the WHITE HOUSEPresident Donald J. Trump

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Personnel to Key Administration Posts

President Donald J. Trump today announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key positions in his Administration:

Joseph Balash of Alaska to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Land and Mineral Management. Mr. Balash currently serves as the Chief of Staff to Senator Dan Sullivan. He is the former Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, which has management responsibility for one of the largest single portfolios of land and water resources in the world. Previously he served as the Deputy Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources from 2010 to 2013. From 2006 to 2010, he advised two governors on natural resource policy, permitting, and energy. Prior to that, from 1998 to 2006, he served in a variety of legislative staff positions, including Chief of Staff to the President of the Alaskan Senate. He graduated from Ben Eielson Jr.-Sr. High School in 1993. He is married with two children.

Samuel H. Clovis Jr. of Iowa to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics. Mr. Clovis is the Senior White House Advisor to the United States Department of Agriculture. Most recently, he served as the chief policy advisor and national co-chair of the Trump-Pence campaign. He came to the campaign from Morningside College where he was a professor of economics. Mr. Clovis holds a B.S. in political science from the U.S. Air Force Academy, an M.B.A. from Golden Gate University and a Doctorate in public administration from the University of Alabama. He is also a graduate of both the Army and Air Force War Colleges. After graduating from the Academy, Mr. Clovis spent 25 years serving in the Air Force. He retired as the Inspector General of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the United States Space Command and was a command pilot. Mr. Clovis is married to the former Charlotte Chase of Piketon, OH. He is originally from rural central Kansas.

Daniel Alan Craig of Maryland to be Deputy Administrator, of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Craig was most recently a senior Vice President at the disaster preparedness and recovery consulting firm, Adjusters International, Inc. In this capacity, he oversaw firm sales, business development, marketing, and relationships with clients. Before this position, Mr. Craig was the CEO and President of Tidal Basin Holdings, a company he founded in the emergency management industry. Mr. Craig previously served as the Director of Recovery for FEMA. He managed the Agency’s recovery services and funds given to individual victims and the public sector for damages from more than 120 Presidentially-declared disasters, emergencies, and fires, including September 11th, the Space Shuttle Columbia explosion, the Cerro Grande Fire in Los Alamos, and the Florida Hurricanes of 2004. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from Purdue University as well as an M.B.A. from both Purdue University and Central European University.

J. Steven Dowd of Florida to be United States Director of the African Development Bank for a term of five years. Mr. Dowd has decades of executive experience in trade, logistics, and finance, with a significant focus on Africa. Mr. Dowd co-founded Ag Source, LLC, a global agriculture logistics, transportation, and finance company. His prior experience includes overseeing food aid operations and leading port infrastructure projects in Africa. Mr. Dowd also served as CEO of Marcona Ocean Industries, an international shipping and mining company. Mr. Dowd holds a B.S. in History from Manhattan College, and earned a M.A. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, where he was designated as a Georgetown Fellow in Foreign Service.

Mark T. Esper of Virginia to be Secretary of the Army. Mr. Esper is an Army, Pentagon, and Capitol Hill veteran who previously served as a Vice President for government relations at the Raytheon Company. Mr. Esper began his career as an Infantry Officer in the 101st Airborne Division, serving with distinction in the first Gulf War. He later served on active duty in Europe and on the Army Staff in Washington, DC, before transitioning to the National Guard and retiring after 21 years of service. He was an airborne ranger and recipient of the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and Meritorious Service Medals, among other awards and qualifications. Mr. Esper worked national security issues on Capitol Hill for Senators Chuck Hagel, Fred Thompson, and Majority Leader Bill Frist. He was also a professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations and House Armed Services Committees, and later a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense. Mr. Esper’s private sector experience includes service as an Executive Vice President at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Policy Director for Fred Thompson for President during the 2008 campaign, and EVP of the Aerospace Industries Association of America. Mr. Esper is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, and George Washington University.

Kathleen M. Fitzpatrick of the District of Columbia to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. Ms. Fitzpatrick, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, has served as an American diplomat since 1983. She is currently the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the Department of State. Ms. Fitzpatrick earned a M.S. from the U.S. National War College, a M.A. from Georgetown University and a B.A. from the University of Dayton. Her languages include Spanish, French, Russian, Dutch and some Arabic.

