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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts, 11/9/09

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

  • Joshua Gotbaum, Director, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
  • Raul Perea-Henze, Assistant Secretary of Policy and Planning, Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Carrie Hessler Radelet, Deputy Director of the United States Peace Corps
  • Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, Representative of the United States Representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council, with rank of Ambassador, United States Mission to the United Nations
  • Laura Kennedy, Representative of the United States to the Conference on Disarmament, with the rank of Ambassador, Department of State

President Obama will also appoint four individuals to serve on the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission.  Their names and bios are below.

President Obama said, “These individuals will be important additions to our administration as we work to put our nation back on a path to prosperity and make our world more secure.  I am grateful for their decision to serve and look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”

President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals today:

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.

Raul Perea-Henze, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of Policy and Planning, Department of Veterans Affairs
Dr. Raul Perea-Henze has spent nearly 25 years in both the public and private sectors. Most recently, he was a Senior Executive in Global Health Policy and Medical Operations for Merck and Co., Inc. and Pfizer.  Prior to these assignments, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Management & Budget and Senior Health Care Advisor at the White House during the Clinton Administration.  He was also a Management Consultant with The Growth Strategy Group, International, Inc. specializing in global strategy in the health sector for a number of years; a senior official in New York City Government; and an Adjunct Professor of Health Policy at New York University. Dr. Perea-Henze graduated from the University of Chihuahua School of Medicine in Mexico, and obtained a Master's Degree in Public Health – with concentration in Health Policy & Management- from Yale University, School of Medicine. 

Carrie Hessler Radelet, Nominee for Deputy Director of the United States Peace Corps
Carrie Hessler Radelet is the Director of the Washington, DC office of John Snow, Inc. (JSI) and JSI Research and Training Institute, Inc, a global public health organization, where she oversees the management of programs in more than 30 countries.  She has worked in the field of public health for the past two decades, specializing in HIV/AIDS and maternal and child health, working in more than 25 countries around the world. She was a Johns Hopkins Fellow with USAID in Indonesia and assisted the Indonesian government to develop its first national AIDS strategy. She later assisted in the development of the strategy for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).  Ms. Radelet was a Board member of the National Peace Corps Association and served on the steering committee for the US Coalition for Child Survival.  She was the founder of Special Olympics in The Gambia.   Ms. Radelet served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Western Samoa, where she taught high school and helped design a national public awareness campaign on disaster preparedness. Ms. Radelet received her B.A. from Boston University and her Master's in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, Nominee for Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations Human Rights Council, with rank of Ambassador
Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe is an Affiliated Scholar at the Center for international Security and Cooperation at Stanford University.  Her research has focused on norms on use of force, UN reform, and the international rule of law.  Her 2006 Ph.D. dissertation entitled: "Humanitarian Military Intervention:  The Moral Imperative Versus the Rule of Law," addressed conflicting legal and ethical justifications for humanitarian military intervention. Previously, Ms. Donahoe was a litigation associate at Fenwick & West in Silicon Valley, where she served technology clients in intellectual property and commercial disputes. Prior to that, she was a teaching fellow at Stanford Law School and law clerk to the Honorable William H. Orrick.  Ms. Donahoe has worked with various human rights organizations including The Lawyer's Committee for Human Rights, where she did research on the nexus between US foreign policy and human rights, and Amnesty International's Ginneta Sagan Fund, where she did strategy work related to human rights concerns of women and children.  She received her B.A. from Dartmouth College, a Masters in Theology from Harvard University, her J.D. from Stanford Law School, an M.A. in East Asian Studies from Stanford University, and her Ph.D. in Ethics from the University of California's Graduate Theological Union. 

Laura E. Kennedy, Nominee for Representative of the United States to the Conference on Disarmament, with the rank of Ambassador, Department of State
Laura E. Kennedy, a member of the Senior Foreign Service, was most recently Deputy Commandant at the National War College since 2007. Prior to that, she was a member of the State Department’s Board of Examiners from 2005-2007.  From 2004-2005 she was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs (EUR).  She served as the Dean of the State Department’s Senior Seminar from 2004-2005. Ms. Kennedy was Ambassador to Turkmenistan from 2001-2003 where she focused on support for civil society as well as support for operations in neighboring Afghanistan. She was the Deputy Chief of Mission, United States Mission to the United Nations from 1998-2001. From 1995-1997 she was the Director of the Office of Central Eurasian Affairs.  She has also held postings in Moscow (twice), Vienna (to the negotiations on conventional forces in Europe) and Ankara. She has  been detailed as charge at the new U.S. Embassy in Yerevan, as a guide at an official exchange exhibit in Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Tajikistan.  Ms. Kennedy holds a B.A. from Vassar College and an M.A. from American University.

President Obama will also appoint the following individuals to serve on the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission:

Peggy Noonan, Member, Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission
Peggy Noonan is a columnist for The Wall Street Journal and the bestselling author of eight books on American politics, history and culture. Her work has been featured in TIME, Newsweek and The Washington Post, among other publications.  She provides frequent political commentary on television. Ms. Noonan previously served as a Special Assistant to President Ronald Regan from 1984 to 1986. In 1988, she was chief speechwriter on the Presidential campaign of George H.W. Bush. Ms. Noonan has written on the Reagan Presidency, authoring When Character Was King: A Story of Ronald Reagan, as well as publishing Patriotic Grace, John Paul the Great: Remembering a Spiritual Father, A Heart, a Cross and A Flag, and What I Saw at the Revolution.

John F. W. Rogers, Member, Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission
John F.W. Rogers is a managing director and member of the Management Committee of Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he serves as the firm’s chief of staff and secretary to the Board of Directors. Mr. Rogers served in the Reagan administration as an Assistant to the President and later as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. He was Undersecretary of State for Management in President George H.W. Bush’s administration. Mr. Rogers is Treasurer of the Ronald Reagan Foundation and Treasurer of the White House Historical Association.  He currently serves as Chairman of the Advisory Board of the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institute.  He is the former Chairman of the President’s Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.  He is also a former Member of the Board of Trustees of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and of the Fine Arts Committee of the U.S. Department of State.  Mr. Rogers is a recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Alexander Hamilton Award, and the U.S. State Department’s Distinguished Service Award.

Frederick J. Ryan, Jr., Member, Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission
Frederick J. Ryan, Jr. is President and Chief Operating Officer of Allbritton Communications Company and President and Chief Executive Officer of POLITICO newspaper and Mr. Ryan served as Chief of Staff to former President Reagan from 1989 to 1995 and was instrumental in the design, construction and operation of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Center for Public Affairs. He previously was an Assistant to President Reagan, where he overlooked presidential appointments, scheduling, communication strategies and the White House Private Sector Initiatives program. Mr. Ryan serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation and is a trustee of The White House Historical Association, Ford’s Theatre, National Museum of American History and the Board of Councilors of the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California.

Fred W. Smith, Member, Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission
Fred W. Smith is a Senior Partner at Peno Bottom Partners in Las Vegas. He served as the CEO of the Donrey Media Group, one of the largest privately held media companies in the United States, until it was sold in 1993, concluding his 42-year career at the company where he began as a classified advertising salesman. Mr. Smith has served as a trustee and director of the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation since its inception in 1954 and has held the position of Chairman for the past twenty years.  Under his leadership the Foundation has committed nearly $1.5 billion in its grant-making programs. In 1989 the University of Nevada System Board of Regents named Mr. Smith "Distinguished Nevadan of the Year.”  Mr. Smith holds honorary doctorate degrees from three universities for his professional, philanthropic and civic accomplishments.