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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:

  • Charles C. Adams, Jr. – Ambassador to the Republic of Finland, Department of State
  • Chip Fulghum – Chief Financial Officer, Department of Homeland Security  
  • Adri D. Jayaratne – Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs, Department of Labor
  • Barbara A. Leaf – Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Department of State
  • Virginia E. Palmer – Ambassador to the Republic of Malawi, Department of State
  • William V. Roebuck – Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain, Department of State

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

  • Donald J. Butt – Member, Advisory Committee to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation   
  • Ethan Epstein – Member, Board of Visitors to the United States Military Academy
  • Virna L. Winters – Member, Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled

President Obama said, “These men and women have demonstrated knowledge and dedication throughout their careers. I am grateful they have chosen to take on these important roles, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come.”

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

Charles C. Adams, Jr., Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Finland, Department of State

Charles C. Adams, Jr. is Managing Partner at the Geneva office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP, a position he has held since 2010.  Previously, he served as Managing Partner at the Geneva office of Hogan & Hartson from 2005 to 2010, and he was Managing Partner at the Geneva office of Winston & Strawn from 1993 to 2005.  Mr. Adams was an attorney at the Washington, D.C. and Geneva offices of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue from 1986 to 1993.  From 1973 to 1986, he was an attorney at the Washington, D.C. and Paris, France offices of Surrey & Morse.  He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya from 1968 to 1970.  Mr. Adams received a B.A. from Dartmouth College and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. 

Chip Fulghum, Nominee for Chief Financial Officer, Department of Homeland Security  

Chip Fulghum is the Budget Director in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer at the Department of Homeland Security, a position he has held since 2012.  In addition, he served as Acting Chief Financial Officer from 2013 to 2014.  Mr. Fulghum served for 28 years in the U.S. Air Force from 1984 to 2012, and retired with the rank of Colonel.  From 2010 to 2012, he was Director of Air Force Budget Programs, and from 2008 to 2010 he was Chief Financial Officer for Air Education and Training Command at Randolph Air Force Base.  Previously, he served as Chief of the Air Force Budget Integration Division at the Pentagon from 2006 to 2008, Chief of Budget Operations and Budget at Randolph Air Force Base from 2001 to 2005, and Chief Financial Officer for Anderson Air Force Base from 1999 to 2001.  Mr. Fulghum received a B.A. from The Citadel, an M.B.A. from Golden Gate University, and a Masters in Aerospace Studies from The Air University.

Adri D. Jayaratne, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs, Department of Labor

Adri D. Jayaratne is Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Labor (DOL), a position he has held since 2012.  Since March 2014, he has served as Acting Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs at DOL.  From 2009 to 2012, Mr. Jayaratne was a Senior Legislative Officer at DOL.  He previously worked for U.S. Congresswoman Betty Sutton as Chief of Staff and Legislative Director from 2007 to 2008.  From 2003 to 2006, he was Senior Legislative Assistant for U.S. Congressman Dale Kildee.  He was Senior Policy Advisor for Congressman David Bonior from 2001 to 2002, Legislative Assistant from 2000 to 2001, and Legislative Correspondent from 1999 to 2000.  Mr. Jayaratne received a B.A. from the University of Michigan and an M.A. from The George Washington University.

Barbara A. Leaf, Nominee for Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Department of State

Barbara A. Leaf, a career member of the Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Arabian Peninsula in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the Department of State (DOS), a position she has held since 2013.  From 2011 to 2013, Ms. Leaf served at DOS as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Iraq in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.  From 2010 to 2011, Ms. Leaf was the Director of the U.S. Provincial Reconstruction Team in Basrah, Iraq.  Ms. Leaf was the Political Minister-Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Rome, Italy from 2008 to 2010.  From 2006 to 2008, Ms. Leaf served as the Director of the Office of Iranian Affairs at DOS, and from 2004 to 2006, she was a Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.  From 2003 to 2004, Ms. Leaf served as the Director of the Regional Office in the Office of the High Representative in Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and she was an Advisor to the Medical Director of the Office of Medical Services from 2001 to 2003.  Ms. Leaf was the Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France from 1996 to 2000, and a Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt from 1994 to 1996.  Earlier in her career, she served as a Kuwait Desk Officer in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs; Chief of the Visa Section at the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem; a Watch Officer in the Operations Center; and as a Consular/Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  Prior to joining the Foreign Service, she served as a Legal Library Assistant in the Judge’s Library of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  Ms. Leaf received a B.A. from the College of William and Mary and an M.A. from the University of Virginia. 