Daniel J. Kaniewski of Minnesota to be Deputy Administrator for National Preparedness, of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security. Dr. Kaniewski was most recently Vice President for Global Resilience at AIR Worldwide, a catastrophe risk modeling and consulting services firm, and a Senior Fellow at George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security. Previously, Dr. Kaniewski served as the Mission Area Director for Resilience and Emergency Preparedness/Response at the Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute. He was also an adjunct assistant professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, where he taught graduate courses in the Security Studies Program. Before these positions, Dr. Kaniewski served on the White House staff, first as Director of Response and Recovery Policy and later as Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Senior Director for Response Policy. Dr. Kaniewski began his career in homeland security as a firefighter and paramedic. He holds a B.S. in Emergency Medical Services from George Washington University, a Master of Arts degree in National Security Studies from the Georgetown University, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from George Washington University.

Anthony Kurta of Montana to be a Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, Personnel and Readiness. Mr. Kurta was most recently fulfilling the duties of Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, where he was responsible for health affairs, readiness, civilian and military personnel policy for Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard, and civilian members of the Department of Defense. Mr. Kurta previously served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy and the Director of Navy Flag Officer Management and Development. In addition, Mr. Kurta served 32 years on Active Duty as a Navy Surface Warfare Officer, during which time he commanded the USS Sentry (MCM 3), USS Guardian (MCM 5), USS Warrior (MCM 10), USS Carney (DDG 64), Destroyer Squadron Two Four and Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA). He is a recipient of Defense Superior Service Medals, Legions of Merit, Meritorious Service Medals, the Distinguished Service Medal, and the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award. Mr. Kurta is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Georgetown University, Air Command and Staff College, and was a National Security Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He retired from the Navy as a Rear Admiral.

Ted McKinney of Indiana to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs. Mr. McKinney is director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, serving from 2014 to present under then Governor Mike Pence, and now Governor Eric Holcomb. Mr. McKinney grew up on a family grain and livestock farm in Tipton, Indiana. He also worked for 19 years with Dow AgroSciences, and 14 years with Elanco, a subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Company, where he was Director of Global Corporate Affairs. His industry and civic involvements include the National FFA Conventions Local Organizing Committee, Indiana State Fair Commission, International Food Information Council (IFIC), the U.S. Meat Export Federation, International Federation of Animal Health (IFAH), and the Purdue Dean of Agriculture Advisory Committee. Mr. McKinney was a 10-year 4-H member, an Indiana State FFA Officer, and a graduate of Purdue University where he received a B.S. in Agricultural Economics in 1981. While at Purdue, he received the G.A. Ross Award as the outstanding senior male graduate. In 2002, he was named a Purdue Agriculture Distinguished Alumnus, and in 2004, received an honorary American FFA Degree. Mr. McKinney and his wife Julie have three children and four grandchildren.

A. Wess Mitchell of Virginia to be an Assistant Secretary of State, European and Eurasian Affairs. Mr. Mitchell is an expert on NATO and transatlantic relations. In 2005 he co-founded the Center for European Policy Analysis and has served as its President and CEO since 2009. He serves on numerous policy boards in the United States and Europe. Mr. Mitchell earned a B.A. from Texas Tech University, a M.A. from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and recently completed his Ph.D. at Freie Universität, in Berlin, Germany. He speaks German and has studied Dutch and Czech.

Robert L. Wilkie of North Carolina to be Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. Mr. Wilkie currently serves as Senior Advisor to Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina. He most recently served in the Presidential Transition Office, where he was a member of both the Defense Policy Team and Cabinet Affairs Teams. Previously, Mr. Wilkie served as Vice President for Strategic Initiatives for CH2M HILL, one of the world’s largest engineering and program management firms. He also served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs as well as Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs on the National Security Council during the George W. Bush Administration. On Capitol Hill, Mr. Wilkie served as Counsel and Advisor on International Security Affairs for the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, the Honorable Trent Lott. Mr. Wilkie currently serves in the United States Air Force Reserve, and previously in the United States Navy Reserve. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University, Loyola University College of Law (New Orleans), Georgetown University Law Center, and the United States Army War College. He is also a graduate of the College of Naval Command and Staff, the Joint Forces Staff College and the Air Command and Staff College.