the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

Search form

The White House

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts, 9/22/09

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
___________________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                                                 September 22, 2009
President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts
WASHINGTON – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key administration posts:
  • Elaine Schuster, Representative of the United States of America to the Sixty-fourth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
  • Laura Gore Ross, Alternate Representative of the United States of America to the Sixty-fourth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
  • Wellington E. Webb, Alternate Representative of the United States of America to the Sixty-fourth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
  • Congressman William Delahunt, Representative of the United States of America to the Sixty-fourth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations (U.S. Representative from the State of Massachusetts)
  • Congressman Chris Smith, Representative of the United States of America to the Sixty-fourth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations (U.S. Representative from the State of New Jersey)
  • Mary Warlick, Ambassador to the Republic of Serbia, Department of State
  • Islam A. Siddiqui, Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
  • Alan D. Bersin, Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security
President Obama said, "I am grateful for the willingness of these fine individuals to serve my administration and am confident that they will represent our nation well. I look forward to working with them in the coming months and years."
President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals today:

Elaine Schuster, Nominee for Representative of the United States of America to the Sixty-fourth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations Elaine Schuster is a philanthropist, health care and education advocate, and civic activist. She sits on the corporation of Partners Health Care and has been honored by Franciscan Children’s Hospital for her work in raising its visibility and generating financial support. She has received the Heritage Society Award from the Brigham & Women’s Hospital, where she serves on the Trust Board and the Women’s Health Forum. For eight years, Mrs. Schuster was a member of the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts. She also founded the Brandeis Center for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, where she is a board member of the Women’s Research Program. Mrs. Schuster has served as New England Chair of the Democratic Women’s Leadership Forum, and the Massachusetts State Democratic Party has honored her for her work on behalf of the Democratic values. Mrs. Schuster co-founded one of the nation’s leading community-based network centers, called PEACE, which provides mentoring, tutoring, and life skill training for inner-city children.
 
Laura Gore Ross, Nominee for Alternate Representative of the United States of America to the Sixty-fourth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations

Laura Gore Ross is currently on the board of directors of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and a member of Senator Charles E. Schumer’s Judicial Screening Panel. She is an attorney in New York City and previously worked as Chief of Staff for the State of New York Attorney General’s office and as Chief Counsel for New York State Senator Roy Goodman. She has volunteered for numerous political campaigns, and was most recently the National Finance Chair of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee. She holds a B.A. from Barnard College and J.D. from the George Washington University Law School.
 
Wellington E. Webb, Nominee for Alternate Representative of the United States of America to the Sixty-fourth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations

Wellington E. Webb is a former Mayor of Denver, Colorado and is currently CEO of Webb International, a consulting firm. From 1991 to 2003, Webb served as Denver’s Mayor, the first African-American to hold this post. His years in office are noted for his efforts regarding the South Platte River Corridor Project, which involved commercial and residential redevelopment as well as reclamation of park land along the South Platte River in central Denver, and the creation of the successful Denver Health Authority, which was formerly the County Public Hospital. Prior to Webb's tenure as Mayor, he served as Denver City Auditor from 1987 to 1991, and as Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies in the Cabinet of Governor Richard Lamm from 1981 to 1987. He holds a B.A. from Colorado State College and an M.A. from the University of Northern Colorado. Mr. Webb serves on the boards of Maximas Corporation, Mexican American Legal Defense Fund, and the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce.
 
Congressman William Delahunt, Nominee for Representative of the United States of America to the Sixty-fourth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations (U.S. Representative from the State of Massachusetts)

Congressman William D. Delahunt has represented the Tenth Congressional District of Massachusetts since 1997. He serves as a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and as Chairman of the Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight. This Subcommittee conducts oversight of the State Department, foreign aid and export assistance programs, arms control, democracy promotion, and policies towards the United Nations and its affiliated organizations. The Subcommittee also has jurisdiction over policies that promote human rights and international cooperation. With two decades of experience as a prosecutor and a commitment to civil rights, Rep. Delahunt also serves on the Judiciary Committee. As a District Attorney he developed the first prosecutorial unit focused on domestic violence in the United States, and prototype programs to combat violence against women that became models for prosecutors nationally and abroad. Rep. Delahunt also serves as co-chair of the bipartisan Coast Guard Caucus; House Older Americans Caucus; and the Congressional Working Group on Cuba. A 1963 graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont, Mr. Delahunt later went on to earn a law degree from Boston College in 1967. From 1963 to 1971 he served in the Coast Guard Reserve.
 
