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The White House

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts, 3/20/09


Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         March 20, 2009

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key administration posts: Dr. Steven E. Koonin, Under Secretary for Science, Department of Energy; David Sandalow, Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs, Department of Energy; Ambassador Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, State Department; Kathy Martinez, Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), Department of Labor; Jonathan S. Adelstein, Administrator for the Rural Utilities Service, United States Department of Agriculture; Timothy W. Manning, Deputy Administrator for National Preparedness, FEMA, Department of Homeland Security; and Priscilla E. Guthrie, Chief Information Officer, Office of Director of National Intelligence. President Obama also announced that Steve Isakowitz, the Chief Financial Officer at the Department of Energy, will continue serving in his current role.

President Obama said, "This group of public servants joins my administration at a critical time in our nation’s history.  As we work to rebuild our economy, achieve energy independence and keep American strong at home and abroad, I will rely on their trusted counsel and extensive experience on the issues.  I look forward to working with them in the months ahead."

President Obama made the following announcement today:

Dr. Steven E. Koonin, Nominee for Under Secretary for Science, Department of Energy
Dr. Steven E. Koonin is currently Chief Scientist for BP, plc, where he is responsible for guiding the company's long-range technology strategy, particularly in alternative and renewable energy sources.  Koonin joined BP in 2004 following a 29-year career at the California Institute of Technology as a Professor of Theoretical Physics, including a 9-year term as the Institute's Provost. He has served on numerous advisory bodies for the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy and its various national laboratories.  Koonin's research interests have included theoretical and computational physics, as well as global environmental science.   He did his undergraduate work at Caltech and has a PhD from MIT.

David Sandalow, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs, Department of Energy
David Sandalow is Energy & Environment Scholar and a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program of the Brookings Institution.  He is the author of Freedom from Oil (2008) and has written widely on energy and environmental policy.  Sandalow is a senior advisor to Good Energies, Inc. and has served as Chair of the Energy & Climate Working Group of the Clinton Global Initiative.  Previously, Sandalow served as Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans, Environment & Science; Senior Director for Environmental Affairs, National Security Council; Associate Director for the Global Environment, White House Council on Environmental Quality, and Executive Vice President, World Wildlife Fund-US.  Sandalow is a graduate of Yale College (BA Philosophy) and the University of Michigan Law School (JD).

Ambassador Johnnie Carson, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, State Department
Ambassador Johnnie Carson is currently the National Intelligence Officer for Africa on the National Intelligence Council. He joined the NIC in September 2006 after a 37-year career in the Foreign Service. Prior to this appointment, Carson served as the Senior Vice President of the National Defense University in Washington D.C. (2003-2006). Carson's Foreign Service career includes ambassadorships to Kenya (1999-2003), Zimbabwe (1995-1997), and Uganda (1991-1994); and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs (1997-1999). Earlier in his career he had assignments in Portugal, Botswana, Mozambique, and Nigeria. He has also served as desk officer in the Africa section at State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research; Staff Officer for the Secretary of State (1978-1979), and Staff Director for the Africa Subcommittee of the US House of Representatives (1979-1982). Before joining the Foreign Service, Ambassador Carson was a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania. He has a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Drake University and a Master of Arts in International Relations from the School of Oriental and Africa Studies at the University of London.  Ambassador Carson is the recipient of several Superior Honor Awards from the Department of State and a Meritorious Service Award from Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The Centers for Disease Control presented Ambassador Carson its highest award, "Champion of Prevention Award," for his leadership in directing the US Government's HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in Kenya.

Kathy Martinez, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), Department of Labor
Blind since birth, Kathy Martinez is an internationally recognized disability rights leader specializing in employment, asset building, independent living, international development, diversity and gender issues.  She was appointed Executive Director of the World Institute on Disability (WID), based in Oakland, CA, in 2005.  Martinez directs Proyecto Visión, WID’s National Technical Assistance Center to increase employment opportunities for Latinos with disabilities in the United States, and Access to Assets, an asset-building project to help reduce poverty among people with disabilities. At WID, she also led the team that produced the acclaimed international webzine DisabilityWorld ( in English and Spanish.  In 2007 she was appointed a member of the board of the U.S. Institute of Peace, a Congressionally-created agency dedicated to research and projects in conflict management. In 2005 Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appointed Martinez as one of eight public members of the newly-established State Department advisory committee on disability and foreign policy. In 2002 she was appointed by President Bush as one of 15 members of the National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency advising the President and Congress on disability policy.

