the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

President Obama Announces Recess Appointments to Key Administration Positions

WASHINGTON – President Obama announced today the recess appointment of three nominees to fill critical administration posts that have been left vacant.

“It’s unfortunate that at a time when our nation is facing enormous challenges, many in Congress have decided to delay critical nominations for political purposes,” President Obama said. “These recess appointments will allow three extremely qualified candidates to get to work on behalf of the American people right away. With more than 180 nominees still pending before the Senate, it’s my hope that my colleagues in Congress will agree to put politics aside and move forward on these vitally important positions.”

The President announced the recess appointment of the following nominees:

Dr. Donald Berwick, Nominee for Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services

Dr. Donald Berwick is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Health Care Policy at the Harvard Medical School and Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health. He is also a pediatrician, adjunct staff in the Department of Medicine at Boston’s Children’s Hospital and a consultant in pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital.  He has served as Chair of the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and as an elected member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Dr. Berwick served on the IOM’s governing Council from 2002 to 2007. In 1997 and 1998, he was appointed by President Clinton to serve on the Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Healthcare Industry. Dr. Berwick is the recipient of numerous awards and honors for his work, including the 1999 Ernest A. Codman Award, the 2001 Alfred I. DuPont Award for excellence in children’s health care from Nemours, the 2002 American Hospital Association’s Award of Honor, the 2006 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award for Individual Achievement from the National Quality Forum and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the 2007 William B. Graham Prize for Health Services Research, and the 2007 Heinz Award for Public Policy from the Heinz Family Foundation.  A summa cum laude graduate of Harvard College, Dr. Berwick holds a Master in Public Policy degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government. He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, where he graduated cum laude.


Philip E. Coyle III, Nominee for Associate Director for National Security and International Affairs, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President

Philip E. Coyle III currently serves as a Senior Advisor to the President of the World Security Institute, and to its Center for Defense Information, a Washington D.C.-based national security study center.  In 2005 and 2006, Coyle served on the nine-member Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC), appointed by President George W. Bush and nominated by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.  Prior to this appointment, Mr. Coyle served on Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger's Base Support and Retention Council.  From September 1994, through January 2001, Mr. Coyle was Assistant Secretary of Defense and Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, in the Department of Defense, and is the longest serving Director in the 25 year history of the Office.  In this capacity, he was the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense on test and evaluation in the DOD. Mr. Coyle has 40 years experience in national security research, development, and testing matters.  From 1959 to 1979, and again from 1981 to 1993, Mr. Coyle worked at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore, California. Over those 33 years Mr. Coyle worked on a variety of nuclear weapons programs and other high technology programs.  Mr. Coyle also served as Deputy Associate Director of the Laser Program at LLNL.  Mr. Coyle retired from the Laboratory in 1993 as Laboratory Associate Director and deputy to the Director.  In recognition of his years of service to the Laboratory and to the University of California, the University named Mr. Coyle Laboratory Associate Director Emeritus.  During the Carter Administration, Mr. Coyle served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Defense Programs in the Department of Energy (DOE).  In this capacity he had oversight responsibility for the nuclear weapons research, development, production and testing programs of the Department, as well as the DOE programs in arms control, non-proliferation, and nuclear safeguards and security.


Joshua Gotbaum, Nominee for Director, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation

Joshua Gotbaum, currently an Operating Partner at Blue Wolf Capital, has for three decades helped manage and advise public, private, and nonprofit institutions.  From 2003 - 2005, he led and managed the successful reorganization of Hawaiian Airlines as its Chapter 11 Trustee.  In 2001, he was the first CEO of The September 11th Fund, a charity with over $500 million in assets whose grants helped more than 100,000 affected by the attacks.  During the Clinton Administration, Mr. Gotbaum was Executive Associate Director and Controller in the Office of Management and Budget; Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Economic Policy; and Assistant Secretary of Defense.  For more than a decade, Mr. Gotbaum was an investment banker with Lazard Frères in New York and London.  He advised businesses, unions and governments on a diverse range of mergers, acquisitions and restructurings, in steel, transportation, and many other industries.  During the Carter administration, he served on the White House staff and in the Department of Energy.  Mr. Gotbaum holds a B.A. from Stanford, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and an M.P.P. from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.