President Obama Announces a Presidential Emergency Board, Names Members

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

President Obama Announces a Presidential Emergency Board, Names Members

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order creating a second Presidential Emergency Board to help resolve an ongoing dispute between the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and some of its employees.

The Presidential Emergency Board will provide a structure that allows the two sides to attempt to resolve their disagreements.  In the 60 days following its establishment, the Presidential Emergency Board will obtain final offers for settlement of the dispute from each side, and then produce a report to the President that selects the offer that the Board finds to be the most reasonable.  The Board’s report is not binding, but the party whose offer is not selected would be prohibited by law from receiving certain benefits if a work stoppage subsequently occurs.

President Obama also announced that he intends to appoint the following members to Presidential Emergency Board No. 247:

  • Elizabeth C. Wesman – Chair, Presidential Emergency Board No. 247
  • Barbara Deinhardt – Member, Presidential Emergency Board No. 247
  • David P. Twomey – Member, Presidential Emergency Board No. 247

President Obama said, “I appreciate that these dedicated individuals have agreed to devote their talent and years of experience working on labor-management disputes to help reach a swift and smooth resolution of this issue.”

Dr. Elizabeth C. Wesman, Appointee for Chair, Presidential Emergency Board No. 247

Dr. Elizabeth C. Wesman has been a full-time labor and employment arbitrator since 2000 and has practiced arbitration and mediation since 1981.  She has arbitrated disputes in a wide array of industries, including railroad, aerospace, police and fire departments, and public and private universities.  Dr. Wesman was Associate Professor of Strategy and Human Resources/Industrial Relations at Syracuse University from 1981 to 2000.  She was also an Adjunct Professor at the Rochester, New York, Extension Division of Cornell University from 1990 to 2000.  She was a lecturer in the Department of Human Resource Studies at the New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University from 1980 to 1981 and before that, she was an Instructor in the Department of Economics at Le Moyne College from 1970 to 1975.  Dr. Wesman is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators.  She is on the arbitration rosters of the American Arbitration Association, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, and the National Mediation Board.  Dr. Wesman has been on a number of permanent panels, including the New York State/Public Employees Federation Panel, the Oregon Employment Relations Board, and the Washington State Public Employment Relations Commission.  She is the immediate past-President of the National Association of Railroad Referees.  Dr. Wesman received an A.B. from Smith College, an M.A. from Northwestern University, and a Ph.D. from the New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University.

Barbara Deinhardt, Appointee for Member, Presidential Emergency Board No. 247

Barbara Deinhardt has been a full-time labor and employment arbitrator and mediator since 1995.  She served as Chair of the New York State Employment Relations Board from 2007 to 2009, and as Member and Chair of the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board from 1991 to 1995.  Ms. Deinhardt was the Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs and General Counsel to the New York State Department of Labor from 1986 to 1991.  From 1984 to 1986, she was General Counsel to the Workers' Compensation Board, and was a Partner at Kestell, Pogue & Deinhardt from 1980 to 1984.  She was a trial attorney with the National Labor Relations Board in Boston from 1976 to 1980.  Ms. Deinhardt served as a member of the Foreign Service Grievance Board from 1999 to 2005. She is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators, the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, the National Advisory Board of the Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, the Labor and Employment Relations Association, and the New York State Bar Association.  Ms. Deinhardt received a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law.

David P. Twomey, Appointee for Member, Presidential Emergency Board No. 247

David P. Twomey has served as a labor arbitrator since 1974.  He joined the Boston College faculty in 1968 and has been a professor since 1978.  Mr. Twomey has been selected by employers and unions to arbitrate in over 2,000 labor-management disputes throughout the country in both the private and public sectors.  He has been appointed to eight Presidential Emergency Boards.  Mr. Twomey is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators, the American Arbitration Association, and the Academy of Legal Studies in Business.  He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1956 to 1958.  Mr. Twomey received a B.S. from Boston College, an M.B.A. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and a J.D. from Boston College Law School.