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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts, 5/11/2011

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

  • William J. Burns, Deputy Secretary, Department of State
  • Robert G. Taub, Commissioner, Postal Regulatory Commission
  • Mark P. Wetjen, Commissioner, Commodity Futures Trading Commission

President Obama said, “I am honored that these talented individuals have decided to join this Administration and serve our country.  I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come.”

President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts:
William J. Burns, Nominee for Deputy Secretary, Department of State
William J. Burns currently serves as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and holds the highest rank in the Foreign Service, Career Ambassador.   Prior to this appointment, Ambassador Burns served as U.S. Ambassador to Russia from 2005 to 2008; Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from 2001 to 2005; and U.S. Ambassador to Jordan from 1998 to 2001. Since joining the Foreign Service in 1982,  Ambassador Burns has served in a number of other capacities both in Washington and abroad including:  Executive Secretary and Special Assistant to Secretaries Christopher and Albright; Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow; Acting Director and Principal Deputy Director of the Department's Policy Planning Staff; and Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council.  Ambassador Burns earned a B.A. in History from LaSalle University and a M.Phil and D.Phil. in International Relations from Oxford University, where he studied as a Marshall Scholar.
Robert G. Taub, Nominee for Commissioner, Postal Regulatory Commission
Robert G. Taub is currently the Special Assistant to Secretary of the Army John McHugh.  Prior to this, Mr. Taub spent significant time working in the U.S. House of Representatives, including serving for a decade as Chief of Staff to then-Congressman McHugh.  He has extensive expertise with postal policy and was instrumental in developing the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which modernized America’s postal laws for the first time since 1970.  Mr. Taub served for 12 years on the House of Representative’s Oversight & Government Reform Committee in a series of senior positions, including service as Staff Director of its former Postal Service Subcommittee.  In addition, he was a senior analyst at the U.S. Government Accountability Office from 1987 to 1994.  Mr. Taub received his B.S. and M.A. in political science from American University.
Mark P. Wetjen, Nominee for Commissioner, Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Mark P. Wetjen is currently Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor to Majority Leader Harry Reid in the U.S. Senate, a role that he has served in since 2004. Prior to serving in the Senate, Mr. Wetjen was a lawyer in private practice in Nevada and California.  Mr. Wetjen earned his J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law and his B.A. from Creighton University.