WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to serve as Republican members of boards and commissions that are required, by statute or longstanding practice, to include bipartisan membership.
• Andrew N. Ferguson, Nominee for Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission
• Melissa Holyoak, Nominee for Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission
• Henry J. Kerner, Nominee for Member of the Merit Systems Protection Board
• Amanda Wood Laihow, Nominee for Member of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission
• Elliott Abrams, Nominee for Member of the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy
• Jamie Fly, Nominee for Member of the International Broadcasting Advisory Board, United States Agency for Global Media
• Laura Dove, Nominee for Trustee of the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation
• Bradford P. Wilson, Nominee for Trustee of the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation
Andrew N. Ferguson, Nominee for Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission
Andrew N. Ferguson is the Solicitor General of the Commonwealth of Virginia. He oversees the appellate litigation of Virginia and its agencies; represents Virginia before the Supreme Court of the United States, the Supreme Court of Virginia and the federal courts of appeals; and defends Virginia’s statutes and regulations from constitutional challenge. Before accepting the appointment as Solicitor General, Ferguson served as Chief Counsel to U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell from 2019 until 2021. In that role, he was Leader McConnell’s chief legal advisor and judicial confirmation strategist. Before serving as Leader McConnell’s Chief Counsel, Ferguson served as Chief Counsel for Nominations and the Constitution to then-Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and as Senior Special Counsel to then-Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA). Ferguson also practiced antitrust law at several large D.C. law firms, where he represented clients in private antitrust litigation and before the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice. He has also represented clients before the U.S. Supreme Court and federal courts of appeals at Bancroft P.L.L.C. Ferguson clerked for Judge Karen L. Henderson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for Justice Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court of the United States. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia, where he graduated with highest distinction. He earned his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was an articles editor of the Virginia Law Review. Ferguson was born and grew up in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.
Melissa Holyoak, Nominee for Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission
Melissa Holyoak currently serves as the Utah Solicitor General with the Utah Attorney General’s Office, where she manages the civil appeals, criminal appeals, constitutional defense and special litigation, and antitrust and data privacy divisions. In that capacity, she oversees merger reviews, data privacy and antitrust enforcement actions, and provides leadership in consumer protection matters. Holyoak is an experienced litigator, with much of her twenty years of practice focused on consumer protection. Prior to joining the Utah Attorney General’s Office, Holyoak served as President and General Counsel of Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based public interest firm representing consumers challenging unfair class actions and regulatory overreach. She served in previous positions as a public interest attorney with the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Center for Class Action Fairness. Holyoak also worked as an associate with O’Melveny & Myers LLP. She graduated from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law in 2003 as a member of the Order of the Coif and the Law Review, and earned her B.A. from the University of Utah. She lives in Utah with her husband and four children.
Henry J. Kerner, Nominee for Member of the Merit Systems Protection Board
Henry J. Kerner has served as Special Counsel of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) since October 2017. In this role, Kerner has implemented new processes and procedures to dramatically increase OSC’s responsiveness to whistleblower complaints and focus on customer service. He has also overseen a significant restructuring of OSC’s programmatic units to streamline the handling of prohibited personnel practice investigations. This reorganization involved combining units with overlapping responsibilities to make OSC’s processes more efficient. Kerner began his legal career working as a career prosecutor, primarily in Compton, California, for 18 years. In 2011, he joined the staff of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the chief investigative committee of the United States House of Representatives. Under Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA), and later, Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), he led investigations of the federal bureaucracy and advocated on behalf of whistleblowers. Kerner also served as Staff Director of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, the lead investigative committee of the U.S. Senate, under Ranking Member Senator John McCain (R-AZ). Kerner holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Amanda Wood Laihow, Nominee for Member of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission
Amanda Wood Laihow was first appointed to serve as a Commissioner on the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) in January 2020. Prior to her appointment as a Commissioner, Wood Laihow served as Chief Counsel to OSHRC Chairman James J. Sullivan, Jr., where she was the primary legal advisor to the Chairman, giving critical, independent, and innovative legal advice on all pending matters. Previously, Wood Laihow was the Director of Labor and Employment Policy for the National Association of Manufacturers. As a labor and employment policy expert, she advocated on significant labor issues pertaining to employee health and safety under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the National Labor Relations Act, and anti-discrimination laws. Before her private sector experience, Wood Laihow served as Deputy General Counsel for the Honorable Susan M. Collins on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee working on labor and employment legislation affecting both private- and public-sector employees and prior to that served as an Assistant General Counsel at the General Services Administration. A Maine native, Wood Laihow received her J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law and her B.A. in Political Science from the University of New Hampshire. She currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband and two daughters.