Jonathan S. Adelstein, Nominee for Administrator for the Rural Utilities Service, United States Department of Agriculture
Jonathan S. Adelstein is currently a Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, where he has served since 2002, and was confirmed to a second term in 2004, where he led efforts to improve rural telecommunications and broadband.  Previously, he served for fifteen years as a staff member in the US Senate, including his final seven years with Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), advising him on telecommunications, financial services, housing, transportation and other key issues.  Prior to that, he served as Professional Staff Member to Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman David Pryor (D-AR), including an assignment as a special liaison to Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), and earlier as a Legislative Assistant to Senator Donald W. Riegle, Jr. (D-MI).  Before his service in the Senate, he was a Teaching Fellow in the Department of History, Harvard University, while studying at the Kennedy School of Government, and a Teaching Assistant in the Department of History, Stanford University, and as a Communications Consultant to the Stanford Graduate School of Business.  He received an M.A. in History and a B.A. with Distinction in Political Science from Stanford University.  Born and raised in Rapid City, South Dakota, he and his wife, Karen, have two children, Adam and Lexi.

Timothy W. Manning, Nominee for Deputy Administrator for National Preparedness, FEMA, Department of Homeland Security
Timothy W. Manning is the Director of the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and Homeland Security Advisor to Governor Bill Richardson. Manning was named the Department’s first Director by Governor Richardson in April 2007, having previously been appointed to the Cabinet as Director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security in 2005 and as the State Director of Emergency Management since early 2003. Manning has also served as a Deputy Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Public Safety. Manning has a diverse background in emergency services, working in a number of positions in the State’s emergency management agency, including Chief of the Emergency Operations Bureau, and having been, at various times, a firefighter, EMT, rescue mountaineer, hazardous materials specialist, and hydrogeologist. In addition to Homeland Security, Manning also oversees the daily administration of the State's disaster and emergency preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery efforts. He is currently the Chairman of the Response and Recovery Committee and regional Vice President of the National Emergency Management Association, incoming Chair of the Association’s Homeland Security Committee, Co-Chair of the National Homeland Security Consortium, Chair of the Governor’s Homeland Security Advisory Committee, a Commissioner on the Emergency Management Accreditation Program, and serves as chair or member on many other National and State boards and commissions. Manning received a Bachelors of Science in Geology from Eastern Illinois University and is a graduate of the Center for Homeland Defense and Security of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

Priscilla E. Guthrie, Nominee for Chief Information Officer, Office of Director of National Intelligence
Priscilla Guthrie is currently Director of the Information Technology and Systems Division at the Institute for Defense Analyses, a non-profit corporation that administers three federally funded research and development centers to provide objective analyses of national security issues. From 2001 to 2006, Guthrie served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Deputy Chief Information Officer) at the Department of Defense, where she was responsible for information support to deployed forces. Prior to her position at the Pentagon, Guthrie was a Vice President of TRW, Inc., where she established and led a small, global unit responsible for driving new IT technology into the company’s businesses. She also served in several other positions at TRW, Inc. during her career. Guthrie is a member of the Strategy Advisory Group for USSTRATCOM, where she chairs the Cyber Panel, Chair of the NSA NC2 Review and Chair of the Penn State Leonhard Center for Engineering Excellence Advisory Board. Guthrie holds a B.S. from Pennsylvania State University and an M.B.A. from Marymount College.

President Obama also made the following announcement today:

Steve Isakowitz, Chief Financial Officer, Department of Energy
Steve Isakowitz was sworn in June 1, 2007 as Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Energy after being unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate. As CFO, Isakowitz plays a vital role in the Department’s $24 billion budget that supports important energy, scientific, and national security investments. He has overall responsibility for the Department’s financial management, budget formulation and execution, program analysis and evaluation, corporate information systems, cost analysis, and loan guarantee program.  Prior to DOE, Isakowitz held important positions in policy, finance, program management, and engineering. Since 1991, he has led key efforts for the US Government in support of major national goals in research and development, space exploration, and national security. At the Office of Management and Budget, he supported the White House in overseeing $50 billion in Federal science and technology programs across multiple Federal agencies and led development of major interagency initiatives. At the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, he was the Deputy Chief Financial Officer and Comptroller responsible for directing the agency’s $16 billion annual budget, and Deputy Associate Administrator in charge of major space exploration programs. At the Central Intelligence Agency, he was a senior manager with the Science & Technology Directorate responsible for devising innovative technical projects and addressing high priority issues within the intelligence community.  Previously, Isakowitz was a corporate manager and senior engineer at Lockheed Martin Corporation and a senior consultant at Booz, Allen & Hamilton. He is also the recipient of the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award, a top award for executive performance, and an author of a technical book on space launch vehicles.  A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Isakowitz graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in aerospace engineering. He and his wife, Monica, live in Virginia and have four children.