the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

Search form

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

WASHINGTON – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

  • Azizah al-Hibri, Member, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom
  • Nancy Brooks Gilbert, Member, United States Holocaust Memorial Council
  • Mark Gorenberg, Member, President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
  • Rear Admiral Michelle J. Howard, Member, Board of Visitors to the United States Naval Academy
  • Deborah E. Lipstadt, Member, United States Holocaust Memorial Council
  • Ike Skelton, Member, American Battle Monuments Commission
  • Marc R. Stanley, Member, United States Holocaust Memorial Council
  • Tamara Toussaint, Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars

President Obama said, “I am grateful these accomplished men and women have agreed to join this Administration, and I’m confident they will serve ably in these important roles. I look forward to working with them in the coming months and years.”

President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

Azizah al-Hibri, Appointee for Member, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom
Azizah al-Hibri is a professor of law at the T. C. Williams School of Law, University of Richmond. She is the founding editor of Hypatia: a Journal of Feminist Philosophy, and founder of KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights.  Professor al-Hibri has written extensively on issues of Islam and democracy, Muslim women's rights, and human rights in Islam.  Professor al-Hibri has traveled extensively throughout the Muslim world in support of Muslim women's rights and acted as a consultant to the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Qatar in the development of that country's personal status code.  She has also guest edited a special volume on Islam by the Journal of Law and Religion and is currently completing a book on the Islamic marriage contract in American courts.  Professor al-Hibri received a B.A. from the American University of Beirut, a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania.

Nancy Brooks Gilbert, Appointee for Member, United States Holocaust Memorial Council
Nancy Gilbert is the CEO and President of Travels and Dialogues and its subsidiary The Masorti Travel Bureau, companies specializing in tourism to Israel.   Since 1995, Ms Gilbert has organized groups for tens of thousands of passengers, winning awards and commendations from El Al Israel Airlines and the Israel Ministry of Tourism.  She developed the pilot itinerary for what is now known as BIRTHRIGHT ISRAEL, an international program which provides trips to Israel for young Jewish adults around the world.  She has served on the executive boards of the South Palm Beach County Jewish Federation, The National Council of Jewish Women Boca–Delray Section, The Levis JCC in Boca Raton, Florida and was an honorary board member of the Palm Beach County Chapter of the American Jewish Committee.  She is currently a sponsor of Aghozo Shalom, a youth village in Rwanda for now-teens orphaned in the 1994 genocide modeled after the youth villages in Israel created after the Holocaust.  Ms. Gilbert earned a B.A. and M.A. from Northwestern University, majoring in Spanish Language & Literature and Latin American Studies.

Mark Gorenberg, Appointee for Member, President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
Mark Gorenberg is a Managing Director of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, which he joined in 1990 when the firm began investing its first fund.  Previously, Mr. Gorenberg was with Sun Microsystems, where he managed emerging new media areas and was a member of the original SparcStation team.  Over the last 20 years, Mr. Gorenberg has served as a board member for numerous Hummer Winblad start-ups, including Omniture, AdForce, NetDynamics, and Scopus Technologies.  Mr. Gorenberg is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Corporation, a member of the Steering Committee of the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, and the Leadership Board of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT.  Mr. Gorenberg is also the current chair of the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment.  Mr. Gorenberg received a B.S.E.E. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.S.E.E. from the University of Minnesota, and an M.S. in Engineering Management from Stanford University.

Rear Admiral Michelle J. Howard, Appointee for Member, Board of Visitors to the United States Naval Academy
Rear Admiral Michelle Howard has commanded USS RUSHMORE (LSD 47), Amphibious Squadron SEVEN, and Expeditionary Strike Group TWO.  Her operational experiences include:  Desert Shield/Desert Storm, a West African Training Cruise, Indonesia Tsunami Relief Efforts, Maritime Security Operations in the North Arabian Gulf, and Counter-piracy efforts in Gulf of Aden/Somalia Basin.  In 1987, she received the Secretary of the Navy/Navy League Captain Winifred Collins award for leadership.  She is a recipient of the National Women of Color STEM Conference Career Achievement in Government award.  In 2009, she received Dominion Power Strong Men Strong Women Excellence in Leadership award.  She graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1982 and from the Army’s Command and General Staff College in 1998.

Deborah E. Lipstadt, Appointee for Member, United States Holocaust Memorial Council
Deborah Lipstadt is the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University and one of the leading Holocaust scholars in the United States. Dr. Lipstadt is the author of the recently published The Eichmann Trial.  Her book History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving is the story of her libel trial in London against David Irving, who sued her for calling him a Holocaust denier.  She was an historical consultant to the US Holocaust Museum and helped design the section of the museum on the American response to the Holocaust. President Clinton previously appointed her to two terms on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.  From 1996 to 1999 she served on the U.S. State Department Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad.  In this capacity she, together with other leaders and scholars, advised Secretary of State Madeline Albright on matters of religious persecution abroad.  In 2005 she represented former President George W. Bush at the 60th anniversary commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz.  Dr. Lipstadt received her B.A. from the City College of New York, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Brandeis University.

Ike Skelton, Appointee for Member, American Battle Monuments Commission
Isaac “Ike” Skelton represented Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District from 1977 until early 2011 and is currently a partner at the law firm of Husch Blackwell LLP.  During his career, Mr. Skelton chaired the House Armed Services Committee and was instrumental in bringing the Army Engineer School to Fort Leonard Wood and the B-2 Stealth bomber to Whiteman Air Force Base, both of which are located in his district.  Before serving in Congress, Mr. Skelton was a State Senator from 1971 until 1976, and a Special Assistant Attorney General in Missouri from 1961 to 1963.  He received his Associate of Arts degree from the Wentworth Military Academy and Junior College and his Bachelor’s degree and LL.B. from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Marc R. Stanley, Appointee for Member, United States Holocaust Memorial Council
Marc R. Stanley is a founder and partner of Stanley•Iola, LLP, a law firm that focuses on complex litigation nationally.  He is the Chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council, is a Vice-Chair of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and is Treasurer/Co-Chair Elect of the Foundation for Jewish Culture.  In addition, Mr. Stanley has served as President of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, President of the Dallas Trial Lawyers Association, President of the Dallas Home for the Jewish Aged, and President of the Southwest Region of the American Jewish Congress.  Mr. Stanley has previously been appointed as Chairman of the Texas Public Finance Authority and as a Member of the Board of Visitors of the Air University of the United States Air Force.   Mr. Stanley received a B.B.A. from the George Washington University and a J.D. from the University of Texas.

Tamara Toussaint, Appointee for Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars
Tamara Toussaint is currently the Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator for Ford & Harrison LLP, a labor and employment law firm with eighteen offices headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.  Prior to her position with Ford & Harrison, Ms. Toussaint worked as the Diversity Coordinator at the University of Miami School of Law, crafting the school's first ever diversity related programming. Over the course of the last thirteen years she has volunteered with programs that aid at-risk, low income children such as SOS Children's Village, The Urban League of Philadelphia, and Community Action Network.  In addition, Ms. Toussaint volunteers once a week with Everybody Wins!, a lunch time reading program at an Atlanta inner city elementary school focused on raising the reading levels of children with low reading test scores.  Currently, Ms. Toussaint is a member of the Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals and is Co-Chair of the Diversity Section of the National Association for Law Placement (NALP).  Ms. Toussaint holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law.