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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:

  • Erica J. Barks Ruggles – Ambassador to the Republic of Rwanda, Department of State
  • Brent Robert Hartley – Ambassador to the Republic of Slovenia, Department of State
  • Donald L. Heflin  – Ambassador to the Republic of Cabo Verde, Department of State
  • Earl Robert Miller – Ambassador to the Republic of Botswana, Department of State
  • David Pressman – Alternate Representative of the United States for Special Political Affairs in the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador 

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

  • John Anderson – Member, National Science Board, National Science Foundation
  • Roger N. Beachy – Member, National Science Board, National Science Foundation
  • Vicki Chandler – Member, National Science Board, National Science Foundation
  • Robert M. Groves – Member, National Science Board, National Science Foundation
  • James S. Jackson – Member, National Science Board, National Science Foundation
  • Sethuraman Panchanathan– Member, National Science Board, National Science Foundation
  • Rodney Ewing  – Chairman, Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board
  • Sue Clark – Member, Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board
  • Linda Nozick – Member, Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board
  • Kenneth Peddicord – Member, Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board
  • Paul Turinsky – Member, Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board 

President Obama said, “Our nation will be greatly served by the talent and expertise these individuals bring to their new roles. I am grateful they have agreed to serve in this Administration, 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:

Erica J. Barks Ruggles, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Rwanda, Department of State

Erica J. Barks Ruggles, a career member of the Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, is Consul General at the U.S. Consulate in Cape Town, South Africa, a position she has held since 2011.  From 2009 to 2011, she served as Deputy to the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations.  From 2005 to 2008, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the Department of State (DOS).  From 2004 to 2005, Ms. Barks Ruggles was a Member of the Policy Planning Staff in the Office of the Secretary of State.  From 2001 to 2004, she served as the Economic Section Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Oslo, Norway.  From 2000 to 2001, Ms. Barks Ruggles was an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution.  She was the Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs at DOS from 1999 to 2000, and Director of African Affairs at the National Security Council from 1996 to 1999.  Ms. Barks Ruggles was a Line Officer in the Executive Secretariat at DOS in 1996 and was the Desk Officer in the Bureau of African Affairs from 1994 to 1996. From 1992 to 1994, she served as the Vice Consul at the U.S. Consulate General in Chennai (Madras), India.  Ms. Barks Ruggles received a B.A. from Swarthmore College.

Brent Robert Hartley, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Slovenia, Department of State

Brent Robert Hartley, a career member of the Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, is currently Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, a position he has held since 2012.  He served as Director for European Security and Political Affairs from 2010 to 2012, Country Director for Pakistan from 2008 to 2010, and Political-Military Counselor in Afghanistan from 2007 to 2008.  From 2006 to 2007, he served as Deputy Director for European Security and Political Affairs.  He was Senior Advisor for International Relations at the National Counterterrorism Center from 2005 to 2006.  Prior to that, he served as Director for Regional Affairs in the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism from 2003 to 2005.  Mr. Hartley was also Deputy Political Advisor to the U.S. Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from 2000 to 2002, Political-Military Affairs Officer at the U.S. Mission to NATO from 1999 to 2000, and Senior Desk Officer for Cyprus from 1997 to 1999.  Earlier assignments at the State Department include: Political-Military Officer in the Office of Regional Nuclear Nonproliferation Affairs, Political-Military Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Rome, Italy, Political-Military Officer in the Office of European Security and Political Affairs, and Staff Assistant in the Bureau of European and Canadian Affairs.  Mr. Hartley received a B.A. from Hampshire College and an M.S. from the National War College.

Donald L. Heflin, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Cabo Verde, Department of State

