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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:

  • Robert M. Speer – Assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial Management, Department of Defense
  • Jonathan Nicholas Stivers – Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Asia, United States Agency for International Development
  • Ramin Toloui – Deputy Under Secretary for International Finance, Department of the Treasury, upon appointment designated Assistant Secretary for International Finance
  • Alice G. Wells – Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Department of State 

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

  • Rabbi Lee T. Bycel – Member, United States Holocaust Memorial Council
  • Mostafa A. El-Sayed – Member, President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science
  • Stephen R. Gephard – Commissioner, Council of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization
  • Patrick C. Keliher – Commissioner, Council of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization
  • Daniel S. Morris – Commissioner, Council of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization 

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:

Robert M. Speer, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial Management, Department of Defense

Robert M. Speer is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial Management, a position he has held since 2009.  From 2005 to 2009, Mr. Speer served as Managing Director and Federal Practice lead for Defense and Army business for PricewaterhouseCoopers Public Services.  Before joining PricewaterhouseCoopers, he spent nearly 28 years in senior level Department of Defense and U.S. Army comptrollership posts, including service as Commandant of the U.S. Army Finance School in Fort Jackson, South Carolina; Comptroller of the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund, and Commander of the Defense Finance & Accounting Service Operating Location in San Antonio, Texas.  Mr. Speer received a B.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, an M.B.A from Indiana University, and an M.S. from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

Jonathan Nicholas Stivers, Nominee for Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Asia, United States Agency for International Development

Jonathan Nicholas Stivers is Senior Advisor to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, a position he has held since 2011.  Mr. Stivers has also served as Senior Advisor to Leader Pelosi in the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011, in the Office of the House Democratic Leader from 2003 to 2006, and in the Office of the House Democratic Whip from 2002 to 2003.  Previously, from 2000 to 2001, he served as Leader Pelosi’s Senior Legislative Assistant and Press Secretary.  Prior to this, he was a Floor Staff Assistant in the Office of Democratic Whip David Bonior from 1997 to 1999 and a Campaign Assistant for David Bonior for United States Congress in 1996.  He received a B.S. from Michigan State University and a Masters in International Policy and Practice from The George Washington University Elliot School of International Affairs. 

Ramin Toloui, Nominee for Deputy Under Secretary for International Finance, Department of the Treasury, and upon appointment designated Assistant Secretary for International Finance

Ramin Toloui is currently Global Co-Head of Emerging Markets Portfolio Management at PIMCO, a position he has held since 2011.  He has also chaired the firm’s Asia-Pacific Portfolio Committee since 2012.  Mr. Toloui joined PIMCO in 2006 as a Portfolio Manager for emerging markets, adding responsibilities for global bond portfolios in 2009.  Previously, Mr. Toloui held various positions at the Department of the Treasury, including Director of the Office of the Western Hemisphere from 2003 to 2006, Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary for International Affairs from 2001 to 2003, and Deputy Director and International Economist in the Office of Central and Southeastern Europe from 1999 to 2001.  Mr. Toloui received an A.B. from Harvard University and an M.Phil. from Balliol College at Oxford University.

Alice G. Wells, Nominee for Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Department of State

Alice G. Wells, a career member of the Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, is currently Senior Advisor in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the Department of State.  Ms. Wells served as an assessor at the Foreign Service Board of Examiners in 2013.  She was Special Assistant to the President for Russia and Central Asia in the White House from 2012 to 2013 and Executive Assistant to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton from 2011 to 2012.  She served as Executive Assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs William J. Burns from 2009 to 2011, and previously served as Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia from 2006 to 2009.  Ms. Wells was Director of Maghreb Affairs and Acting Director of Egypt and North African Affairs in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs from 2003 to 2005.  She served as Senior Desk Officer for Egyptian Affairs from 2002 to 2003, Deputy Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India from 2001 to 2003, and Deputy Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan from 1998 to 2000.  Prior to that, Ms. Wells served as a Political Officer and a Political-Military Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as well as a Political and Economic Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.  Ms. Wells received a B.A. from Stanford University and a joint M.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles/Rand Corporation. 

