Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release – October 30, 2013
President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts:
- Robert C. Barber – Ambassador to the Republic of Iceland, Department of State
- Nani A. Coloretti – Chief Financial Officer, Department of the Treasury
- Bathsheba N. Crocker – Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs, Department of State
- Jonathan Elkind – Assistant Secretary for International Affairs, Department of Energy
- Mark D. Gilbert – Ambassador to New Zealand, Department of State
- Joseph Hezir – Chief Financial Officer, Department of Energy
- Tina S. Kaidanow – Coordinator for Counterterrorism, with the rank of Ambassador at Large, Department of State
- William A. LaPlante, Jr. – Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Department of Defense
- Ted Mitchell – Under Secretary, Department of Education
- Massie Ritsch – Assistant Secretary for Communications and Outreach, Department of Education
- Charles H. Rivkin – Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs, Department of State
- Rhea Suh – Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife, Department of the Interior
President Obama said, “I am proud to nominate such impressive men and women to these important roles, and I am grateful they have agreed to lend their considerable talents to this Administration. 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:
Robert C. Barber, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Iceland, Department of State
Robert C. Barber is an attorney with the law firm Looney & Grossman LLP, where he has worked since 1981. He became a partner in 1985 and served as managing partner from 2001 to 2003. Previously, Mr. Barber was an Assistant District Attorney for New York County from 1977 to 1981, and a Law Clerk in the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in Boston and Brooklyn from 1974 to 1977. Mr. Barber served on the Obama for America National Finance Committee, including the New England Steering Committee from 2007 to 2008 and Chair of the New England Steering Committee from 2009 to 2012. Mr. Barber has served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Social Law Library since 1998. He is a Trustee of Phillips Brooks House Association and a Director of Abbot Academy Association. Mr. Barber received an A.B. from Harvard College, a J.D. from Boston University School of Law, and an M.C.P. from Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
Nani A. Coloretti, Nominee for Chief Financial Officer, Department of the Treasury
Nani A. Coloretti is the Assistant Secretary for Management at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, a position she has held since November 2012. From 2009 to 2012, she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget. Prior to joining the Administration, Ms. Coloretti worked in the San Francisco Mayor’s office from 2005 until 2009, most recently serving as Budget Director. Previously, Ms. Coloretti served as the Director of Policy, Planning, and Budget for the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families from 1999 to 2005. Ms. Coloretti worked as a Health Financing Branch Budget Examiner for the U.S. Office of Management and Budget from 1994 to 1997. She was a Budget Analyst for the Department of Public Safety in the State of Hawaii from 1991 to 1992. Ms. Coloretti is a recipient of the National Public Service Award, the Public Policy and International Affairs Achievement Award, and the Government Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget Presentation Award. Ms. Coloretti received a B.A. in Economics and Communications from the University of Pennsylvania and a M.P.P. from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley.
Bathsheba N. Crocker, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs, Department of State
Bathsheba N. Crocker is the Principal Deputy Director in the Office of Policy Planning at the Department of State (DOS), a position she has held since 2011. Previously at DOS, she served as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary of State from 2009 to 2011. From 2008 to 2009, Ms. Crocker was a Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer for International Affairs at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She was the Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support at the UN Peacebuilding Support Office from 2007 to 2008. From 2005 to 2007, Ms. Crocker was the Deputy Chief of Staff to the UN Special Envoy at the Office of the UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery. Ms. Crocker worked at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on the Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project as a Fellow and Co-Director from 2003 to 2005 and as an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations from 2002 to 2003. Ms. Crocker was an Attorney-Adviser for the Office of the Legal Advisor at DOS from 2001 to 2002 and from 1997 to 1999. From 2000 to 2001, she was Deputy U.S. Special Representative for Southeast Europe Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Rome, Italy. From 1999 to 2000, Ms. Crocker was Executive Assistant to the Deputy National Security Advisor for the National Security Council at the White House. She has served as an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University, George Washington University, and American University. Ms. Crocker received a B.A. from Stanford University, an M.A. from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Jonathan Elkind, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for International Affairs, Department of Energy
Jonathan Elkind is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Policy and International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), a position he has held since 2009. Previously, from 2006 to 2009, Mr. Elkind was a Non-Resident Senior Fellow with The Brookings Institution. Additionally, from 2002 to 2009, he was a Principal with Eastlink Consulting, LLC. Mr. Elkind was a Senior Researcher for the Joint Global Change Research Institute at the University of Maryland, College Park from 2001 to 2002. He served in several capacities in the White House from 1996 to 2001, including: Director of Russian, Ukranian, and Eurasian Affairs for the National Security Council from 1998 to 2001 and Special Advisor for International Affairs within the Office of the Vice President from 1996 to 1998. He also held roles at DOE from 1993 to 1996 and the Council on Environmental Quality from 1989 to 1993. Mr. Elkind received a A.B. from the University of Michigan, an M.A. from Columbia University, and an M.B.A. from the University of Maryland.
Mark D. Gilbert, Nominee for Ambassador to New Zealand, Department of State
Mark D. Gilbert is a Director at Barclays Wealth (formerly Lehman Brothers) in West Palm Beach, Florida. Mr. Gilbert was the Senior Vice President of Goldman Sachs in Miami from 1989 to 1996 and the Senior Vice President Sales Manager of Drexel Burnham Lambert in Boca Raton from 1986 to 1989. Mr. Gilbert was the Democratic National Committee’s Deputy National Finance Chair from 2009 to 2013. He served on the Obama for America National Finance Committee from 2007 to 2008 and 2011 to 2012, and was a member of the Presidential Inaugural Finance Committee in 2009. Mr. Gilbert was Finance Chairman and Advisor to the Klein for Congress Campaign from 2005 to 2006 and was a Trustee on the National Finance Committee for Kerry for President in 2004. Before beginning his business career, Mr. Gilbert was a professional baseball player for several years and played in the major leagues with the Chicago White Sox in 1985. Mr. Gilbert received a B.S. in Finance from Florida State University.