Congressman Chris Smith, Nominee for Representative of the United States of America to the Sixty-fourth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations (U.S. Representative from the State of New Jersey)

A Member of the United States House of Representatives since 1981, Congressman Chris Smith was sworn into office at the age of 27. Smith currently serves as a senior Republican member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health, and a member of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. He is also the Ranking Member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, and is the Dean of the New Jersey Congressional delegation. Rep Smith has also authored thematic human rights legislation, including the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and the Torture Victims Relief Act. Rep. Smith has played a key role in promoting human rights reforms in a number of countries including the former Soviet Union, Romania, Vietnam, China, Sudan, Ireland, and Cuba. He holds a B.A. from Trenton State College.
 
Mary Warlick, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Serbia, Department of State

Mary Burce Warlick, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, served until May 2009 as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia Policy and prior to that as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy. She served previously as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russia at the National Security Council (2007-2008) and Director of the State Department’s Office of Russian Affairs (2004-2007). Ms. Warlick joined the Foreign Service in 1983. Her previous diplomatic assignments include Minister-Counselor for Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow (2001-2004), Global Affairs Counselor and Economic Officer in Bonn, Germany (1994-1998), and Economic Officer in Manila, Philippines (1988-1990) and Dhaka, Bangladesh (1986-1988). Previous Washington assignments include Office Director for Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus Affairs (1998-2000), Senior Watch Officer in the State Department’s Operations Center (1992-1993), and Economic Officer in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (1990-1992). Ms. Warlick holds a BA from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana and an MA from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
 
Islam A. Siddiqui, Nominee for Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

Islam A. Siddiqui is currently Vice President for Science and Regulatory Affairs at CropLife America, where he is responsible for regulatory and international trade issues related to crop protection chemicals. Previously, Dr. Siddiqui also served as CropLife America’s Vice President for agricultural biotechnology and trade. From 1997 to 2001, Dr. Siddiqui served in various capacities in the Clinton Administration at U.S. Department of Agriculture as Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Senior Trade Advisor to Secretary Dan Glickman and Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. As a result, he worked closely with the USTR and represented USDA in bilateral, regional and multi-lateral agricultural trade negotiations. Since 2004, Dr. Siddiqui has also served on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, and Health/Science Products & Services, which advises the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and USTR on international trade issues related to these sectors. Between 2001 and 2003, Dr. Siddiqui was appointed as Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where he focused on agricultural biotechnology and food security issues. Before joining USDA, Dr. Siddiqui spent 28 years with the California Department of Food and Agriculture. He received a B.S. degree in plant protection from Uttar Pradesh Agricultural University in Pantnagar, India, as well as M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in plant pathology, both from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.
 
Alan D. Bersin, Nominee for Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security

Alan Bersin was appointed by Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano in April, 2009 as Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Special Representative for Border Affairs in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In that capacity, he serves as the Secretary's lead representative on Border Affairs and Mexico, for developing DHS strategy regarding security, immigration, narcotics, and trade matters affecting Mexico and for coordinating the Secretary's security initiatives on the nation's borders. Prior to his current service, Bersin served as Chairman of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. Previously, Mr. Bersin served as California’s Secretary of Education between July 2005 and December 2006 in the Administration of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Between 1998 and 2005, he served as Superintendent of Public Education in San Diego and from 2000 to 2003 served as a member and then Chairman of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Prior to becoming the leader of the nation’s eighth largest urban school district, he was appointed by President Bill Clinton as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of California and confirmed in that capacity by the U.S. Senate. Mr. Bersin served as U.S. Attorney for nearly five years and as the Attorney General’s Southwest Border Representative responsible for coordinating federal law enforcement on the border from South Texas to Southern California. Mr. Bersin previously was a senior partner in the Los Angeles law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson. Mr. Bersin received his A.B. in Government from Harvard University (magna cum laude) and attended Balliol College at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. In 1974, he received his J.D. degree from the Yale Law School.