Non-Proliferation at the Department of State, Kenneth Polite for Assistant Attorney General for Criminal Division at the Department of Justice , Todd Robinson for Assistant Secretary of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs at the Department of State, and Christopher Schroeder for Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice. ,
If confirmed by the Senate, Wormuth would be the first woman to serve as Secretary of the Army
Christy Abizaid, Nominee for Director of National Counterterrorism Center, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Christine Abizaid spent nearly a decade as a counterterrorism intelligence officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency before transitioning to the National Security Council, first as a Director for Counterterrorism and then as the Senior Policy Advisor to the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. In 2014, she was appointed by the Secretary of Defense as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia. Her last Government posting was leading the Defense Innovation Unit’s newly established presence in Austin, Texas. Abizaid joined Dell Technologies in 2017 and currently serves as an executive in its Global Operations organization. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego and a M.A. in International Policy Studies from Stanford University.
Chris Inglis, Nominee for National Cyber Director, Executive Office of the President
Chris Inglis currently serves as a U. S. Naval Academy Looker Distinguished Visiting Professor for Cyber Studies, as a managing director at Paladin Capital, a member of the boards of several public and private corporations, and as a Commissioner on the U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission. He retired from the Department of Defense in January 2014 after 41 years of federal service, including 28 years at the National Security Agency and seven and a half years as its Deputy Director. He served as a member of the Department of Defense Science Board and as a National Intelligence University trustee until early 2021.
A 1976 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Inglis holds advanced degrees in engineering and computer science from Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, and the George Washington University. Inglis’ military career includes 30 years of service in the US Air Force and Air National Guard — from which he retired as a command pilot at the rank of Brigadier General. He and his wife Anna have three grown children and reside in Annapolis, MD.
Christine Wormuth, Nominee for Secretary of the Army, Department of Defense
Christine E. Wormuth served as Under Secretary of Defense (Policy) during the Obama-Biden Administration, the third most senior civilian position in the Department of Defense, advising two Secretaries of Defense on the full range of foreign policy and national security issues. She also served as the senior director for defense policy on the National Security Council, helping shape the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance that began rebalancing the military toward the Indo-Pacific. She joined the Obama-Biden Administration in 2009 as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Civil Support. Previously, Wormuth was a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, worked in the private sector, and served for almost seven years as a civil servant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, beginning as a Presidential Management Fellow.
Wormuth is currently Director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the RAND Corporation. She teaches as an adjunct professor in Georgetown University’s graduate program in security studies and serves on the honorary advisory board of the Leadership Committee for Women in National Security (LCWINS). In January 2021, she led the Biden-Harris Defense Agency Review Team and she has twice received the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service. After growing up in College Station, Texas, Wormuth graduated from Williams College in Massachusetts and has a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Maryland.
Gil Cisneros, Nominee for Under Secretary of Defense, Personnel and Readiness, Department of Defense
Gilbert Cisneros enlisted in the United States Navy in 1989 after graduating from high school. He was selected for the Broadened Opportunity for Officer Selection and Training Program, received a Navy R.O.T.C. scholarship and was commissioned as an Officer in the United States Navy in 1994. In 2010, with his wife Jacki, he started The Gilbert & Jacki Cisneros Foundation, focused on helping students find a path to higher education with scholarships and college access programs. Along with supporting education initiatives, they have supported the USO, an organization that supports our active duty troops. In 2015, he founded The Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute at his alma mater The George Washington University, which not only provides scholarships for Latino students, but is also becoming a leading institute for policy issues that affect the Latino community.
As a Congressman representing CA – 39, Cisneros served on both the Armed Services and Veterans’ Affairs Committees, and was a strong advocate, for our veterans, servicemembers and our military families. He fought to address the issue of mental health and suicide amongst both our veterans and service members. After the death of Spc. Venessa Guillén, he was invited to participate in discussions about the status of Latinos in the Army and helped to introduce the I Am Vanessa Guillén Act to make sexual harassment a crime within the Uniform Code of Military Justice. He has been an advocate for military families on issues of housing, child abuse, and exceptional family members. He is committed to building a diverse military, and removing extremism from our ranks.
