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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:

·         Craig B. Allen - Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam, Department of State

·         Sharon Block – Member, National Labor Relations Board

·         Richard M. Mills, Jr. – Ambassador to the Republic of Armenia, Department of State

·         Joseph Nimmich – Deputy Administrator of Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security

·         Anne E. Rung – Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy, Office of Management and Budget

·         Alissa M. Starzak  – General Counsel of the Army, Department of Defense  

·         John Francis Tefft - Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Department of State

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

·         Charles Benton – Member, National Museum and Library Services Board

·         Robert Langer – Member, President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science

·         Lillian M. Lowery – Member, President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans

·         Anne Ashmore-Hudson  – Member, Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

·         Steven M. Goldman  – Member, Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

·         Dale LeFebvre  – Member, Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

·         Anita Lin  – Member, Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

President Obama said, “I am grateful that these impressive individuals have chosen to dedicate their talents to serving the American people at this important time for our country.  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:

Craig B. Allen, Nominee for Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam, Department of State

Craig B. Allen, a career member of the Foreign Commercial Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for China at the Department of Commerce, a position he has held since 2012.  Mr. Allen served in the Department of Commerce as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Asia from 2010 to 2012, Senior Commercial Officer at the U.S. Consulate in Johannesburg, South Africa from 2006 to 2010, and Senior Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China from 2003 to 2006.  From 2000 to 2002, he served as Commercial Officer at the National Center for the Asia-Pacific Economic Corporation.  Mr. Allen was Deputy Senior Commercial Officer and Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, Japan from 1995 to 2000, Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China from 1992 to 1995, and Commercial Officer at the American Institute in Taiwan in Taipei, Taiwan from 1988 to 1992.  He was a Presidential Management Intern at the Department of Commerce from 1985 to 1988.  Mr. Allen worked in the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment from 1983 to 1985 and taught English in Japan and Taiwan from 1979 to 1983.  Mr. Allen received a B.A. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and an M.S. from Georgetown University.

Sharon Block, Nominee for Member, National Labor Relations Board

Sharon Block is Senior Counselor in the Office of the Secretary at the Department of Labor (DOL), a position she has held since August 2013.  She served as a Member of the National Labor Relations Board from 2012 to 2013.  She was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs at DOL from 2009 to 2012.  Ms. Block was Senior Labor and Employment Counsel for the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, where she worked for Senator Edward M. Kennedy from 2007 to 2009.  She was Special Assistant in the Office of the General Counsel at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 2006 to 2007.  Ms. Block previously served at the National Labor Relations Board as senior attorney to Chairman Robert Battista from 2003 to 2006 and as an attorney in the NLRB’s appellate court branch from 1996 to 2003.  From 1994 to 1996, she was Assistant General Counsel at the National Endowment for the Humanities, and from 1991 to 1993, she was an associate at Steptoe & Johnson.  Ms. Block received a B.A. from Columbia University and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Richard M. Mills, Jr., Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Armenia, Department of State

Richard M. Mills, Jr., a career member of the Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, most recently served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon from 2012 to 2014.  He was Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Valetta, Malta from 2010 to 2012.  Mr. Mills served as Senior Democracy Advisor at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq from 2009 to 2010, Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in London, England from 2006 to 2009, and Energy Attaché and Acting Economic Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from 2005 to 2006.  Mr. Mills served as Deputy Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan from 2003 to 2004, Political Officer at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York from 2001 to 2003, Economic Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Dublin, Ireland from 1999 to 2001, and Line Director in the Executive Secretariat at the Department of State from 1996 to 1998.  He has also served in the Office of Legislative Affairs at the U.S. Consulate in Saint Petersburg, Russia, at the Bureau of Soviet Union Affairs and at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France.  Prior to his Foreign Service career, Mr. Mills was an Associate Attorney at Duncan, Allen and Mitchell and also at Wickwire, Gavin and Gibbs.  Mr. Mills received a B.A. from Georgetown University, a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law, and an M.S. from the National Defense University.