Elliott Abrams, Nominee for Member of the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy
Elliott Abrams is senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C. Abrams’ career in public service began when he served as Assistant Counsel to the United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in 1975. From 1976 to 1979, he worked for the late Senator Henry M. Jackson and the late Senator Daniel P. Moynihan. Joining the Reagan Administration in 1981, he served as Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, Human Rights, and Latin America. In the Bush-Cheney Administration, Abrams served as a Senior Director of the National Security Council and then as a Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Adviser. Most recently, Abrams served in the State Department as Special Representative for Iran and Special Representative for Venezuela during the Trump-Pence Administration. From 1996 to 2001, he was President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. Further, Abrams served as member and Chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom between 1999 and 2001 before being reappointed to membership for another term from 2012 to 2014. Abrams was a member of the Board of the National Endowment for Democracy from 2011 to 2023, and has served as a member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, which directs the activities of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, from 2009 to 2016. Abrams is Chairman of the Vandenberg Coalition, Chairman of the Tikvah Fund, and a board member of the Jewish People Policy Institute and the Israel Democracy Institute. Abrams holds a B.A. from Harvard College, and M.Sc. in Economics from the London School of Economics, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Jamie Fly, Nominee for Member of the International Broadcasting Advisory Board, United States Agency for Global Media
Jamie Fly served as President and CEO of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) from 2019 to 2020 and 2021 to 2023. Prior to his time at RFE/RL, Fly served in various roles at The German Marshall Fund of the United States including Senior Fellow, Advisor to the President, Co-Director of the Alliance for Security Democracy, and Director of the Future of Geopolitics and Asia programs. He served as Counselor for Foreign and National Security Affairs to Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) between 2013 and 2017, serving as his Foreign Policy Advisor during his presidential campaign. Prior to joining Senator Rubio’s staff, Fly served as the Executive Director of the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI). Prior to joining FPI, Fly served in the Bush-Cheney Administration at the National Security Council from 2008 to 2009 and in the Office of the Secretary of Defense 2005 to 2008. For his work in the Department of Defense, Fly has been awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service. He holds his B.A. in International Studies and Political Science from American University and an M.A. in German and European Studies from Georgetown University.
Laura Dove, Nominee for Trustee of the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation
Laura Dove is the Senior Director for Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics, where she works to inspire students to enter public service. Prior to her appointment at Harvard, Dove was a Pritzker Fellow at the University of Chicago, where she led a seminar focused on the role of the Senate. Dove spent more than 20 years working for the U.S. Senate, in various roles in Republican leadership offices and ultimately as Secretary for the Majority under Leader Mitch McConnell. Dove retired from the Senate in 2020 and served as Federal Government Relations Director for Ford Motor Company before transitioning to her current academic focus. She lives with her family in Alexandria, Virginia.
Bradford Pentony Wilson, Nominee for Trustee for the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation
Bradford Pentony Wilson is Executive Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Occasional Lecturer in Politics, and Fellow of Forbes College at Princeton University. His interests include American constitutional law, American political thought, and Western political thought. Wilson is the author of Enforcing the Fourth Amendment: A Jurisprudential History, and co-editor of three books: American Political Parties & Constitutional Politics, Separation of Powers and Good Government, and The Supreme Court and American Constitutionalism. He is also the editor of The Constitutional Legacy of William H. Rehnquist. Wilson co-edited a two-volume edition of The Political Writings of Alexander Hamilton, published by Cambridge University Press in 2017. Wilson’s co-edited two volumes of The Political Writings of George Washington will be published by Cambridge University Press in fall of 2023. Wilson has served as President of the Association for the Study of Free Institutions since 2006. From 1994 to 1995, Wilson was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at Moscow State University and Moscow’s International Juridical Institute, and prior to this he was a Research Associate to two Chief Justices of the United States, Warren E. Burger and William H. Rehnquist from 1984 to 1987. He has been an editor of Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy since 1982. Wilson received his B.A. from North Carolina State University, his M.A. from Northern Illinois University, and his Ph.D. in Politics from The Catholic University of America.