He has been married to his wife Jacki for over 15 years, they have twin sons, Christopher and Alexander, and reside in Yorba Linda, CA. Cisneros has a Bachelor’s degree in political science, from the George Washington University, an M.B.A. from Regis University, and a Masters in Urban Education Policy from Brown University.
Anne Milgram, Nominee for Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice
Anne Milgram has had a distinguished career as a state, local, and federal prosecutor. As New Jersey’s Attorney General from 2007-2010, Milgram was New Jersey’s chief law enforcement officer and led the 9,000-person Department of Law & Public Safety, overseeing the New Jersey State Police and the State Division of Criminal Justice. Milgram also had oversight responsibility for state and county prosecutors and more than 30,000 local law enforcement officers statewide. During her career, Milgram spearheaded investigations into human trafficking, narcotics trafficking, street gangs, violent and organized crime, public corruption, securities fraud, mortgage fraud, and civil rights violations. Milgram began her career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. She went on to serve as a federal prosecutor in the United States Department of Justice, where she became Special Litigation Counsel for the prosecution of human trafficking crimes. In that role, Milgram partnered with United States Attorney’s Offices in the Eastern District of New York, New Jersey, and New Hampshire to prosecute some of the first sex trafficking and forced labor cases under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.
Milgram is currently a Professor of Practice and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at New York University School of Law, where she teaches seminars on human trafficking and local criminal prosecution and leads the Criminal Justice Lab. The Lab, in partnership with local jurisdictions, has designed and built a screening tool that can be used by law enforcement to identify individuals suffering from mental health and substance abuse disorders who can safely be diverted into treatment. Milgram is also Special Counsel to Lowenstein Sandler LLP and currently serves as a member of the board of Covenant House International, the Century Foundation, the Center for Policing Equity, and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She lives in New York City with her husband and their wonderful 6-year-old son.
Susanna Blume, Nominee for Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, Department of Defense
Susanna V. Blume is currently performing the duties of the Director, Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Defense. Prior to taking on this role, Blume was Senior Fellow and Director of the Defense Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), where her research focused on the alignment of defense strategy, planning, and resources. Prior to joining CNAS, Blume served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Programs and Plans to the Deputy Secretary of Defense, whom she advised on programming and budget issues, global force management, operational and strategic planning, force posture, and acquisition policy. She has also served in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Plans and Posture.
Blume holds a master’s degree in international studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, a law degree from the George Washington University Law School, and a bachelor’s degree in the history of art from the Johns Hopkins University.
Marcela Escobari, Nominee for Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean, USAID
For over two decades, the Hon. Marcela Escobari led organizations that help regions chart a path towards prosperity. She served in the Obama-Biden Administration as Assistant Administrator of USAID’s Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean. During her time there, Escobari reinforced U.S. support for Peace Colombia, established a long-term development plan for Haiti, and prepared a proactive strategy to confront the humanitarian and political crisis in Venezuela. In response to Congress’ doubling of funding to Central America, she led changes in strategy, organization and execution to combat root causes of poverty and migration in the region.
Prior to serving in government, Escobari was Executive Director at the Center for International Development at Harvard University. During her tenure, the Center launched projects in 17 countries across five continents focused on unlocking constraints to economic growth. Most recently, as a senior fellow at Brookings, she created the Workforce of the Future initiative and applied international economic development models to map the industrial path of American cities and identify policies to help workers prosper in the face of evolving labor markets. She worked with US local leaders, companies and policy makers, including in Idaho and Texas, to strengthen paths to the middle class.