Virginia E. Palmer, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Malawi, Department of State

Virginia E. Palmer, a career member of the Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, is currently the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa, a position she has held since 2011.  From 2008 to 2011, she served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam.  Ms. Palmer was the Deputy Coordinator for Counter Terrorism at the Department of State (DOS) from 2005 to 2008, and she was the Director for Economic Policy in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at DOS from 2004 to 2005.  From 2001 to 2004, she served as an Economic Counselor and a Regional Labor Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.  Previously, Ms. Palmer served as Political Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong, China from 1998 to 2001.  From 1993 to 1997, she was a Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe.  In 1992, Ms. Palmer was a Libya Desk Officer in the Bureau for Near Eastern Affairs at DOS, and from 1991 to 1992 she was a Watch Officer in the Operations Center at DOS.  Ms. Palmer served as an Economic Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China from 1989 to 1991, and she was a Consular Officer at the U.S. Consulate in Calgary, Canada from 1987 to 1988.  Ms. Palmer received a B.A. from Georgetown University and an M.A. from the University of Virginia.

William V. Roebuck, Nominee for Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain, Department of State

William V. Roebuck, a career member of the Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, is currently Deputy Assistant Secretary for Egypt and Maghreb Affairs in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the Department of State (DOS), a position he has held since 2013.  Previously, he served as Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya in 2013.  Mr. Roebuck was Director of the Office of Maghreb Affairs at DOS from 2010 to 2012, and served as Deputy Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq from 2009 to 2010.  From 2007 to 2009, he was Deputy Office Director in the Office of Arabian Peninsula Affairs, and was Political Section Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, Syria from 2004 to 2007.  Mr. Roebuck was a Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel from 2000 to 2003.  Earlier in his career, he taught English in Ta’if, Saudi Arabia and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sassandra, Côte D’Ivoire.  Mr. Roebuck received a B.A. and an M.A. from Wake Forest University and a J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law. 

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

Donald J. Butt, Appointee for Member, Advisory Committee to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation   

Donald J. Butt served as the Vice President of Operations and Defined Contributions Plans for Qwest Asset Management Company from 2001 until his retirement in 2010.  From 1983 to 2001, Mr. Butt held a number of positions at US West Inc., including Vice President of Operations and Defined Contributions Plans, Manager of Trust Investment, Special Assistant for Economic Development, and Manager of Financial Planning.  He served as a Computer Operations Supervisor and a Staff Administrator with Mountain Bell from 1970 to 1983.  Mr. Butt received a B.S. from Metropolitan State College and an M.B.A. from the University of Denver.

Ethan Epstein, Appointee for Member, Board of Visitors to the United States Military Academy

Ethan Epstein is a founding Principal with Epstein and Company, LLC, a position he has held since 2009.  He is also a Principal with the New Mexico Tax Credit Alliance, a position he has held since 2007.  Previously, he was a member of the Tax Department of Modrall, Sperling, Roehl, Harris, & Sisk, PA, in addition to the Tax Department of Sutin, Thayer, & Browne, PC.  Mr. Epstein is Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for New Mexico and is also the former Honorary Commander of the 58th Special Operations Wing.  He served in the U.S. Army as Chief of Law Enforcement and Physical Security at the Provost Marshal of Red River Army Depot in Texarkana, Texas from 1997 to 1998.  Mr. Epstein was Platoon Leader of Headquarters and 3/557th Military Policy Company, stationed in Pyontaek, South Korea from 1995 to 1996.  Mr. Epstein received a B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point, a J.D. from the George Mason School of Law, and an LL.M. (Taxation) from the New York University School of Law.

Virna L. Winters, Appointee for Member, Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled

Virna L. Winters is Director of the Acquisition Policy and Oversight Division at the Department of Commerce (DOC), a position she has held since 2008.  She was a Procurement Analyst at DOC from 2003 to 2008.  From 1992 to 2003, she was a Contract Specialist at the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the Department of Homeland Security.  Ms. Winters received an A.S. in Computer Technology from McLennan Community College and a B.S. in Accounting from the University of North Texas.