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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts, 11/17/09

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

• Robert A. Petzel, Under Secretary for Health, Department of Veterans Affairs
• Arthur Elkins, Jr., Inspector General, Environmental Protection Agency
• Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale, Assistant Secretary of Commerce (Manufacturing and Services), Department of Commerce

President Obama said, “The dedication and expertise of these individuals will be of great service to my administration as we confront the challenges our nation faces. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”

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

Robert A. Petzel, Nominee for Under Secretary for Health, Department of Veterans Affairs
Robert A. Petzel, M.D. was appointed Acting Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Health of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) in May 2009.  Before this, Dr. Petzel was Network Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs Midwest Health Care Network based in Minneapolis, Minn. In this position, Dr. Petzel was responsible for executive leadership, strategic planning and budget for eight medical centers and 42 community based outpatient clinics that serve veterans in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Western Illinois and Western Wisconsin. Previously Dr. Petzel was Director of VA Network 23 and was Chief of Staff at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center.  Dr. Petzel also co-chairs the National VHA Strategic Planning Committee and the VHA System Redesign Steering Committee.  Dr. Petzel graduated from St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn., in 1965 and from Northwestern University Medical School in 1969. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and on the faculty of the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Arthur Elkins, Jr., Inspector General, Environmental Protection Agency
Arthur Elkins, Jr. is currently an Associate General Counsel within the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of General Counsel (OGC).  In this position, he supervises the delivery of legal counsel, opinions, litigation support and other legal services in support of the EPA OGC’s Information Law Practice, Employment Law Practice and Intellectual Property Law Practice.  In addition to his EPA service, Mr. Elkins’s federal public service also includes service as the Chief Legal Officer/General Counsel for the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA), the Counsel to the Inspector General of the National Science Foundation, and as a Department Counsel within the Department of Defense’s Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals.  Prior to Mr. Elkins’s federal public service, he served at the state level as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and as an Assistant Public Defender for the Ohio Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office and the Ohio Cuyahoga County Public Defender Office, respectively.  Mr. Elkins has distinguished himself as a versatile accomplished attorney with more than sixteen years of legal experience. Mr. Elkins maintains active bar memberships in both Ohio and the District of Columbia. Mr. Elkins received his Bachelors in Social Science from Thomas A. Edison State College, Masters in Business Administration from Baldwin-Wallace College, Juris Doctor from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University, and a Masters in Law and Government from American University.

Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of Commerce (Manufacturing and Services), Department of Commerce
Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale is currently the Deputy General Counsel of the Department of Commerce.  In this role, she assists the General Counsel as the chief legal officer for the Department and legal advisor to the Secretary, Secretarial Officers and other officers of the Department.  Prior to joining the Obama Administration, she was the Managing Partner of the Detroit office of the law firm of Foley & Lardner LLP where she specialized in business restructuring in the manufacturing sector.  Lamb-Hale has been active in civic and community affairs throughout her career.  She served as vice-chair of the Board of Directors of the Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority, by appointment of Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm, and as a member of the Board of Trustees of Leadership Detroit.  Lamb-Hale has been a frequent lecturer on restructuring matters with a particular emphasis in recent years on the automotive industry.  She was named a Super Lawyer for three successive years and one of Metro Detroit's Most Influential Women by a leading business publication.  Lamb-Hale received her B.A. with high honors from the University of Michigan in 1988 and her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1991