Her career has spanned the private sector, government and academia, with a common thread of producing growth that is inclusive and sustainable. She began her career as an investment banker at J.P. Morgan and worked across the globe on export competitiveness projects as a strategy consultant. The World Economic Forum named her a Young Global Leader in 2013. She co-authored the book “In the River They Swim: Essays from around the World on Enterprise Solutions to Poverty,” holds a B.A. in economics from Swarthmore College and an M.A. in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.
C.S. Eliot Kang, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of State, International Security and Non-Proliferation, Department of State
C.S. Eliot Kang, a career member of the Senior Executive Service, currently serves as Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Security and Non-Proliferation at the U.S. Department of State. He also has been performing the duties of Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security since January 2021. He has worked in the Bureau of International Security and Non-Proliferation since 2005 in a number of key positions, including Acting Assistant Secretary, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Deputy Assistant Secretary and Special Adviser. Previously, he worked in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Arms Control and Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. A former tenured professor, he taught international security at the University of Pennsylvania and Northern Illinois University and held fellowships at the Council on Foreign Relations and the Brookings Institution. Kang received his Ph.D. from Yale University. He also studied at Princeton University and received his A.B., summa cum laude, from Cornell University. Kang is the recipient of numerous Department awards, including a Presidential Rank Award. He speaks Korean and Japanese.
Kenneth Polite, Nominee for Assistant Attorney General for Criminal Division, Department of Justice
Kenneth A. Polite is currently a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. During the Obama/Biden administration, he served as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, where he championed prevention, reentry, and enforcement in improving public safety, and advised Department of Justice leadership as a member of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee. Polite has also served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, where he focused on prosecuting public corruption and organized crime, and clerked for the Honorable Thomas L. Ambro of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
In private practice, Polite has been a white collar defense attorney in Pennsylvania, New York, and Louisiana, focusing on internal investigations and corporate compliance. He has also served as the Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer for Entergy Corporation. A supporter and active board member of several non-profit organizations, Polite has received an honorary doctorate degree in recognition of his public service. Born and raised in New Orleans, he is a graduate of Harvard University and Georgetown University Law Center.
Todd Robinson, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Department of State
Todd Robinson, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Career Minister, currently serves as Director of the International Student Management Office, National Defense University. He was a Senior Advisor for Central America in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs in Washington. D.C. Robinson also served as Chargé d’Affaires a.i. in Caracas, Venezuela. Previously, Robinson was U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Guatemala from 2014 to 2017. Prior to that, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. Robinson also served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala; as Consul General and Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate in Barcelona, Spain; and as Chief of the Political and Economic Section in the U.S. Embassy in Tirana, Albania. Other overseas postings include the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Vatican City, Italy, El Salvador, and Colombia. Earlier in his career, Robinson served in the Department’s Operations Center and as a Special Assistant to former Secretary of State Albright. He is the recipient of a Presidential Rank Award. A native of New Jersey, he is a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and speaks Spanish, Italian, and Albanian.
Christopher Schroeder, Nominee for Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, Department of Justice
Christopher H. Schroeder is Charles S. Murphy Emeritus Professor of Law and Emeritus Professor of Public Policy Studies. From 1994-1997, Schroeder served as deputy and acting assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice. From 2010-2013, he served as assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Policy. He has also served as Chief Counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee, 1992-1993. His scholarship on constitutional law and separation of powers includes Keeping Faith with the Constitution, co-authored with Pamela Karlan and Goodwin Liu, as well as Presidential Power Stories, co-edited with Curtis Bradley.
Schroeder has also written on a broad range of topics in environmental law and policy, risk regulation, and tort theory, as well as on Congressional procedures and affairs. He is co-author of a leading environmental law casebook, Environmental Regulation: Law, Science and Policy (8th Edition, 2018), with Robert Percival, Alan Miller and James Leape.
Schroeder received his B.A. degree from Princeton University in 1968, a M. Div. from Yale University in 1971, and his J.D. degree from University of California, Berkeley in 1974, where he was editor-in-chief of the California Law Review. He and his wife, Katharine T. Bartlett, divide their time between Durham, N.C. and Belfast, Maine.