Joseph Nimmich, Nominee for Deputy Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security

Joseph L. Nimmich is the Associate Administrator for Response and Recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a position he has held since 2013.  From 2011 to 2013, Mr. Nimmich was the Director of Maritime Surveillance and Security at Raytheon Corporation.  He was a Member of the Senior Leadership Team at the Applied Research Lab at Pennsylvania State University from 2010 to 2011.  From 1977 to 2010, Mr. Nimmich served in the United States Coast Guard, attaining the rank of Rear Admiral.  From 2009 to 2010, he served as Commander of the First Coast Guard District.  Mr. Nimmich was the Director of the Joint Interagency Task Force South at the Department of Defense from 2007 to 2009 and from 2005 to 2007, he served as Assistant Commandant for Policy and Planning.  From 2003 to 2005, Mr. Nimmich served as the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Coast Guard after serving as Commander of the Coast Guard Group - Key West from 2000 to 2003.  Mr. Nimmich received a B.A. from the Coast Guard Academy and an M.B.A. from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

Anne E. Rung, Nominee for Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy, Office of Management and Budget

Anne E. Rung is currently a Senior Advisor in the Office of Management and Budget.  Previously, she served at the General Services Administration (GSA) in various positions, most recently as the Associate Administrator of Governmentwide Policy.  Prior to GSA, Ms. Rung was the Senior Director of Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce from 2010 to 2012.  She served in various positions at the Pennsylvania Department of General Services from 2003 to 2010, including Deputy Secretary for Administration and Chief of Staff.  Ms. Rung was Congressional Director of the Democratic Leadership Council from 1997 to 2003.  Earlier in her career, she was Policy Director for Joe Kohn for Attorney General, Legislative Assistant for U.S. Representative Thomas M. Foglietta, and an associate at Cassidy & Associates.  She began her career in 1989 as a Legislative Aide for the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary.  Ms. Rung received a B.A. from Pennsylvania State University and an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Alissa M. Starzak, Nominee for General Counsel of the Army, Department of Defense

Alissa M. Starzak is currently Deputy General Counsel (Legislation) at the Department of Defense, a position she has served in since 2011.  From 2007 to 2011, Ms. Starzak served as Counsel and as a Professional Staff Member on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.  Ms. Starzak served as an Assistant General Counsel at the Central Intelligence Agency from 2005 to 2007.  Earlier in her career, she was an Associate at O’Melveny & Myers and a Law Clerk for The Honorable Judge E. Grady Jolly on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Ms. Starzak received a B.A. from Amherst College and a J.D. from The University of Chicago Law School.

John Francis Tefft, Nominee for Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Department of State

John Francis Tefft, a career member of the Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, is the Executive Director of the RAND Business Leaders Forum at the RAND Corporation, a position he has held since 2013.  Mr. Tefft served as the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine from 2009 to 2013 and as the U.S. Ambassador to Georgia from 2005 to 2009.  From 2004 to 2005, Mr. Tefft served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs in the Department of State.  From 2003 to 2004, Mr. Tefft served as an International Affairs Advisor at the National War College and previously served as the U.S. Ambassador to Lithuania from 2000 to 2003.  From 1996 to 1999, Mr. Tefft was the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia.  He was the Director of the Office of Northern European Affairs at the Department of State from 1992 to 1994.  Mr. Tefft served as the Deputy Director of the Office of Soviet Union Affairs/Office of Commonwealth of Independent States from 1989 to 1992 and served as Counselor for Political-Military Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Rome, Italy from 1986 to 1989.  From 1983 to 1986, he was a Political Officer in the Office of Soviet Union Affairs.  Mr. Tefft was a Pearson Fellow in the Office of Congressman Howard Wolpe from 1982 to 1983.  Earlier in his career, Mr. Tefft was also a Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Budapest, Hungary; a Special Assistant in the Washington office of the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations; a Political Officer in the Office of United Nations Political Affairs; an Operations Officer in the Operations Center; and a Vice Consul at the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem.  Mr. Tefft served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1971 to 1974.  Mr. Tefft received a B.A. from Marquette University and an M.A. from Georgetown University.

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

Charles Benton, Appointee for Member, National Museum and Library Services Board

Charles Benton is Chairman and CEO of the Benton Foundation, a position he has held since 1981.  He was first appointed to the National Museum and Library Services Board in 2012.  In 1978, Mr. Benton served as Chairman of the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science and Chairman of the first White House Conference on Library and Information Services in 1979.  Mr. Benton served as Member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Public Interest Obligations of Digital Television Broadcasters from 1997 to 1998 and on the Consumer Advisory Committee of the FCC from 2005 to 2010.  He was President of the Encyclopedia Britannica Education Corporation from 1996 to 1997 and Films Inc. from 1968 to 1977.  Mr. Benton is Chairman of Public Media Inc. and Chairman Emeritus of the Partnership for a Connected Illinois.  He serves on the boards of the National Foundation for the Preservation of Film and The Educational Development Center.  He is a Lifetime Trustee of the Field Museum of National History in Chicago.  Mr. Benton received a B.A. from Yale University.

