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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts, 6/28/10

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

  • Norman L. Eisen, Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Department of State
  • Scot Marciel, Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia, Department of State
  • Terence McCulley, Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Department of State
  • Larry Palmer, Ambassador to Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Department of State

President Obama also announced his intent to appoint several individuals to serve as members on the National Advisory Council on Indian Education. Their bios are below.

President Obama said, “I am proud to nominate such accomplished and dedicated individuals to fill these important roles. They will be valuable additions to my administration as we work to confront our challenges at home and abroad, and 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:

Norman L. Eisen, Nominee for Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Department of State
Norman L. Eisen serves currently as Special Assistant to the President and as Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform. In that capacity, he has helped lead the Administration’s historic initiatives on government ethics, lobbying regulation and open government. His portfolio has also included financial regulatory reform, campaign finance law, whistleblower protection and other reform issues.  Mr. Eisen served as the Deputy General Counsel to the Presidential Transition.  Prior to the Administration, Mr. Eisen was a litigation partner in the Washington, D.C. law firm Zuckerman Spaeder. He launched and co-chaired the firm’s Public Client Practice, representing government entities on an array of matters, as well as handling white-collar investigations and complex commercial matters. He is the co-founder of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a government watchdog group. Between college and law school, Mr. Eisen served for three years as an Assistant Director of the Los Angeles office of the Anti-Defamation League, a national civil rights organization. Mr. Eisen received his J.D. in 1991 from Harvard Law School and his B.A. from Brown University in 1985, both with honors.

Scot A. Marciel, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia, Department of State
Scot Marciel is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service.  He most recently served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Southeast Asia in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs and concurrently as Ambassador for ASEAN Affairs.  He previously served as Director of the Office of Maritime Southeast Asia; Director of the Office of Mainland Southeast Asia; Director of the Office of Southeast Europe; and Economic Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara.  He has also served in Hong Kong, Hanoi, Sao Paulo, and Manila.  Mr. Marciel received a Master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a BA from the University of California at Davis.

Terence P. McCulley, Nominee for Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Department of State
Terence P. McCulley is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, with the rank of Minister-Counselor.  He served most recently as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Prior to this, Mr. McCulley was the U.S. Ambassador to Mali, and he has served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassies in Tunisia, Senegal and Togo.  Other overseas postings include Niger, South Africa, India and Chad.  In Washington, Mr. McCulley was the senior desk officer for Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo), and Deputy Coordinator for Iraq Assistance.  A native of Oregon, he is a graduate in History and French of the University of Oregon in Eugene.

Larry L. Palmer, Nominee for Ambassador to Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Department of State
Larry L. Palmer is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service.  He is currently serving as President and CEO of the Inter-American Foundation.  Prior to that he served as U. S. Ambassador to the Republic of Honduras and as Charge D'Affaires in Quito, Ecuador.  He also served as President of the 41st Senior Seminar and as Assistant to the President of the University of Texas at El Paso. Overseas posts include the Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Paraguay, Korea, and Sierra Leone. Born in Augusta, Georgia, Palmer received a B.A from Emory University, an M. Ed. from Texas Southern University and a Doctorate (Ed.D) in Higher Education Administration and African Studies from Indiana University, Bloomington. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Palmer served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia.

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

Sam McCracken, Appointee for Member, National Advisory Council on Indian Education
Samuel McCracken is a member of the Sioux and Assiniboine tribes in northeastern Montana on the Ft. Peck Indian Reservation.  Mr. McCracken is the General Manager of Nike’s N7 shoe, retail collection, and the N7 Fund, which aims to help create access to sports for Native American and Aboriginal youth in the United States and Canada.  Mr. McCracken began his career at Nike as a warehouse worker and ascended to general manager of Nike’s Native American Business, where he established the company’s Native American Diabetes program.  Mr. McCracken has also worked in conjunction with the Indian Health Service and the National Indian Health Board on their “Just Move It” program that promotes physical fitness on Indian Reservations.  Additionally, Mr. McCracken serves as chairman of the Let Me Play on Native Lands Fund, a nonprofit organization committed to helping support the potential of Native American youth through the power of sport and physical activity.

Mary Jane Oatman-Wak Wak, Appointee for Member, National Advisory Council on Indian Education
Mary Jane Oatman-Wak Wak is a member of the Nez Perce Tribe.  Ms. Oatman-Wak Wak was appointed Idaho’s first Indian Education Coordinator by State Superintendent Tom Luna in 2007.  She has since worked with state education and tribal leaders to raise Native American student achievement.  In 2009, Ms. Oatman-Wak Wak was elected President of the National Indian Education Association.  She is a graduate of Lewis-Clark State College with degrees in Justice Studies and Nez Perce language.  Ms. Oatman-Wak Wak is currently working on her Ed.D. at the University of Idaho, College of Education.

Alapaki Nahale-a, Appointee for Member, National Advisory Council on Indian Education
Alapaki Nahale-a is the founder and owner of The Strive Company, a Hawaii-based consulting practice.  Prior to this, he was the director of a Native Hawaiian community driven public charter school Ka Umeke Kaeo for six years.  Mr. Nahale-a is also the Executive Director of the Hawaii Charter School Network, a Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Commissioner, a Hawaii County Charter Commissioner, and a board member for the Kuikahi Mediation Center.  In years prior, he held a series of community development positions with Hawaii Community College, the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, and the Rural Community Assistance Corporation.  He served the Hawaii County Council for five years as a legislative auditor assistant and fiscal/program review auditor.  Mr. Nahale-a earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania.

S. Alan Ray, Appointee for Member, National Advisory Council on Indian Education
S. Alan Ray is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, and serves on the Tribe's Cherokee language immersion school advisory board.  An attorney, teacher, and scholar, Ray has served since 2008 as president of Elmhurst College, a four-year liberal arts institution in Elmhurst, IL.  He previously held the position of senior vice provost for the University of New Hampshire.  Prior to that, Ray was associate dean for academic affairs at Harvard Law School, in charge of administering faculty hiring and curriculum planning, and also served in a variety of leadership roles in the Harvard University Native American Program.  Working at the intersection of Native American studies, religious studies, and the law, Ray has taught at Boston College, Harvard Divinity School, and Harvard Law School as well as UNH and Elmhurst College.  He is a 1978 graduate of St. Thomas Seminary in Denver, CO; earned a master's degree in theological studies from Harvard Divinity School; and went on to earn an M.A. and  Ph.D. in the study of religion from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.