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

  • Constance J. Milstein, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Malta
  • Alina L. Romanowski, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Iraq
  • Margaret C. Whitman, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Kenya
  • January Contreras, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Agnes G. Schaefer, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Department of Defense
  • Timothy J. Baker, Nominee for Commissioner of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission

Constance J. Milstein, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Malta

Constance J. Milstein is an attorney, businesswoman, philanthropist, and social entrepreneur. She is a Principal and Co-Founder of Ogden CAP Properties, LLC. Milstein has led international initiatives to address pressing global issues and geopolitical threats. She is a founding board member of Blue Star Families, the nation’s largest support organization for military spouses and children. Milstein pioneered the inventive non-profit Dog Tag bakery, dedicated to empowering disabled veterans. During the Obama-Biden administration, Milstein served as a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army. She has played key roles with many nonprofits and NGOs focused on international relations, global education, and democracy building, which include Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy, United Nations Association, Refugees International, and UN Watch. Milstein earned her B.S. from New York University and her J.D. from North Carolina Central University. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Angel Award, Blue Star Families; Distinguished Service Award, NYU College of Arts & Science; and the Albert Gallatin Medal for outstanding contributions to society, NYU. She speaks French and Italian.

Alina L. Romanowski, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Iraq

Alina L. Romanowski, a career member of the Senior Executive Service, currently serves as the U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait. Prior to this, she was the Department of State’s Principal Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism. During almost 40 years of service across various U.S. government agencies, Romanowski has become expert on Middle East affairs. Previously at the Department of State, she served as the Coordinator for U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia. Earlier, at the U.S. Agency for International Development, she was Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Middle East Bureau. Romanowski joined the Department of State in 2003 to establish the Middle East Partnership Initiative Office and served as its first Director. She also held Deputy Assistant Secretary positions in the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs and served as acting Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. Romanowski also served in senior positions at the Department of Defense. She was the founding Director of the Near East-South Asia Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense; the Director of the NESA Office; and country director for Israel. She began her government career as an analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency. The recipient of numerous awards, including a Presidential Distinguished Rank Award, Romanowski received a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Chicago. She speaks French and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Margaret C. Whitman, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Kenya

Margaret C. Whitman (Meg), a business executive and former candidate for Governor of California, is a Member of the Board of Procter & Gamble and General Motors, and National Board Chair at Teach for America. She is the former CEO of Quibi, a streaming content platform for mobile devices, and a former President and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, the Hewlett Packard Company, eBay, and FTD. She has held senior leadership positions at Hasbro, StrideRite Corporation and the Walt Disney Corporation, and she is a former partner at Bain and Co. Whitman received a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.B.A. from Harvard University. Among numerous honors, Meg has been inducted into the Bay Area Business Hall of Fame and the U.S. Business Hall of Fame. She received an Honorary Doctor of Business Practice from Carnegie Mellon University. She is a recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award from Harvard Business School and was awarded the Corporate Citizenship Award by the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc.

January Contreras, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services

January Contreras has dedicated her career to strengthening safety and stability for women, children, and families. She is a former county prosecutor and assistant attorney general who went on to lead a legal aid center for children and young adults who have experienced abuse, neglect, family separation, homelessness, and human trafficking. Contreras has championed the safety and well-being of children and families for more than twenty years. She previously served in the Obama-Biden Administration as Ombudsman for Citizenship and Immigration Services at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and as a designee to the White House Council on Women and Girls. In this role, she led efforts to launch new federal training and guidance to ensure that immigrant victims of domestic violence and other crimes are treated with the same dignity and protection that all victims deserve. At the state level, Contreras oversaw the Arizona Department of Health Services after serving as Assistant Director of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, Arizona’s Medicaid agency. She was a member of Governor Janet Napolitano’s Children’s Cabinet and the Arizona Early Childhood Development and Health Board. Throughout her career, Contreras has been motivated by a sense of duty to strengthen the safety and stability of children, young adults, and families, especially when they are facing difficult obstacles. Contreras is a proud product of Arizona’s border towns, mining towns, and Phoenix barrios. She earned her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Arizona. Contreras lives in Arizona with her husband of twenty-seven years and their two sons.

Agnes G. Schaefer, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Department of Defense

Agnes Gereben Schaefer is a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. Her research specializations include issues related to U.S. military personnel policy, reserve component issues, national security strategy, emerging threats, and homeland defense/homeland security issues. From August 2018 to July 2021, Dr. Schaefer served as Associate Director of RAND’s International Security and Defense Policy Center. Since joining RAND in 2005, Dr. Schaefer has conducted more than 60 studies for senior military and civilian leaders, including for the Secretary of Defense, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, and various senior leaders in the Air Force, the Army, and the Marine Corps. She has also led several congressionally mandated studies for the Department of Defense. Prior to joining RAND, Dr. Schaefer was a postdoctoral research associate and lecturer at Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs. She received her Ph.D. from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and she received her M.A. in political science and her B.A. in international relations from Florida International University. Dr. Schaefer currently resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband. 

Timothy J. Baker, Nominee for Commissioner of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission

Timothy (T.J.) Baker is currently the Associate General Counsel of the United Mine Workers of America and has been with the Union since 2018. From 2012 to 2018, he worked for the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, first as an attorney-advisor in the Office of Administrative Law Judges in Pittsburgh and then as an attorney-advisor in the Office of the Commissioners in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and Washington and Lee University School of Law. At Washington and Lee, he participated in the third-year Black Lung Clinic, seeking to obtain benefits for miners afflicted with occupational lung disease. Baker is the son of a coal miner. He lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia with his wife Laura and their children, Lydia and Jon.

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