Donald L. Heflin, a career member of the Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, is the Managing Director of the Visa Office in the Bureau of Consular Affairs at the Department of State, a position he has held since 2012.  He served as Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico from 2009 to 2012, and as Acting Director and Deputy Director of the Office of West African Affairs from 2006 to 2009.  From 2004 to 2006, Mr. Heflin was Deputy Director of the Office of African Regional and Security Affairs.  From 1999 to 2003, he served as Consul at the U.S. Embassy in the United Kingdom.  Prior to that, he served as a Coordination Division Officer in the Visa Office in the Bureau of Consular Affairs from 1997 to 1999.  From 1995 to 1997, he was Rwanda/Burundi Desk Officer in the Office of Central African Affairs.  Mr. Heflin was Consul at the U.S. Embassy in Zambia from 1993 to 1995, and Consul and Deputy Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate in Hermosillo, Mexico from 1992 to 1993.  Mr. Heflin was Vice Consul at the U.S. Consulates in Chennai (Madras), India and Lima, Peru.  Prior to joining the U.S. Foreign Service in 1987, Mr. Heflin was as an attorney in Mobile and Huntsville, Alabama.  Mr. Heflin received a B.A. from Birmingham-Southern College, a J.D. from the University of Alabama Law School, and an M.S. from the National War College.

Earl Robert Miller, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Botswana, Department of State

Earl Robert Miller, a career member of the Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, is currently Consul General at the U.S. Consulate General in Johannesburg, South Africa, a position he has held since 2011.  Previously, he served with the Department of State (DOS) as Regional Security Officer at the U.S. Embassy in India from 2008 to 2011, Regional Security Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq from 2007 to 2008, Regional Security Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia from 2004 to 2007, and Regional Security Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Malaysia from 2000 to 2003.  Before that, he was Assistant Special Agent in Charge at the Boston Field Office of the Diplomatic Security Service from 1998 to 2000 and Regional Security Officer in Botswana from 1995 to 1998.  Since joining DOS in 1987, he also served in the Diplomatic Security Service as Southern Africa Desk Officer, Special Agent in Miami, Assistant Regional Security Officer at the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador, and Special Agent in San Francisco.  Mr. Miller was an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve from 1985 to 1992, including a six-month tour when recalled to active duty during the Gulf War.  Prior to joining DOS, he served as a U.S. Marine Corps Officer from 1981 to 1984.  Mr. Miller received a B.A. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and graduated from the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College.

David Pressman, Nominee for Alternate Representative of the United States for Special Political Affairs in the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador

David Pressman currently serves as the Counselor to the Permanent Representative at United States Mission to the United Nations, a position he has held since 2013.  From 2011 to 2013, he served as the Assistant Secretary for Policy Development at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  From 2010 to 2011, Mr. Pressman was detailed from DHS to serve as the Director for War Crimes and Atrocities on the National Security Council at the White House.  From 2009 to 2010, he served as Counselor to the Deputy Secretary at DHS.  Mr. Pressman co-founded the international human rights advocacy organization Not On Our Watch.  From 1999 to 2001, Mr. Pressman served as Special Assistant to Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright.  He received a B.A. from Brown University and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.

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

Dr. John Anderson, Appointee for Member, National Science Board, National Science Foundation

Dr. John Anderson is currently the President of the Illinois Institute of Technology, a position he has held since 2007.  From 2004 to 2007, Dr. Anderson served as Provost, University Vice President, and Professor of Chemical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University.  From 1976 to 2004, Dr. Anderson served in various roles at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), most recently as Dean of the College of Engineering from 1996 to 2004.  He also served as Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering at CMU from 1983 to 1994 and Director of the Biomedical Engineering Program from 1980 to 1985.  Dr. Anderson was a University Professor at Carnegie Mellon from 1994 to 2004 and was a Professor of Chemical Engineering from 1979 to 2004.  He served as an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at CMU from 1976 to 1979. He began his career as an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at Cornell University from 1971 to 1976.  Dr. Anderson received a B.Ch.E. from the University of Delaware-Newark and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

Dr. Roger N. Beachy, Appointee for Member, National Science Board, National Science Foundation

Dr. Roger N. Beachy is currently Founding Executive Director of the World Food Center at the University of California, Davis, a position he has held since January 2014.  In addition to this role, he has served as Professor Emeritus of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) since 2009.  In 2013, Dr. Beachy was Founding Executive Director and CEO of the Global Institute for Food Security at the University of Saskatchewan.  He was the first Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture at the Department of Agriculture from 2009 to 2011. He was President of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis from 1999 to 2009. From 1991 to 1998, he led the Division of Plant Biology at The Scripps Research Institute, serving as a Professor of Cell Biology and as Co-director of the International Laboratory for Tropical Agricultural Biotechnology.  He was a member of the Biology Department at WUSTL from 1978 to 1991, where he was Professor and Director of the Center for Plant Science and Biotechnology. Dr. Beachy received a B.A. from Goshen College and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University.