Joseph Hezir, Nominee for Chief Financial Officer, Department of Energy
Joseph Hezir is a Research Engineer and the Executive Director of The Future of Solar Energy Study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Energy Initiative, positions he has held since 2009. Since 1992, he has also been the Vice President and Managing Partner of EOP Group, Inc. as well as Executive Vice President of EOP Education, LLC and EOP Foundation, Inc. Mr. Hezir served at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as the Deputy Associate Director for Energy and Science from 1986 to 1992, and as Chief of the Non-Nuclear Energy Branch from 1982 to 1986. He held various roles at OMB, Exxon Research and Engineering Company, the President’s Reorganization Project, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 1973 to 1986. Mr. Hezir received a B.S. and M.S. from Carnegie Mellon University.
Ambassador Tina S. Kaidanow, Nominee for Coordinator for Counterterrorism, with the rank of Ambassador at Large, Department of State
Ambassador Tina S. Kaidanow, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, most recently served as Deputy Ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan from 2012 to 2013. Prior to this, she was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State from 2011 to 2012 and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs from 2009 to 2011. From 2006 to 2009, Ambassador Kaidanow was Chief of Mission and Principal Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Pristina, Kosovo. She became the first U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo in July 2008, and served in Bosnia-Herzegovina as Deputy Chief of Mission from 2003 to 2006. From 2000 to 2002, she was Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State, and from 1999 to 2000 she was Director for Southeast European Affairs on the National Security Council at the White House. From 1998 to 1999, she was Special Assistant to the Special Envoy for Kosovo at U.S. Embassy Skopje, Macedonia, and prior to that she spent tours as a political officer in Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1997 to 1998 and Serbia from 1995 to 1997. Ambassador Kaidanow joined the Foreign Service in 1994. She received a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.Phil. from Columbia University.
Dr. William A. LaPlante, Jr., Nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Department of Defense
Dr. William A. LaPlante, Jr. is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, a position he has held since May 2013. Previously, from 2011 to 2013, Dr. LaPlante was Missile Defense Portfolio Director at the MITRE Corporation. He began his career at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in 1985 and served in various capacities until 2011, including Global Engagement Department Head, Business Area Executive for Undersea Warfare and National Security Technology Associate Department Head, and the Strategic Submarine Security Program Area Manager. Dr. LaPlante was appointed to the Defense Science Board in 2010. He has also been a member of the USSTRATCOM Strategic Advisory Group and an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Catholic University of America. Dr. LaPlante received a B.S. from the University of Illinois, an M.S. from Johns Hopkins University, and a Ph.D. from Catholic University of America.
Dr. Ted Mitchell, Nominee for Under Secretary, Department of Education
Dr. Ted Mitchell is currently the CEO of the NewSchools Venture Fund, a position he has held since 2005. In addition, Dr. Mitchell served as President of the NewSchools Venture Fund from 2005 to 2013. Prior to this, Dr. Mitchell served as President of Occidental College from 1999 to 2005. He previously worked at the University of California at Los Angeles, serving as Vice Chancellor for External Affairs from 1997 to 1998, Vice Chancellor for Academic Planning and Budget from 1996 to 1997, and Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies from 1992 to 1998. He was Deputy to the President and to the Provost of Stanford University from 1991 to 1992. Dr. Mitchell was Chair of the Department of Education at Dartmouth College from 1989 to 1991. Dr. Mitchell received a B.A. in History and Economics, an M.A. in History, and a Ph.D. in Social Sciences in Education from Stanford University.
Massie Ritsch, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Communications and Outreach, Department of Education
Massie Ritsch is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for External Affairs and Outreach at the Department of Education, a position he has held since 2009. He served as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Communications and Outreach from 2012 to 2013. From 2006 to 2009, Mr. Ritsch was the Communications Director for the Center for Responsive Politics, where he helped oversee www.OpenSecrets.org. From 2003 to 2005, he was Vice President of Sugerman Communications Group. Mr. Ritsch began his career as a politics and education reporter for The Los Angeles Times from 1998 to 2003. He received a B.A. from Princeton University.
Ambassador Charles H. Rivkin, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs, Department of State
Ambassador Charles H. Rivkin is the U.S. Ambassador to France and Monaco, a position he has held since 2009. From 2005 to 2009, Ambassador Rivkin was the President and CEO of W!LDBRAIN, an award-winning film and television show production company. From 1988 to 2003, he served in various roles for The Jim Henson Company, most recently as the President and CEO. Previously, Ambassador Rivkin was an analyst in Corporate Finance at Salomon Brothers from 1984 to 1986. Before his service as Ambassador, he served on the boards of various companies and organizations, including Save the Children from 1997 to 2003 and Chrysalis from 1996 to 2002. From 1996 to 2009, he was a Member of the Young Presidents Organization and from 2007 to 2009 he was a Member of the Pacific Council on International Policy. Ambassador Rivkin received a B.A. from Yale University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Rhea Suh, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife, Department of the Interior
Rhea Suh is the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget at the Department of the Interior, a position she has held since 2009. Previously, Ms. Suh was the Program Officer and Manager of the Western Conservation Subprogram of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation from 2007 to 2009. From 1998 to 2007, Ms. Suh was the Program Officer for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Environment Program, and from 1993 to 1996 she served as a Senior Legislative Assistant to Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell. Ms. Suh received a B.A. from Barnard College and a M.A. from Harvard University Graduate School of Education.