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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:

  • Todd Batta – Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations, Department of Agriculture
  • Maria Cancian – Assistant Secretary for Children and Families (Family Support), Department of Health and Human Services  
  • Julia Atkins Clark – General Counsel, Federal Labor Relations Authority
  • Victoria Reggie Kennedy – Governor, Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service
  • D. Nathan Sheets – Under Secretary for International Affairs, Department of the Treasury
  • Mark Sobel – United States Executive Director, International Monetary Fund
  • Francis X. Taylor – Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis, Department of Homeland Security
  • Juan Carlos Iturregui – Member, Board of Directors of the Inter-American Foundation
  • Roberta S. Jacobson – Member, Board of Directors of the Inter-American Foundation
  • Annette Taddeo-Goldstein – Member, Board of Directors of the Inter-American Foundation

President Obama said, “I am grateful that these talented and dedicated individuals have agreed to take on these important roles and devote their talents to serving the American people.  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:

Todd Batta, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations, Department of Agriculture
Todd Batta is currently Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a position he has held since 2012.  In this role, he is responsible for providing strategic advice and guidance to the Secretary regarding USDA’s budget, legislative, and regulatory agenda.  From September 2011 to April 2012, Mr. Batta served as Special Assistant in the Congressional Relations office at USDA.  Prior to his work at USDA, Mr. Batta served as a Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Herb Kohl from 2009 to 2011, as a Professional Staff Member of the U.S. Senate’s Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee from 2005 to 2009, and as a member of U.S. Senator Tom Harkin’s staff from 2001 to 2005.  Mr. Batta received a B.A. from Winona State University in 2001.

Dr. Maria Cancian, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Children and Families (Family Support), Department of Health and Human Services
Dr. Maria Cancian is a professor and university administrator at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW).  She has served as Associate Dean for Fiscal Initiatives at UW’s College of Letters and Science since 2012, and Associate Dean for Social Sciences since 2011.  She has been a professor at UW’s La Follette School of Public Affairs and School of Social Work since 1993.  Dr. Cancian was a W.T. Grant Distinguished Fellow in residence at the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families in 2010.  From 2004 to 2008, Dr. Cancian was the Director of UW’s Institute for Research on Poverty and from 2001 to 2002, she was a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation.  She was a Visiting Fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California in 1999.  Dr. Cancian received a B.A. from Swarthmore College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Julia Akins Clark, Nominee for General Counsel, Federal Labor Relations Authority
Julia Akins Clark is currently the General Counsel of the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), a position she has served in since August 2009.  From 1995 to 2009, Ms. Clark was the General Counsel at the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, AFL-CIO (IFPTE).  She previously served as Counsel for Federal and Legislative Affairs at IFPTE from 1988 to 1995.  Prior to this, Ms. Clark was a Staff Counsel at the National Coalition for the Homeless from 1987 to 1988.  From 1985 to 1987, Ms. Clark was an associate at Blumenfeld and Cohen and, from 1980 to 1985, a Trial Attorney at the Department of Justice.  She served on the Obama-Biden Transition Agency Review Team for FLRA in 2008 and 2009.  Ms. Clark received a B.A. from Oklahoma Baptist University and a J.D. from American University. 

Victoria Reggie Kennedy, Nominee for Governor, Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service
Victoria Reggie Kennedy is an attorney and strategic consultant for VR Kennedy Strategies LLC.  She is also the co-founder and President of the Board of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston.  She was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2010.  She serves on the Board of Overseers at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Board of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, and is a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Commission on Political Reform.  She is on the Advisory Board of Houlihan Lokey, and previously was a partner at the law firm of Keck, Mahin & Cate.  Ms. Kennedy received a B.A. from Newcomb College and a J.D. from Tulane University Law School.

