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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts, 5/27/10

WASHINGTON – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key administration posts:

  • Paul Tiao, Inspector General, Department of Labor
  • Neile L. Miller, Principal Deputy Administrator, National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy
  • Eric Benjaminson, Ambassador to the Gabonese Republic, Department of State
  • J. Thomas Dougherty, Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Department of State
  • Anthony S. Bryk, Member, National Board for Education Sciences
  • Kris D. Gutiérrez, Member, National Board for Education Sciences
  • Beverly L. Hall, Member, National Board for Education Sciences
  • Robert A. Underwood, Member, National Board for Education Sciences

President Obama also announced his intent to appoint Philip Conkling to serve as Alternate Commissioner on the Roosevelt Campobello International Park Commission. His bio is below.

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

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

Paul Tiao, Nominee for Inspector General, Department of Labor
Paul Tiao, a career prosecutor with the Department of Justice, has held a variety of important law enforcement and policy positions throughout his career. An Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland since 2002, Tiao has most recently served since March 2009 on detail to the Federal Bureau of Investigation as Special Counsel to the Director.  As Special Counsel, Mr. Tiao has advised Director Mueller on a wide range of legal and policy matters in the national security and criminal arenas.  Mr. Tiao was also previously detailed as Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee from 2007 to 2008, where he drafted legislation and provided advice on a variety of criminal and national security issues.  Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney's Office, Mr. Tiao was a Trial Attorney in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, where he led housing and lending discrimination investigations and brought enforcement actions against civil rights violators.  In between stints in the government, Mr. Tiao practiced law at Wilmer Cutler & Pickering as a litigator.  He began his legal career as a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  He earned a J.D. from Columbia University, an M.P.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and an undergraduate engineering degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Neile L. Miller, Nominee for Principal Deputy Administrator, National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy
Neile L. Miller is currently the Director of the Office of Budget at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), where she manages the Department’s $29 billion annual budget.  Ms. Miller has over 20 years of experience in the fields of nuclear energy, defense policy, and budget analysis. From 2004 to 2007, Ms. Miller served as a Senior Program Examiner in the National Security Division of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), where she was responsible for the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration and the Department of Defense Cooperative Threat Reduction program.  She first joined OMB in 1987 as the Program Examiner for DOE radioactive waste management programs and for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  From 2003 to 2004, Ms. Miller was the Associate Director for Resource Management and later the Associate Director of International Nuclear Cooperation in DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy.  Ms. Miller also served as Policy and Communications Officer in the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris.  Earlier in her career, she worked at the Congressional Research Service on nuclear nonproliferation issues.  Ms. Miller holds an A.B. in political science from Vassar College and an M.S.F.S. from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.

Eric Benjaminson, Nominee for Ambassador to the Gabonese Republic, Department of State
Eric Benjaminson is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service. He currently serves as Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada. Mr. Benjaminson previously served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassies in Namibia and Burkina Faso. He was also the Counselor for Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Belgium. Washington assignments include Special Assistant to the Acting Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs and Economic Officer in the Office of Southern African Affairs. Other overseas posts include Beijing, Sweden, Canada and Nigeria. He received a B.A. in History from the University of Oregon.

J. Thomas Dougherty, Nominee for Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Department of State
Thomas Dougherty is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service. He currently serves as Minister-Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Mr. Dougherty previously served as acting Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of African Affairs and Director for West African Affairs.  He was also Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassies in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Malawi.  Other overseas posts include Cameroon, Germany, Eritrea, the Republic of the Congo, Saudi Arabia, and Senegal.   Mr. Dougherty received a bachelor’s degree from Brown University.

Anthony S. Bryk, Nominee for Member, National Board for Education Sciences
Anthony S. Bryk is the ninth president of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.  He held the Spencer Chair in Organizational Studies in the School of Education and the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University from 2004 until assuming Carnegie's presidency in September 2008.  Prior to Stanford, he held the Marshall Field IV Professor of Education post in the sociology department at the University of Chicago, where he founded the Center for Urban School Improvement which supports reform efforts in the Chicago Public Schools.  Bryk also founded the Consortium on Chicago School Research, which has produced a range of studies to advance and assess urban school reform.  In addition, he has made contributions to the development of new statistical methods in educational research.  At Carnegie, he is leading work on strengthening the research and development infrastructure for improving teaching and learning.  Bryk holds a B.S. from Boston College, a Ph.D. of Education from Harvard University, and was recently honored by Boston College with an honorary doctorate for his contributions to education reform.

Kris D. Gutiérrez, Nominee for Member, National Board for Education Sciences
Kris D. Gutiérrez is Professor of Literacy and Learning Sciences and the Inaugural Provost’s Chair at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  She is also Professor Emerita of Social Research Methodology at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she previously served as Director of the Education Studies Minor and Director of the Center for the Study of Urban Literacies.  Professor Gutiérrez is a national leader in education and urban education, and recently served on President Obama’s Education Policy Transition Team.  She was elected (2010) to the National Academy of Education and is the current president of the American Educational Research Association.  Professor Gutiérrez received her B.A. and M.A. in English and Reading Education at Arizona State University and her Ph.D. in English and Education at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Beverly L. Hall, Nominee for Member,National Board for Education Sciences
Dr. Beverly L. Hall became the 15th appointed superintendent of the Atlanta Public Schools in 1999.  Prior to her current position, Dr. Hall was state district superintendent of the Newark Public Schools. She also served as deputy chancellor and in various executive, district, and building-level leadership roles in New York City Public Schools.  Dr. Hall was recently awarded the 2009-2010 American Educational Research Association Distinguished Community Service Award.  She was also named the 2009 National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators, the top professional honor for a K-12 education leader in the United States.  Dr. Hall received her B.A. in English from Brooklyn College of The City University of New York and her M.S. in Guidance and Counseling as well as her Ph.D. of Education from Fordham University.

Robert A. Underwood, Nominee for Member, National Board for Education Sciences
The Honorable Robert Underwood is a former Member of Congress and is currently the President of the University of Guam.  As a university educator, he has served as Academic Vice President at the University of Guam and is a distinguished scholar with many publications in history and cultural themes in education.  He served as the Congressional Delegate from Guam in the 103-107th Congresses (1993-2003). He has previously been a classroom teacher, elected school board member and school administrator and college professor.   Dr. Underwood received his B.A. and his M.A. from California State University.  He received his Ph.D. of Education from the University of Southern California and completed the Management Development Program at Harvard University.


President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individual to a key administration post:

Philip Conkling, Appointee for Alternate Commissioner, Roosevelt Campobello International Park Commission
Mr. Conkling is the Founder and President of the Island Institute, a nonprofit organization that has served the islands and communities of the Gulf of Maine since 1986. In his role as President, Mr. Conkling provides strategic, creative, and developmental leadership for the organization. During his time in Maine, he has visited more than 1,000 islands in a personal and professional capacity. Mr. Conkling is also the author of several books on the region, including Islands in Time, which describes how people have shaped the ecology of the islands in the Gulf of Maine. He also founded the Maine coast newspaper, The Working Waterfront, and has developed a series of educational videos on the marine environment. In 2008, Mr. Conkling was appointed to the Governor’s Lobster Task Force, which offers recommendations for the economic sustainability of the Maine lobster industry. On behalf of the Island Institute, he is the also the recipient of NOAA’s 2008 “Non-Governmental Organization of the Year Award”.