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Obama Nominates Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary, John Brennan as CIA Director

clientuploads/Government Head Shots/Chuck_Hagel_Kuwait.jpg

Then Senator Chuck Hagel meeting with U.S. troops in

Kuwait in 2008. Public Domain Photo

BRADENTON -- President Obama has announced his proposed second-term national security team, nominating former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel to head the Department of Defense and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan as Director of the CIA.

"Chuck Hagel is the leader that our troops deserve," Obama said at a White House press conference yesterday. "He is an American patriot." The President noted that Hagel would not only be the first Vietnam veteran to serve the post, but also the first veteran of enlisted rank.

The president also had high praise for Brennan, calling him "one of the most skilled and respected" members of his national security team, who offered "strong analytic insights" and "invaluable perspective."

Hagel's name had been thrown around as a possible cabinet member in the President's first term. As an across-the-aisle ally who has not been afraid to oppose his party's foreign policy dogma, Hagel is seen by many as someone who might be able to build consensus on trimming the United States' budget-busting defense spending. However, that along with his moderate position on Iran has pretty much assured a fierce confirmation battle from his fellow Republicans who have been quite vocal in their opposition, from the time rumors of Hagel's nomination surfaced.

President Obama has also announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts: (bios from a White House Press release)

L. Preston Bryant, Jr., Appointee for Chair, National Capital Planning Commission

L. Preston Bryant, Jr. is Chair of the National Capital Planning Commission, having been appointed by President Obama in 2009. Additionally, he is Senior Vice President for Infrastructure and Economic Development in the Richmond office of McGuireWoods Consulting. From 2006 to 2010, he served as Virginia’s Secretary of Natural Resources, and from 1996 to 2006, he served in the Virginia House of Delegates. Prior to his service in the House of Delegates, he was a Partner at Hurt & Proffitt, Inc., from 1996 to 2005. Mr. Bryant received a B.A. from Randolph-Macon College, an M.A. from the University of Richmond, and an M.A. from the University of London.

Dr. Mohamed A. El-Erian, Appointee for Chair, President’s Global Development Council

Dr. Mohamed A. El-Erian is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chief Investment Officer of Pacific Investment Management Company LLC (PIMCO), positions he has held since 2007. Dr. El-Erian joined PIMCO in 1999 as a senior member of the portfolio management and investment strategy group. In 2006, he joined Harvard Management Company as President and CEO, before returning to PIMCO in 2007. Previously, he was a Managing Director at Salomon Smith Barney/Citigroup in London and worked at the International Monetary Fund for 15 years, serving as Deputy Director from 1995 to 1997. He is a board member of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the National Bureau for Economic Research, Chairs the Microsoft Investment Advisory Committee, and is a Member of the Investor Advisory Committee on Financial Markets at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Dr. El-Erian received a B.A. and an M.A. from Cambridge University, and an M.Phil and Ph.D. from Oxford University.

Richard C. Blum, Appointee for Member, President’s Global Development Council

Richard C. Blum is Chairman of Blum Capital Partners, an equity investment management firm which he founded in 1975. In 1994, he co-founded Newbridge Capital, which is now part of TPG Asia. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors of CB Richard Ellis, CurrentTV, Fairmont Raffles Holdings International Ltd., and Current Media LLC. He also founded and serves as Chair of the Board of the Richard C. Blum Center for Developing Economies at the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley), and the American Himalayan Foundation. Additionally, Mr. Blum is a Regent, and former Chairman, of the University of California. He is Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley; a Trustee at the Brookings Institution; and sits on the Board of Directors of the National Democratic Institute and The Carter Center. Mr. Blum received the Berkeley Medal in 2009 and the UCSF Medal awarded by the University of California, San Francisco, in 2012. Mr. Blum received a B.A. and an M.B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley.

Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Appointee for Member, President’s Global Development Council

Sylvia Mathews Burwell is President of the Walmart Foundation. Before assuming this role in 2012, she was President of the Global Development Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She held several posts during the Clinton Administration, including Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, and Chief of Staff to the Secretary of the Treasury. Before her federal government service, she worked for McKinsey & Company. Ms. Burwell is a Member of the Board of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Board of MetLife, and the Aspen Strategy Group. She received an A.B. from Harvard University and a B.A. from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

Dr. Esther Duflo, Appointee for Member, President’s Global Development Council

Dr. Esther Duflo is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a founder and Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab. In addition, Dr. Duflo is the Director of the development economics program at the Center for Economic Policy Research, and also serves as the editor of the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. She co-authored Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty, which won the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award in 2011. She was awarded a Fellowship from the MacArthur Fellows Program in 2009 and the John Bates Clark Medal in 2010. She holds an undergraduate degree from L’Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, a Master’s degree from EHSEES in Paris, and a Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Sarah Beardsley Degnan Kambou, Appointee for Member, President’s Global Development Council

Dr. Sarah Beardsley Degnan Kambou is President of the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), a position she has held since 2010. She joined ICRW in 2002 and held numerous leadership roles prior to becoming President, including serving as Chief Operating Officer from 2008 to 2010, and Vice President of Health and Development from 2006 to 2008. Prior to joining ICRW, Dr. Kambou spent more than a decade in sub-Saharan Africa managing programs and operations for CARE. In 1985, she co-founded the Center for International Health at the Boston University School of Public Health. In 2009, she was appointed as a Commissioner on the United States National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. She has been recognized with the Distinguished Alumni Award by the Boston University School of Public Health. Dr. Kambou received a B.A. from the University of Connecticut, and an M.P.H. and Ph.D. from Boston University.

