President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

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

  • Rebecca M. Blank – Deputy Secretary, Department of Commerce
  • Larry Leon Palmer -Ambassador to Barbados, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Department of State
  • Coral Pietsch - Judge, United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
  • Jessica Rosenworcel– Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission
  • Michael A. Sheehan -Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, Department of Defense

President Obamasaid, “I am confident that these outstanding men and women will greatly serve the American people in their new roles and I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”

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

Dr. Rebecca M. Blank, Nominee for Deputy Secretary, Department of Commerce
Dr. Rebecca M. Blank is the Acting Deputy Secretary of Commerce. In May 2009, Dr. Blank was appointed Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs.  As Under Secretary, Dr. Blank runs the Economic and Statistics Administration and is responsible for managing the two top statistical agencies in the United States, the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. She was designated Acting Deputy Secretary on November 18, 2010 and subsequently Acting Secretary on August 1, 2011, a position she held until the confirmation of John Bryson as Secretary of Commerce.  Prior to joining the Obama administration, she was dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan and co-director of the National Poverty Center.  Dr. Blank served as a member of the Council of Economic Advisers.  Prior to her service in the Clinton Administration, Dr. Blank taught economics at Northwestern University and Princeton.  She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Lifetime Associate at the National Academies of Science. Dr. Blank holds a degree in Economics from the University of Minnesota, summa cum laude, and a Ph.D. in Economics from MIT. 

Larry Leon Palmer, Nominee for Ambassador to Barbados, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Department of State
Larry Leon Palmer, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, served as President and CEO of the Inter-American Foundation from 2005 to 2010.  Previously, he was U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Honduras from 2002 to 2005 and Charge D'Affaires in Quito, Ecuador.  Additional overseas posts have included the Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Paraguay, Korea, and Sierra Leone.  Ambassador Palmer served as Assistant to the President of the University of Texas at El Paso and President of the 41st Senior Seminar, a senior management course for Senior Foreign Service officers. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Ambassador Palmer served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia.  Ambassador Palmer received a B.A from Emory University, an M. Ed. from Texas Southern University and a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration and African Studies from Indiana University, Bloomington.  

Coral Pietsch, Nominee for Judge, United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
Coral Pietsch currently serves as the Senior Civilian Attorney and Special Assistant in the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate for the U.S. Army Pacific.  She is a retired Brigadier General in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.  From 2005 to 2011, she was the Chair of the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, and from 2007 to 2008, she served as the Deputy Rule of Law Coordinator for the Department of State's Baghdad Provincial Reconstruction Team.  Ms. Pietsch served as an Attorney-Advisor and Labor Counselor to U.S. Army Hawaii from 1986 to 1991.  From 1980 to 1986, she was a Deputy Attorney General for the State of Hawaii.  Ms. Pietsch was an active duty member of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps from 1974 to 1980.  While a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, she was promoted to Brigadier General and became the first female General officer in the Judge Advocate General's Corps as well as the first female Asian-American General officer in the U.S. Army.   She holds a B.A. from the College of St. Teresa, an M.A. from Marquette University and a J.D. from the Catholic University of America.

Jessica Rosenworcel, Nominee for Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission
Jessica Rosenworcel is the Senior Communications Counsel for the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, working for Senator Jay Rockefeller IV since 2009, and previously for Senator Daniel K. Inouye from 2007 to 2008.  Before joining the Committee, she worked at the Federal Communications Commission from 1999 to 2007, serving as Legal Advisor and then Senior Legal Advisor to Commissioner Michael J. Copps (2003-2007), Legal Counsel to the Bureau Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau (2002-2003), and as an Attorney-Advisor in the Policy Division of the Common Carrier Bureau (1999-2002).  From 1997 to 1999, Ms. Rosenworcel was a communications associate at Drinker Biddle and Reath.  Ms. Rosenworcel received a B.A. from Wesleyan University and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.   

Michael A. Sheehan, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, Department of Defense
Michael A. Sheehan is currently a Fellow at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point and has recently been a terrorism analyst for NBC News.  From 2003 to 2006, he served as the Deputy Commissioner for Counter Terrorism in the New York City Police Department.  From 2001 to 2003, he was the Assistant Secretary General of Mission Support in the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations.  Mr. Sheehan was appointed as Coordinator for Counter Terrorism at the U.S. Department of State (1998-2000) and was confirmed by the Senate as Ambassador-at-Large in 1999.    Mr. Sheehan is a retired U.S. Army Special Forces officer; in this capacity he served on many overseas assignments including Panama, Korea, El Salvador, and Somalia.  He was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge for his service. While on active duty, he served at the White House on the National Security Council from 1989 to 1992 and again from 1995 to 1997. He holds a B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and an M.S. from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.