Dr. Robert Langer, Appointee for Member, President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science

Dr. Robert Langer is the David H. Koch Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a position he has held since 2009.  He was first appointed to the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science in 2011.  Dr. Langer has been a Professor at MIT since 1977, including as an Institute Professor from 2005 to 2009 and the Kenneth J. Germeshausen Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering from 1988 to 2005.  He is the recipient of a number of awards and recognitions, including the 2014 Kyoto Prize, the 2011 National Medal of Technology, the 2008 Millennium Prize, the 2006 National Medal of Science, and the 1998 Lemelson-MIT Prize.  Dr. Langer received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University and an Sc.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Lillian M. Lowery, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans

Dr. Lillian M. Lowery is currently the Maryland State Superintendent of Schools, a position she has held since she was appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley and the Maryland State Board of Education in 2012. Dr. Lowery served as the Delaware State Secretary of Education from 2009 to 2012.  Between 2006 and 2009, Dr. Lowery was the Superintendent of the Christina School District in Wilmington.  She was the Assistant Superintendent of Cluster VII for Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia from 2004 to 2006.  She also served for two years as an Area Administrator for Fort Wayne Community Schools in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Earlier in her career, Dr. Lowery spent seven years as a school building administrator and taught middle and high school English for seventeen years in school districts in Virginia and North Carolina.  Dr. Lowery has held leadership positions on the Board of Directors for a number of youth and education-related organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club of America and Stop Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN).  She is an alumnus of the Broad Foundation’s Superintendents Academy.  Dr. Lowery received a B.A. from North Carolina Central University, an M.A. from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, and an Ed.D. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Dr. Anne Ashmore-Hudson, Appointee for Member, Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Dr. Anne Ashmore-Hudson is the Chair Emeritus of the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities.  She consulted for a cultural arts program for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development from 2009 to 2013.  Previously, Dr. Ashmore-Hudson was a Senior Research Fellow at the E. Franklin Frazier Institute for Social Research at Howard University from 2000 to 2003 and a Fellow at the Du Bois Institute at Harvard University from 1985 to 1987.  In 1984, Dr. Ashmore-Hudson founded and became President of Urban Psychological Services, a position she held until 1992.  She served as the Public Member of the State Department Senior Foreign Services Selection Board and the United States Information Agency Selection Board.  Dr. Ashmore-Hudson served on the boards of the The Washington Ballet, Sasha Bruce Youthworks, the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, the United Way of Massachusetts, and the Roxbury Community College Foundation.  She also served as the President of the Potomac chapter of Links Inc.  Dr. Ashmore-Hudson received a B.A. from Spelman College, an M.S. from Simmons College School of Social Work, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

Steven M. Goldman, Appointee for Member, Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Steven M. Goldman is a partner at the law firm Kramer, Levin, Naftalis & Frankel LLP, where he has practiced law since 2009.  From 2006 to 2009, Mr. Goldman served as the State of New Jersey’s Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner, having been appointed by Governor Jon S. Corzine.  He was Senior Partner at the law firm of Sills, Cummis, & Gross from 1984 to 2006.  Mr. Goldman is Chair of the Operations and Finance Committee and Assistant Treasurer of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and a member of the Board of Managers of Theatre Square Development Company.  He is on the Dean’s Board of Advisors for The George Washington University Law School.  He is a member of the U.S. Trust Northeast Client Advisory Council, the Economic Club of New York, and the Lotos Club.  Mr. Goldman received an A.B. from Boston University, a J.D. from The George Washington University Law School, and an LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law.

Dale LeFebvre, Appointee for Member, Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Dale LeFebvre is the founder and Chairman of 3.5.7.11, a holding and investment company, a position he has held since 2008.  He was a Managing Partner at the AIC Caribbean Fund from 2006 to 2009 and the Pharos Capital Group from 1999 to 2006.  Mr. LeFebvre was a consultant at McKinsey and Company from 1993 to 1995.  He is a 2006 Henry Crown Fellow and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.  He has served on the Board of the National Urban League and is now a Board Member Emeritus.  Mr. LeFebvre received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. 

Anita Lin, Appointee for Member, Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Anita Lin is the Director Emeritus of the Ballet Western Reserve and a member of the Chautauqua Institution's Music Director Search Committee for their Symphony's Principal Conductor.  She previously served as the Artistic Director and Executive Director of the Ballet Western Reserve from 1982 to 2007.  Ms. Lin danced with the New Orleans Ballet Company from 1981 to 1982 and studied the Royal Academy of Dance Technique in London in 1980.  She also danced for the Cincinnati Ballet Company from 1977 to 1980, and was the principal dancer with the University of Louisville Preparatory Dance Company from 1973 to 1977.  Ms. Lin received a B.F.A. from University of Cincinnati.