the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

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

• Mark D. Gearan – Member, Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service
• Michael Kirby – Ambassador to the Republic of Serbia, Department of State

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

• David Benton – Member, Arctic Research Commission
• Paula Robinson Collins – Member, Board of Directors of the Presidio Trust

President Obama said, “I am grateful these accomplished individuals 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 nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts:

Mark D. Gearan, Nominee for Member, Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service
Mark D. Gearan is President of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, a position he has held since 1999.  Mr. Gearan was appointed as a Member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service by Presidents Clinton and Bush, and served as Chair of the Board from 2010 to 2011.  Mr. Gearan served as a member of the Board of Directors of Campus Compact from 2001 to 2004 and as Chair from 2004 to 2006.  From 1995 to 1999, he was the Director of the Peace Corps.  Between 1993 and 1995, Mr. Gearan served in the Clinton Administration, first as White House Deputy Chief of Staff and then as Assistant to the President and Director of Communications.  Prior to serving in the Clinton Administration, he was Deputy Director of the Clinton-Gore Transition Team (1992 – 1993), Campaign Manager for Vice Presidential Candidate Al Gore (1992), and Executive Director for the Democratic Governor’s Association (1989 - 1992).  Mr. Gearan holds a B.A. in Government from Harvard College and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Ambassador Michael Kirby, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Serbia, Department of State
Ambassador Michael Kirby, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, is Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Consular Affairs.  From 2006 to 2008, he was the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova.  From 2004 to 2006, he served as Consul General at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Korea.  Other overseas assignments have included posts in Warsaw, Poland; Frankfurt, Germany; Copenhagen, Denmark; Krakow, Poland; Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania; and Georgetown, Guyana.   In Washington, he served as Director of the Office of Intelligence Coordination in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research and as a Desk Officer in the Office of Caribbean Affairs.  Ambassador Kirby received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.

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

David Benton, Appointee for Member, Arctic Research Commission
David Benton is currently a self-employed marine resource consultant.  From 2004 to 2010, he served as Executive Director of the Marine Conservation Alliance. From 2001 to 2003 and again from 2006 to 2009, Mr. Benton served on the North Pacific Research Board.  From 2000 to 2003, he served as the Chair of the North Pacific Management Council.  Previously, he held a number of positions in the Alaskan government, including serving as the Deputy Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game from 1994 to 2000. In 1999, Mr. Benton was appointed to be a United States Commissioner on the U.S.-Canada Pacific Salmon Commission. Mr. Benton volunteers as President of the Alaska Lighthouse Association and is involved in restoring Point Retreat Lighthouse on Admiralty Island.  Mr. Benton received a B.A. with a double major in Coastal Resources Planning and Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Paula Robinson Collins, Appointee for Member, Board of Directors of the Presidio Trust
Paula Robinson Collins is Chief Executive Officer of WDG Ventures Inc., a real estate development company in Northern California, and President of Portfolio Real Estate Consulting.  Ms. Collins is a Founder and Director of Presidio Bank in San Francisco, a member of the National Board of the Automobile Association of America, and has served as an appointee to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Visiting Committee for the Department of Urban Studies and Planning.  She has received the Silver Spur Award from the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research organization and has been honored by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, and the San Francisco Business Times.  Ms. Collins earned a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College and an M.C.P. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.