Dr. Vicki Chandler, Appointee for Member, National Science Board, National Science Foundation

Dr. Vicki Chandler is currently the Chief Program Officer for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Science Program, a position she has held since 2009.  Since 1997, Dr. Chandler has held a variety of positions at the University of Arizona, including Director of the BIO5 Institute, Co-Director of the BIO5 Institute, and Associate Director of the BIO5 Institute.  She served as Regents’ Professor from 2003 to 2011, Full Professor in the Molecular Cellular Biology Department and member of the Interdisciplinary Program in Genetics from 1998 to 2011, and Full Professor in the Department of Plant Sciences from 1997 to 2011.  She worked at the University of Oregon from 1985 to 1997, including as Full Professor from 1995 to 1997, Associate Professor from 1990 to 1995, and Assistant Professor from 1985 to 1990.  She was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Plant Biology at Stanford University from 1983 to 1985 and was a Pre-doctoral Trainee in the laboratory of Dr. Keith R. Yamamoto at the University of California, San Francisco from 1978 to 1983.  Dr. Chandler received a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. from the University of California, San Francisco.

Dr. Robert M. Groves, Appointee for Member, National Science Board, National Science Foundation

Dr. Robert M. Groves is currently the Provost and Gerard Campbell SJ Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Georgetown University, positions he has held since 2012.  Prior to Georgetown University, Dr. Groves served as Director of the Census at the Department of Commerce from 2009 to 2012. He was a Research Professor at the University of Michigan from 2002 to 2012 and also a Research Professor at the University of Maryland from 1995 to 2012.  Dr. Groves was Director of the University of Michigan Survey Research Center Institute for Social Research from 2001 to 2009. He was the Program Director (Senior Research Scientist) at the University of Michigan Survey Research Center from 1988 to 1995, which included serving as Associate Director of the Census from 1990 to 1992. He received an A.B. from Dartmouth College and an M.A. in Sociology, an M.A. in Statistics, and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Dr. James S. Jackson, Appointee for Member, National Science Board, National Science Foundation

Dr. James S. Jackson is currently a Research Professor and Director of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, positions he has held since 2005.  He has served in a variety of roles at the University of Michigan since 1971.  He is also the University of Michigan’s Daniel Katz Distinguished University Professor of Psychology, a Faculty Associate in the Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture and Health, and Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies, positions he has held since 1995, 2001, and 2011, respectively.  He served on the Councils of the National Institute on Aging from 2005 to 2008 and the National Institute of Mental Health from 1989 to 1993.  Dr. Jackson was elected the W.E.B. Du Bois Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science in 2012.  He was chosen as a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology in 2009, the Gerontological Society of America in 1991, and the American Psychological Association in 1989.  Dr. Jackson received a B.S. from Michigan State University, an M.A. from the University of Toledo, and a Ph.D. from Wayne State University.

Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan, Appointee for Member, National Science Board, National Science Foundation

Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan is the Senior Vice President of the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development at Arizona State University (ASU), a position he has held since 2011.  Since 1998, Dr. Panchanathan has held a number of positions at Arizona State University.  He has been a foundation chair professor in Computing and Informatics since 2009 and a founding Director of the Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing since 2001.  Dr. Panchanathan founded the ASU School of Computing and Informatics in 2006 and the Department of Biomedical Informatics in 2005.  Prior to working for ASU, Dr. Panchanathan served at the University of Ottawa as a founding Director of the Visual Computing and Communications Laboratory from 1990 to 1997, Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering from 1994 to 1997, and Assistant Professor from 1989 to 1994.  He worked as a Data Communication Engineer for International Software India Limited in Chennai (Madras), India in 1986.  Dr. Panchanathan received a B.Sc. from the University of Madras, a B.E. from the Indian Institute of Science, an M.Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. from the University of Ottawa, Canada.