Dr. James M. Manyika, Appointee for Member, President’s Global Development Council

Dr. James M. Manyika is the Director of the McKinsey Global Institute and a Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company. Prior to joining McKinsey, Dr. Manyika served on the Engineering Faculty at Oxford University and was an elected Research Fellow at Balliol College at Oxford University. In 2011, Dr. Manyika was appointed to the Innovation Advisory Board at the Department of Commerce. He is a Trustee at the Aspen Institute and the World Affairs Council of California, and serves on the Advisory Boards of the University of California at Berkeley’s School of Information and Harvard University’s Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. Dr. Manyika was a Rhodes Scholar and received a B.S. from the University of Zimbabwe and an M.A., M.S., and D.Phil. from Oxford University.

William K. Reilly, Appointee for Member, President’s Global Development Council

William K. Reilly is a Senior Advisor to TPG, LP, a position he has held since 2008. Prior to this, Mr. Reilly was a Founding Partner of Aqua International Partners. From 1989 to 1993, he was the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He served as President of the World Wildlife Fund from 1985 to 1989 and President of the Conservation Foundation from 1973 to 1989. Mr. Reilly is Chairman of the Board of ClimateWorks Foundation, and Global Water Challenge. He is Chairman and serves on the Board of Advisors of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University. In addition, Mr. Reilly is a Member of the Board of Trustees of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. In 2010, President Obama appointed Mr. Reilly Co-Chair of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. In 1992, he served as head of the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. Mr. Reilly received a B.A. from Yale University, an M.S. from Columbia University, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Steven Schwager, Appointee for Member, President’s Global Development Council

Steven Schwager worked at the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee for 23 years, rising to the level of Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President before retiring in 2012. During his tenure, Mr. Schwager held various positions including Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer. Previously, he was a Senior Business Official of the New York City Board of Education from 1983 to 1989, and from 1976 to 1983, he was the Chief Internal Auditor of the New York City Comptroller’s Office. He received a B.A. from Queens College, City University of New York.

Smita Singh, Appointee for Member, President’s Global Development Council

Smita Singh was the Special Advisor for Global Affairs and the founding Director of the Global Development Program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, where she worked from 2001 to 2010. From 1998 to 2001, she was a scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies. Previously, Ms. Singh consulted for the World Bank and the United Nations Economic Commission on Africa. She was the first Program Officer for Higher Education Innovative Projects at the Commission on National and Community Service, now known as the Corporation for National and Community Service. Before joining the Commission, Ms. Singh worked at ABC News’ Nightline. She is on the governing boards of Oxfam America, Revenue Watch Institute, and the Center for Global Development, and is a Member of the Aspen Strategy Group. Ms. Singh received a B.A. from Stanford University and an A.M. from Harvard University.

Todd A. Fisher, Appointee for Member, United States Holocaust Memorial Council

Todd A. Fisher is the Global Chief Administrative Officer of the investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR), where he has worked since 1993. In addition, he oversees the firm’s real estate investment business and serves on KKR’s Management, Private Equity, and Real Estate Investment Committees. He is a Member of the Advisory Committee for the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and the Advisory Board of the Clinton Health Access Initiative. Mr. Fisher received a B.A. from Brown University, an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Robert A. Sherman, Appointee for Member, United States Holocaust Memorial Council

Robert A. Sherman is a Shareholder at the Boston office of the law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP. He was a founder of the Boston office in 1999 and served as a Co-Managing Shareholder until 2008. Prior to joining Greenberg Traurig, he practiced at Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC from 1994 to 1999. He served as an Assistant Attorney General and Chief of the Consumer Protection Division in Boston from 1991 to 1993.  Mr. Sherman serves on the Board of Trustees of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where he is a member of the Compliance, Audit, and Risk Committees. Previously, he served on the Board of Directors of the Children’s Trust Fund. Mr. Sherman received a B.A. from the University of Rochester and a J.D. from the Boston University School of Law.

Andrea Lavin Solow, Appointee for Member, United States Holocaust Memorial Council

Andrea Lavin Solow serves on the Governing Board of the American Friends of the Yitzhak Rabin Center. She is also on the boards of the World Confederation of Jewish Community Centers and the Interfaith Youth Core. She is a former member of the Women's Board of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago and the Board of Project Interchange. She previously served as Chair of Partnership 2Gether and Vice President of the Hyde Park Jewish Community Center. Ms. Solow received a B.A. from the University of Illinois.

Dr. Michael Ashley Stein, Appointee for Member, United States Holocaust Memorial Council

Dr. Michael Ashley Stein is the Executive Director of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability and the Cabell Professor of Law at the William & Mary School of Law. He has taught at Harvard Law School, Stanford Law School, New York University School of Law, and New York University’s Department of English. Dr. Stein serves on the UNICEF Global Partnership on Children with Disabilities, and is a Founding Advisory Board Member of the Israeli Disability Research Forum. In 2012, he was recognized by The Boston Globe Magazine as one of the “12 Bostonians Changing the World,” and in 2011, as an “International Disability Rights Champion” by the Association for Higher Education and Disability Student Division. Dr. Stein received a B.A. from New York University, a J.D. from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. from Cambridge University.


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