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

Rabbi Lee T. Bycel, Appointee for Member, United States Holocaust Memorial Council

Rabbi Lee T. Bycel is Rabbi of Congregation Beth Shalom in Napa, California, where he has served since 2012.  He is also an Adjunct Professor of Jewish Studies and Social Justice at the University of San Francisco, a position he has held since 2013.  Previously, he was Executive Director of the Redford Center, Executive Director of the Western Region of the American Jewish World Service, and Senior Advisor for Global Strategy for the International Medical Corps.  From 1987 to 1997, he was Dean of the Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles, which he joined in 1982 as Associate Dean and Director of Admissions.  Rabbi Bycel is Founding Chair and a member of the board of 3Generations.  He is a Senior Moderator of Leadership Seminars at the Aspen Institute and a past president of the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations.  Rabbi Bycel received a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.A. and a Rabbinical Ordination from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, and a D.Min. from the Claremont School of Theology.

Dr. Mostafa A. El-Sayed, Appointee for Member, President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science

Dr. Mostafa A. El-Sayed is the Regents Professor and Julius Brown Chair at the Georgia Institute of Technology, a position he has held since 1994.  Previously, he was a Professor with the University of California, Los Angeles Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry from 1961 to 1994.  Dr. El-Sayed is a member of the National Academy of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Chemical Society.  Dr. El-Sayed received a B.Sc. from Ain Shams University Faculty of Science in Cairo, Egypt and a Ph.D. from Florida State University.

Stephen R. Gephard, Appointee for United States Commissioner, Council of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization

Stephen R. Gephard is currently the Supervising Fisheries Biologist at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) for the state of Connecticut, a position he has held since 1995.  From 1986 to 1994, he served as the Senior Fisheries Biologist for DEEP working on various aspects of the Diadromous Fish Program.  Mr. Gephard was also an Environmental Editor at Laurence Urdang Inc. in Essex, Connecticut in 1978 and a Fisheries Biologist in the U.S. Peace Corps in Lesotho in 1976.  Mr. Gephard received a B.A. from Aurora University and an M.S. from the University of Connecticut.

Patrick C. Keliher, Appointee for United States Commissioner, Council of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization

Patrick C. Keliher is the current Commissioner of the Department of Marine Resources for the State of Maine, a position he has held since 2011.  From 2007 to 2012, Mr. Keliher served as the Director of the Bureau of Sea Run Fisheries and Habitat for the Department of Marine Resources.  From January to July 2011, he served as the Acting Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Marine Resources.  He was also the former Executive Director of the Atlantic Salmon Commission for Maine from 2003 to 2007.  Mr. Keliher was the Executive Director for the Coastal Conservation Association for Greater New England from 2001 to 2003 and the Executive Director of Coastal Conservation Association for Maine from 1996 to 2001.  He has served as Vice Chairman of the Fish Passage Working Group for the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission since 2008.  Mr. Keliher is a Management Board Member of the Atlantic Salmon Framework and an Agency Member of the Penobscot River Restoration Trust. 

Daniel S. Morris, Appointee for United States Commissioner, Council of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization

Daniel S. Morris is currently the Deputy Regional Administrator for the National Marine Fisheries Services for the Greater Atlantic Region in Massachusetts, a position he has held since 2011.  Previously, Mr. Morris was the Program Director and Senior Environmentalist Specialist at OAK Management Inc. from 2006 to 2010.  Prior to that, he was the Executive Officer in the Office of Sustainable Fisheries for the National Marine Fisheries Service from 2005 to 2006.  Mr. Morris served as Captain and Commanding Officer of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ship McArthur II from 2003 to 2005.  He served at the National Marine Fisheries Service as both a Special Assistant to the Regional Administrator in the Northeast Regional Office from 2001 to 2003 and as an Environmental Officer in the Habitat Conservation Division from 1999 to 2001.  Mr. Morris was an Officer in the U.S. Navy from 1985 to 1991.  He received a B.S. from the U.S. Naval Academy and an M.A. from Norwich University.