Dr. Rodney Ewing, Appointee for Chairman, Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board

Dr. Rodney Ewing is currently the Chairman and a Member of the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, positions he has held since 2012 and 2011, respectively.  Dr. Ewing became the Frank Stanton Professor in Nuclear Security in the Center for International Security and Cooperation and a Professor of Geological and Environmental Sciences in the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford University in 2014.  Prior to his current positions at Stanford, he held faculty appointments at the University of Michigan in the Departments of Materials Science and Engineering from 2008 to 2013, Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences from 1997 to 2013, and Geological Sciences from 1997 to 2013.  From 2010 to 2011, Dr. Ewing served as a visiting professor in the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University.  Dr. Ewing has been an Emeritus Regents' Professor at the University of New Mexico since 1997.  He held a number of position at the University of New Mexico from 1974 to 1997, including Adjunct Professor of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering, Regents’ Professor, Associate and Assistant Professor, and Chair of the Department of Geology.  Dr. Ewing received a B.S. from Texas Christian University and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Sue Clark, Appointee for Member, Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board

Sue Clark is a Regents Professor of Chemistry at Washington State University, a position she has held since 2010. She is currently a Member of the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, where she has served since 2011.  She has held a variety of positions at Washington State University, including Interim Dean of the College of Sciences in 2010, Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs in 2008, Departmental Chairperson of the Chemistry Department from 2004 to 2007, E.R. Meyer Distinguished Professor from 2000 to 2002, and Assistant Professor from 1996 to 2000.  Prior to joining Washington State University, Dr. Clark was an Assistant Research Ecologist at the University of Georgia's Savannah River Ecology Laboratory from 1992 to 1996.  From 1991 to 1996, she was an adjunct assistant professor in the Environmental Systems Engineering Department at Clemson University.  From 1989 to 1992, Dr. Clark served as a senior scientist in the Interim Waste Technology Division at the Westinghouse Savannah River Laboratory.  Dr. Clark received a B.S. from Lander College and an M.S. and a Ph.D. from Florida State University.

Linda Nozick, Appointee for Member, Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board

Linda Nozick is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University and Director of Cornell University’s College Program in Systems Engineering, positions she has held since 2004 and 2009, respectively. She has served as a Member of the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board since 2011.  Prior to this, she served at Cornell University as Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering from 1998 to 2004 and Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering from 1992 to 1998.  Dr. Nozick served on two NRC-National Academy of Engineering panels to assist the Department of Energy on the renewal of its infrastructure from 2002 to 2004 and from 2006 to 2008.  Dr. Nozick received a B.S. from The George Washington University and an M.S.E and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Kenneth Peddicord, Appointee for Member, Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board

Dr. Kenneth Peddicord is the Director of the Nuclear Power Institute at Texas A&M University, a position he has held since 2007. He is currently a Member of the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, a position he has held since 2012.  He held a number of positions at Texas A&M University between 1983 and 2007, including Director of the Nuclear Power Institute, Director of the Texas Engineering Experiment Station, Senior Associate Dean for Research, and Vice Chancellor for Research and Federal Relations.  Prior to this, Dr. Peddicord served at Oregon State University as an Associate Professor of Nuclear Engineering from 1979 to 1982 and as an Assistant Professor of Nuclear Engineering from 1975 to 1979.  He was a Research Nuclear Engineer at the Swiss Federal Institute for Reactor Research in Switzerland from 1972 to 1975.  Earlier in his career, he worked as a Research Assistant at the Nuclear Engineering Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Peddicord received a B.S.M.E. from the University of Notre Dame and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Dr. Paul Turinsky, Appointee for Member, Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board

Dr. Paul Turinsky is Chief Scientist at the Innovation Hub for Modeling and Simulation of Nuclear Reactors at the Department of Energy, a position he has held since 2010.  He has also been a Professor of Nuclear Engineering at North Carolina State University since 1980.  Dr. Turinsky is a Member of the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, a position he has held since 2012.  Dr. Turinsky served as the Head of the Department of Nuclear Engineering at North Carolina State University from 1999 to 2006 and from 1980 to 1988.  Prior to this, Dr. Turinsky worked for Westinghouse Electric in a variety of positions, including Manager of Product Development from 1978 to 1980, Manager of Nuclear Design from 1975 to 1978, a Fellow Engineer from 1974 to 1975, and Senior Engineer from 1973 to 1974.  He was an Assistant Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute from 1970 to 1973.  Dr. Turinsky received a B.S. from the University of Rhode Island, an M.S.E and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, and an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh.