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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:

  • Michelle K. Lee – Under Secretary for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Department of Commerce
  • Dava Newman – Deputy Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

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

  • Victoria A. Espinel – Member, Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations
  • Deborah A. Phillips – Member, Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences
  • Judith D. Singer – Member, Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences
  • Nancy Rodriguez– Director of the National Institute of Justice, Department of Justice

President Obama said, “I am confident that these outstanding men and women will serve the American people well, 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:

Michelle K. Lee, Nominee for Under Secretary for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Department of Commerce

Michelle K. Lee is the Deputy Under Secretary and Deputy Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) at the Department of Commerce, a position she has held since January 2014.  Previously, she served at USPTO as the Director of the Silicon Valley Office from 2012 to 2013.  In 2011, Ms. Lee was appointed by the Secretary of Commerce to serve as a Member on the Patent Public Advisory Committee for USPTO.  From 2003 to 2012, Ms. Lee was the Deputy General Counsel and Head of Patents and Patent Strategy at Google Inc.  She was a Partner and an Associate at Fenwick & West LLP from 1996 to 2003 and an Associate at Keker & Van Nest LLP from 1994 to 1996.  Ms. Lee was a Judicial Clerk to Judge Paul R. Michel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and to Judge Vaughn R. Walker in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.  Ms. Lee received a B.S. and an M.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.

Dr. Dava Newman, Nominee for Deputy Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Dr. Dava Newman is a Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  She first joined the MIT faculty in 1993 and has held a number of different faculty positions since then.  Dr. Newman is a Harvard-MIT Health, Sciences and Technology faculty member and became a MacVicar Faculty Fellow in 2000.  She is also the Director of the MIT Portugal Program, Director of the Technology and Policy Program, and Co-Director of the Man-Vehicle Laboratory at MIT.  From 1992 to 1993, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Houston.  Dr. Newman received a B.S. from the University of Notre Dame and two S.M.s and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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

Victoria A. Espinel, Appointee for Member, Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations

Victoria A. Espinel is President and CEO of BSA | The Software Alliance, a position she has held since 2013.  Ms. Espinel served as the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) from 2009 to 2013.  From 2007 to 2009, Ms. Espinel was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the George Mason University School of Law where she taught intellectual property and international trade.  In 2005, Ms. Espinel became the Assistant United States Trade Representative and led the USTR Office of Intellectual Property and Innovation until 2007.  She serves as chair of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on the Future of IT, Software and Services.  Ms. Espinel received a B.S. and a J.D. from Georgetown University, and an L.L.M. from the London School of Economics.

Dr. Deborah A. Phillips, Appointee for Member, Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences

Dr. Deborah A. Phillips is a Professor of Psychology and Affiliated Faculty of Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute, and Co-Director of Georgetown’s Center for Research on Children in the U.S., positions she has held since 2000.  From 2012 to 2013, on leave from Georgetown University, she served as President of the Foundation for Child Development.  Dr. Phillips was Chair of Georgetown’s Department of Psychology from 2000 to 2006.  In 2007, she was a Visiting Scholar at Flinders University in South Australia.  From 1999 to 2000, Dr. Phillips was a Study Director at the Committee on Integrating the Science of Early Childhood Development at the National Research Council.  She was Executive Director at the Board on Children, Youth, and Families at the National Research Council from 2000 to 2006.  From 1987 to 1995, Dr. Phillips was Assistant Professor and Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia.  She began her teaching career as Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she taught from 1982 to 1984.  Dr. Phillips received a B.A. from Stanford University, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Yale University.

Dr. Judith D. Singer, Appointee for Member, Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences

Dr. Judith Singer is the James Bryant Conant Professor of Education and Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity at Harvard University since 2001 and 2008, respectively.  Previously, from 1984 to 2001, she was an Assistant Professor of Education, an Associate Professor of Education, and a Professor of Education at Harvard University.  From 1999 to 2004, she was Academic Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and was Acting Dean from 2001 to 2002.  Dr. Singer received a B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany, and an A.M. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Dr. Nancy Rodriguez, Appointee for Director of the National Institute of Justice, Department of Justice

Dr. Nancy Rodriguez is a professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University (ASU), a position she has held since 2012.  She first joined the ASU faculty in 1998.  Dr. Rodriguez recently completed her tenure as Associate Dean for Student Engagement in the College of Public Programs at ASU. Prior to this, she was an Associate Professor from 2004 to 2012 and an Assistant Professor from 1998 to 2004.  Dr. Rodriguez is an Executive Counselor of the American Society of Criminology (ASC).  She is a recipient of several awards for her research, including the W.E.B. Dubois Award from the Western Society of Criminology, and the Coramae Richey Mann Award from the ASC Division on People of Color and Crime.  Dr. Rodriguez received a B.A. from Sam Houston State University and a Ph.D. from Washington State University.