WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate the following five individuals to serve in key roles:

  • Amanda Howe, Nominee for Assistant Administrator for Mission Support, Environmental Protection Agency
  • Guy Kiyokawa, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Enterprise Integration, Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Damon Smith, Nominee for General Counsel, Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • William Eugene Holloway, Nominee for Member of the Board of Directors of the National Institute of Building Sciences
  • Javier Ramirez, Nominee for Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service

Amanda Howe, Nominee for Assistant Administrator for Mission Support, Environmental Protection Agency
Amanda Howe is a career public servant, helping lead progressive change in government, politics, and the non-profit sector. She served in the role of Chief Operating Officer for the Kamala Harris For The People presidential campaign in 2019 and for the Democratic National Committee before, during, after President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. In the past year, she’s been a senior advisor to the President of Everytown for Gun Safety and for the Maya Wiley for Mayor campaign in New York City. Howe served as Deputy and then Acting Chief of Staff to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and after, as a consultant to the city, helped plan the first-ever ticker tape parade for a women’s team for the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team World Cup win and for the official visit of Pope Francis and his procession through Central Park.  She served as Vice President of the non-profit American Council on Renewable Energy in Washington, D.C.  In Virginia, Howe served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Trade for then-Governor Mark R. Warner and led the planning for then-Governor Tim Kaine of the Virginia portion of the most recent official visit to the U.S. of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip in 2007. Howe holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia.

Guy Kiyokawa, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Enterprise Integration, Department of Veterans Affairs
Mr. Guy Kiyokawa is currently the Deputy Director of the Defense Health Agency (DHA), Falls Church, VA. The DHA is a joint Combat Support Agency supporting Army, Navy, and Air Force medical services, and it administers the TRICARE Health Plan providing worldwide medical, dental and pharmacy programs to more than 9.6 million uniformed service members, retirees and their families. Prior to his selection to the Senior Executive Service in 2015, Mr. Kiyokawa completed a 29-year career in the United States Army with leadership experience in multiple roles ranging from aeromedical evacuation pilot to health facility engineering to healthcare administration.  He culminated his career as the Chief of Staff for the newly formed Defense Health Agency, and retired at the rank of Colonel in 2015.

Mr. Kiyokawa was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Southern California, and is a 1995 graduate of the US Army-Baylor University Program with a Master’s Degree in Health Administration.  Mr. Kiyokawa graduated from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, PA where he completed the War College Fellowship with the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, DC.  He currently resides in Vienna, Virginia with his wife and three kids.

Damon Smith, Nominee for General Counsel, Department of Housing and Urban Development
Damon Smith currently serves as the Principal Deputy General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  He joined the Biden-Harris Administration after serving as Senior Director of Advocacy and Counsel at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), representing the nation’s cooperatively-owned, not-for-profit credit unions in housing, telecommunications and financial security matters.  Prior to joining CUNA, Smith was a Partner at Jenner and Block LLP in Washington, D.C. where he provided counsel to companies facing complex compliance, government regulation and enforcement matters.

Smith previously served as the Senior Counsel and Acting General Counsel at the U.S. Department for Housing and Urban Development during the Obama-Biden Administration, where he provided legal and policy guidance on a range of programs and activities and set the Department’s litigation strategy and regulatory agenda. Before his government service, he taught property and local government law as an Associate Professor at Rutgers-Camden Law School and a Visiting Professor at the American University Washington College of Law.  Smith began his legal career as a real estate Associate at Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C., and worked prior to law school as an urban planner in East St. Louis, Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri. 

Smith is a graduate of Harvard Law School and holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


William Eugene Holloway, Nominee for Member of the Board of Directors of the National Institute of Building Sciences
Bill Holloway is Vice President, Principal, and Director of Delaware Operations for Bernardon, an award-winning regional architecture, interior design and landscape architecture firm with offices in Wilmington, Delaware and West Chester and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Spanning 39 years of practice, his professional accomplishments include significant projects in the public works, institutional, and healthcare markets. Among Holloway’s notable projects are the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Train Station in Wilmington, the restoration of the historic Old State House in Dover, Delaware, and renovations to over twenty-seven facilities for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  Currently, Holloway is working on a major addition to the Delaware Division of Public Health Laboratory in Smyrna, Delaware.

In recognition of his service to the profession of Architecture, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) named him a Richard Upjohn Fellow at the national level for his service on the Institute’s board.  In honor of his successful tenure as president of AIA Delaware, Holloway was made a member of the chapter’s G. Morris White Society.  He was also voted to be accepted to the membership of the Carpenters’ Company of the City and County of Philadelphia, a prestigious organization of builders, architects, and engineers originally chartered in 1724.

Bill earned his Bachelor of Architecture degree from The Pennsylvania State University where he was awarded the College of Arts & Architecture Medal for Creative Achievement and the Alpha Rho Chi Medal for leadership, service and merit in architecture.  He is also quite proud of his years as a member of the sousaphone rank in the Penn State Blue Band. In the community and beyond, Bill serves as a longtime member of the Executive Board of the Del-Mar-Va Council Boy Scouts of America; a member of the Easter Seals Society of Delaware and the Eastern Shore Board of Trustees; and a member of the executive committee of the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce.  Bill also continues his avocation in music as a member of the Aldersgate Brass Ensemble. Bill and his wife of 37 years, Cathy, reside in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania and together they have two adult children, Megan Holloway and Ben Holloway, both of Wilmington, Delaware.

Javier Ramirez, Nominee for Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Javier Ramirez began his FMCS career as a Commissioner in 2005 and is currently the Executive Manager of the Division of Agency Initiatives.  This office bears responsibility for the Office of Conflict Management & Prevention, Office of Strategy & Development, the Center for Conflict Resolution and Education, the FMCS Institute for Conflict Management, and the DC and Northern Virginia (HQ) Commissioners.  

Javier mediated disputes in all sectors of the economy (except air and rail) in professions such as the performing arts, public safety, professors, hospitality, hospitals, manufacturing, and packing houses.  Javier facilitated and mediated multi-party disputes in manufacturing, construction, and education.  He was on the facilitation team for several regulatory negotiations, including the Department of Energy (DOE) negotiations that resulted in the largest energy-saving rule in DOE history.  Javier also trained and successfully facilitated parties in various collaborative bargaining models.  Notably, Javier collaborated with colleagues to create the FMCS Affinity Bargaining model.  He represented the agency in international tri-partite training efforts in Bangladesh and trained all New Zealand labor mediators on collaborative bargaining. Javier has been the recipient of multiple FMCS performance awards in recognition of his work, including the Director’s Award.

Additionally, Javier is regularly asked to present at national and regional conferences on conflict management topics.  He guest lectured on labor relations and dispute management at the University of Illinois, University of Colorado Boulder, National Defense University, Cornell, and other universities.

Prior to FMCS, Javier spent over fourteen years in labor relations, negotiating contracts and resolving disputes in areas such as immigration, contract administration, communication, staffing, and politics at the federal, state, and local level.  His efforts have been featured in Rolling Stone, Chicago Tribune Magazine, and Chicago Lawyer Magazine; cited in the New York Times Best Seller Fast Food Nation; and recognized by the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

Javier enjoys the performing arts or exploring the great outdoors with his wife and two adult children.

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