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

  • Nickolas Guertin, Nominee for Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, Department of Defense
  • John Sherman, Nominee for Chief Information Officer, Department of Defense
  • Margo Schlanger, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, United States Department of Agriculture
  • Krista Boyd, Nominee for Inspector General, Office of Personnel Management
  • Robert Otto Valdez, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Department of Health and Human Services

Nickolas Guertin, Nominee for Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, Department of Defense

Nickolas Guertin has an extensive four-decade combined military and civilian career in submarine operations, ship construction and maintenance, systems engineering, and the development and testing of weapons, sensors and combat management products. Most recently, he has performed applied research for government and academia in software-reliant and cyber-physical systems for the past four years at Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute.

Over his career, he has been in leadership of organizational transformation, improving competition, application of modular open system approaches, as well as prototyping and experimentation. He has also researched and published extensively on system design, testing and acquisition. He received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington and an MBA from Bryant University. He is a retired Navy Reserve Engineering Duty Officer, was Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) certified in Program Management and Engineering, and is also a registered Professional Engineer (Mechanical). He is also an Assistant Scoutmaster and Merit Badge Counselor for two local Scouts BSA troops as well as an avid amateur musician. He hails from Redding, CT and is a resident of McLean, VA with his wife Maria and their 14-year-old twin children.

John Sherman, Nominee for Chief Information Officer, Department of Defense

John Sherman has nearly 25 years of experience working in national security technology and innovation across the Intelligence Community (IC) and Department of Defense (DoD). He has most recently served as the Acting DoD Chief Information Officer (CIO) and earlier as the IC CIO.  At each assignment he led modernizations involving large-scale government enterprises with cloud computing, cybersecurity, and collaboration capabilities. Previous to his time as a CIO, Mr. Sherman served as Deputy Director of CIA’s Open Source Enterprise, where he worked on open source intelligence by leveraging new technologies and interagency partnerships, and he also led several large offices at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency dealing with analysis, collection, and international partnerships. Additionally, Mr. Sherman has served as a Deputy National Intelligence Officer on the National Intelligence Council, where he coordinated strategic estimates on military topics and stood up the IC’s support to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. Mr. Sherman began his IC career as an imagery analyst and later served in the White House Situation Room. 

Mr. Sherman grew up in rural Jackson County in South Texas. He is a Distinguished Military Graduate of Texas A&M University, where he led the 2,000-strong Corps of Cadets his senior year and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. He also earned a Master’s of Public Administration degree from the University of Houston. Following graduation from Texas A&M, he served as an Air Defense Artillery officer in the 24th Infantry Division. Mr. Sherman is married to Liz, who also works in national security, and they have two grown children.

Margo Schlanger, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, United States Department of Agriculture

Margo Schlanger is the Wade H. and Dores M. McCree Collegiate Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School.  In 2010 and 2011, Schlanger served as the presidentially appointed Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in the Obama-Biden Administration’s Department of Homeland Security. She led the civil rights office’s internal DHS oversight relating to issues such as immigration detention conditions, racial profiling, border screening, language access, and disability rights, and she chaired an interagency group addressing disability access to disaster planning and response. She founded and directs the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse, a national repository of information about large-scale civil rights cases. Schlanger has written and testified about how federal agencies can better implement civil rights goals, and has served as a court-appointed monitor in a statewide federal case protecting the rights of prisoners with disabilities. She was the principal drafter of the American Bar Association’s influential Standards on the Treatment of Prisoners, and author of the leading casebook on prisoners’ rights, The Law of Incarceration: Cases and Materials (West Academic 2020). A graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School, Schlanger clerked for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for Justice Ginsburg’s first two terms on the Supreme Court of the United States.

Krista Boyd, Nominee for Inspector General, Office of Personnel Management

Krista Boyd has worked as an attorney in Congress for over two decades focused on issues related to oversight of government.  She currently serves as Chief Counsel for Oversight and Policy for the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.  Ms. Boyd’s work focuses on issues related to government spending, transparency, and accountability.  She has led numerous investigations focused on rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse of government resources, including a bipartisan investigation that led a government contractor to repay the Pentagon over $16 million. Ms. Boyd leads Committee efforts to ensure government watchdogs such as Inspectors General and the Government Accountability Office have adequate authority and access to information.  She helped spearhead the creation of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, the committee of Inspectors General overseeing federal spending in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Ms. Boyd has worked with Members of Congress on strengthening the authorities of agency Inspectors General and helped negotiate enactment of the Inspector General Empowerment Act of 2016.  Ms. Boyd has led Committee efforts to protect whistleblowers and to improve whistleblower laws, including the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, which strengthened protections for federal employees.  She has worked with lawmakers on the enactment of major transparency legislation such as the FOIA Improvement Act and the Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014.  Ms. Boyd began her career as Counsel for Senator Max Cleland from Georgia.  She earned a Bachelor of Science in Communication from Florida State University and a J.D. from Emory University School of Law. 

Robert Otto Valdez, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Department of Health and Human Services

Dr. Valdez serves as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Professor Emeritus, Family & Community Medicine and Economics at the University of New Mexico (UNM).  He was the Founding Executive Director, RWJF Center for Health Policy at UNM after serving as Founding Dean, Drexel University School of Public Health.   Previously, he was Professor at the UCLA School of Public Health. From 1993 through 1997, Dr. Valdez served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health (PHS) and Director of Interagency Health Policy (CMS) at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.   He also served as a Special Senior Advisor on health care reform to the Clinton White House.

Dr. Valdez started his career as the lead child health researcher for the historic RAND Health Insurance Experiment.  He is internationally recognized as an expert in health services research, the U.S. health care system, health policy analysis, and health care financing. His health promotion and disease prevention work with Univision Communications Corporation, “Salud es Vida: ¡Enterate!” was recognized with the Peabody Award. In 1998, he served as Special Senior Advisor to the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.  He previously served as the Chairman of the board of the Public Health Institute, one of the nation’s largest non-profit public health agencies serving communities across the state of California and internationally. He has also served the communities of New Mexico as Board Chair, New Mexico Community Foundation.

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