President Biden Announces Key Nominees
WASHINGTON – Today, President Biden announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to serve as key leaders in his administration:
- Robert Godec, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of Thailand
- Vinay Singh, Nominee for Chief Financial Officer, Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Kalpana Kotagal, Nominee for Commissioner on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Robert Godec, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of Thailand
Robert F. Godec, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Career Minister, currently serves as Senior Coordinator for Afghanistan in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration at the U.S. Department of State. Prior to that, he was Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs. He previously served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of African Affairs. Earlier, Godec was Deputy Commandant and International Affairs Advisor at the National War College. He was U.S. Ambassador to Kenya from 2013 to 2019. Godec was also Chargé d’Affaires a.i. at U.S. Embassy Nairobi, Kenya in 2012. Before his assignment in Nairobi, Godec was the Principal Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism in the Bureau of Counterterrorism in the Department of State. Previously, he served as U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia. Godec has also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and was Deputy Coordinator for the Transition in Iraq. He served as Acting Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs at U.S. Embassy Pretoria, South Africa. His other positions include Economic Counselor at U.S. Embassy Nairobi, Kenya; Assistant Office Director for Thailand and Burma in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs; and Director for Southeast Asian Affairs at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
A member of the Foreign Service since 1985, Godec has a Master’s degree from Yale University, as well as a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia. He is the recipient of two Presidential Meritorious Service Awards, numerous Senior Performance Awards, and a Distinguished Honor Award. He speaks French and German.
Vinay Singh, Nominee for Chief Financial Officer, Department of Housing and Urban Development
Vinay Singh, a Certified Public Accountant, is currently a Senior Advisor to the Administrator at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), assisting agency teams to deliver organizational efficiencies to better serve our communities’ small businesses. Singh has 25 years of private sector leadership experience with a deep understanding of finance, analytics, and strategy.
Prior to his role at SBA, Singh was a Partner and Chief Operating Officer for the Infrastructure practice at KPMG in India. As a senior member of the executive team, he led several organizational transformation projects, leveraging technology to improve profitability and decision-making. As Lead Partner for the World Bank Group account, he supported global sustainability projects focused on solving urban and rural challenges in housing, water, energy, and economic development. Previously, Singh served in the Obama-Biden Administration as a Deputy Assistant Secretary (U.S. Field). He played a key role in leading trade and investment policy and promotion efforts to better market conditions for U.S. companies. In his early years as a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and Project Management Professional (PMP), Singh helped several companies improve operational and financial performance. He holds an MBA from Widener University.
Kalpana Kotagal, Nominee for Commissioner on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Kalpana Kotagal is a Partner at Cohen Milstein, a member of the firm’s Civil Rights & Employment practice group, and Co-Chair of the firm’s Hiring and Diversity Committee. She is co-author of the seminal legal template the “Inclusion Rider.” Kotagal is a diversity, equity, and inclusion expert, and represents disenfranchised people in employment and civil rights litigation involving issues related to Title VII, the Equal Pay Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Kotagal was a Harvard Law School Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow and was named an “Employment Law MVP” by Law360 in 2018, recognizing the top five most influential employment lawyers in the United States. Kotagal sits on the Boards of Directors of A Better Balance and Public Justice Foundation. She is co-chair of the Alumni Advisory Board on Equity & Inclusion at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, a member of the American Constitution Society Task Force on #MeToo in the Legal Profession, and serves on the Advisory Board of the People’s Parity Project. The daughter of immigrants from India, Kotagal earned her B.S. and an A.B., with honors, from Stanford University and her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Prior to joining Cohen Milstein, Kotagal served as a law clerk to the Honorable Betty Binns Fletcher of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She resides in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband and two sons.