D. Nathan Sheets, Nominee for Under Secretary for International Affairs, Department of the Treasury
D. Nathan Sheets is currently the Global Head of International Economics at Citigroup, a position he has held since September 2011.  Prior to joining Citigroup, Mr. Sheets worked at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System for 18 years in a variety of positions, including Director of the Board’s Division of International Finance and Economist to the Federal Open Market Committee.  From 2006 to 2007, while on leave from the Federal Reserve, he served as a Senior Advisor to the U.S. Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund.  Mr. Sheets received a B.A. from Brigham Young University and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mark Sobel, Nominee for United States Executive Director, International Monetary Fund
Mark Sobel is currently the Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Monetary and Financial Policy at the Department of the Treasury, a position he has held since 2000.  Prior to this, Mr. Sobel was a Senior Advisor to the United States Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 1996 to 2000.  Before that, he held a number of positions at the Department of the Treasury from 1978 to 1996, including Director of the Office of the Former Soviet Union Nations and Eastern Europe, Director of the Office of International Monetary Policy, and Assistant Treasury Financial Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Bonn, Germany.  Mr. Sobel received a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.A. from the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Francis X. Taylor, Nominee for Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis, Department of Homeland Security
Francis X. Taylor is President & CEO at FXTaylor Associates, a position he has held since November 2013.  Previously, from 2005 to 2013, he served as Chief Security Officer at the General Electric Company.  From 2002 to 2005, he served as Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security and Director of the Office of Foreign Missions.  He served as Coordinator for Counterterrorism with the rank of Ambassador at Large for the Department of State from 2001 to 2002 and he was Commander for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations from 1996 to 2001.  From 1995 to 1996, he was Director of Special Investigations in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force Inspector General.  From 1970 to 2001, he served numerous command and staff positions in the Air Force, rising to the rank of Brigadier General in September 1996.  He received a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Notre Dame.

Juan Carlos Iturregui, Nominee for Member, Board of Directors of the Inter-American Foundation
Juan Carlos Iturregui is Senior Advisor and Counsel to the law firm Dentons, LLP, a position he has held since 2007.  He is also Managing Director of Milan Americas, LLC, a consulting firm he founded in 2005.  Previosuly, he was a Director at Quinn Gillespie & Associates and a Senior Director at Hunton & Williams.  Mr. Iturregui is a Board Member of the American Red Cross for the National Capital Region and served on the President’s Export Council from 2007 to 2009.  From 2006 to 2008, he was President of the Hispanic Leaders Association.  He is a member of the Greater Washington Chamber of Commerce, the District of Columbia Bar, and the Hispanic National Bar Association.  Mr. Iturregui received a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a J.D. from The Catholic University of

Roberta S. Jacobson, Nominee for Member, Board of Directors of the Inter-American Foundation
Roberta S. Jacobson is Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, a position she has held since 2012.  Previously, she served in several other roles at the Department of State, including Acting Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs from 2011 to 2012 and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs from 2010 to 2011.  She also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Canada, Mexico and NAFTA from 2007 to 2011, and Director of the Office of Mexican Affairs from 2002 to 2007.  Previously, she served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru from 2000 to 2002, and as Director of the Office of Policy Planning and Coordination in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs from 1996 to 2000.  Ms. Jacobson received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Annette Taddeo-Goldstein, Nominee for Member, Board of Directors of the Inter-American Foundation
Annette Taddeo-Goldstein is CEO of Language Speak, a company she founded in 2001.  In 2008, she was the Democratic candidate for Florida’s 18th Congressional District.  From 1995 to 2001, she was Co-Founder and Director of The Language Specialists.  Currently, she is the host of Taddeo2Day, a political show on CNN Latino.  In 2006, she chaired the Miami-Dade coalition of Chambers of Commerce and was the first Latina to chair the Women’s Enterprise National Council’s Leadership Forum.  She is Chair of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party and Vice-Chair of the Florida Democratic Party.  She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Democratic National Committee, where she also serves as Chair of the Hispanic Caucus for Southern States and Vice-Chair of the Small Business Council.  In 2005, she received the Minority Business Champion of the Year award from the U.S. Small Business Administration.  Ms. Taddeo-Goldstein received a B.A. from the University of North Alabama.