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The White House

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts, 6-25-09

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release                                                    June 25, 2009
President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals for key administration posts:
  • William Eacho, Ambassador, Republic of Austria
  • Judith G. Garber, Ambassador, Republic of Latvia
  • David Killion, rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • James Knight, Ambassador, Republic of Benin
  • Karen Kornbluh, Permanent Representative of the U.S. to OECD
  • Bruce Oreck, Ambassador, Republic of Finland
  • Charles A. Ray, Ambassador, Republic of Zimbabwe
  • David Thorne, Ambassador, Italian Republic and the Republic of San Marino
President Obama said, "I’m grateful that these talented and dedicated individuals will be serving my administration and representing our nation abroad. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead to strengthen our relationships in the global community and our standing in the world."
President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals today:
William Eacho, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Austria
William Eacho is the CEO of Carlton Capital Group, LLC, a private investment company focused on real estate and private investments primarily dealing with alternative energy and technology. Previously, he was the executive vice president of Alliant Foodservice, Inc., a $6 billion national food service distributor based in Chicago, with primary responsibility for technology and acquisition strategy. He joined Alliant after the company’s acquisition of Atlantic Food Services in Manassas, Virginia. Under Mr. Eacho's leadership, Atlantic increased its sales tenfold. Prior to that Mr. Eacho was a founding co-chairman of UniPro Foodservice Inc., the food service distribution industry's top procurement and marketing cooperative, with combined member sales of over $20 billion. From 1996-1997, Mr. Eacho served as chairman of ComSource, a $9 billion cooperative, until helping to negotiate a merger with its leading competitor, EMCO, to create UniPro Foodservice. Mr. Eacho serves on the boards of directors of Capital Transportation Inc., Stanley Martin Companies Inc., Systems 4 Inc. and Bialek Healthcare Environments Inc.
Judith G. Garber, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Latvia
Judith Garber currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs at the Department of State. A career Foreign Service Officer, she joined the Foreign Service in 1984. Her previous diplomatic assignments include Economic Counselor in Madrid, Spain, Deputy Economic Counselor in Tel Aviv, Israel, Economic Officer in Prague, Czech Republic, Economic Officer in Mexico City, Mexico, and Vice Consul in Seville, Spain. Ms. Garber’s Washington assignments include Director for North Central Europe in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Director for Overseas Development Finance in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, and the Department’s Executive Secretariat staff. Ms. Garber holds a Bachelor of Science from Georgetown University.
David Killion, Nominee for U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with the rank of Ambassador
David Killion is a Senior Professional Staff member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and is the Committee’s top expert on International Organizations and State Department Operations. Mr. Killion managed the drafting of this year’s State Department Authorization Act on behalf of Committee Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA), which passed the House on June 10th. He has also coordinated Committee initiatives to improve UN management and to reform UN human rights mechanisms. Mr. Killion served as top UN advisor to the late Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA) the previous Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee. In this capacity he worked on legislation that Mr. Lantos introduced and passed in 2001 authorizing U.S. re-entry to UNESCO. Prior to serving on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr. Killion was an appointee of the Clinton Administration in the Department of State in the bureau of Legislative Affairs (1996-2001), and as a legislative assistant to Congressman David Skaggs (D-C0) (1994-1996). Mr. Killion holds a BA from Wesleyan University in Middletown Connecticut and an MA from the University of California at Los Angeles.
James Knight, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Benin
James Knight, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, is Director of the State Department's Office of East African Affairs, which provides political and economic policy support and liaison for Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania, and Uganda. Mr. Knight was previously Team Leader of the Ninewa Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), based in Mosul, Iraq. Before Iraq, Mr. Knight was Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) for the U.S. Mission to Angola. Previous assignments include DCM for Embassy Praia, Cape Verde; Country Affairs Officer for Ethiopia in the Office of East African Affairs; Political Officer for Embassy Antananarivo, Madagascar; Political, Economic, and Consular Officer for Embassy Banjul, the Gambia; and General Services Officer at Embassy Lagos, Nigeria. Before the Foreign Service he worked as an economic development specialist for the U.S. Agency for International Development in Niger and as a software developer for the private sector. Mr. Knight holds a PhD from the University of Chicago.
Karen Kornbluh, Nominee for Permanent Representative of the U.S. to OECD
Karen Kornbluh is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Center for American Progress. She served as policy director in then-Senator Obama’s Senate office, beginning in 2005. Ms. Kornbluh founded the Work and Family Program at the New America Foundation, a centrist think tank, where she was also a Markle Fellow. Previously, she served as deputy chief of staff at the US Treasury Department. From 1994 to 1997, she filled several roles at the Federal Communications Commission, including Assistant Chief of the Commission's International Bureau, helping to negotiate the World Trade Organization Agreement on Basic Telecommunications, and Director of the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs while the agency was implementing key provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. She earlier worked for Senator John Kerry (D-MA) on economic issues. Ms. Kornbluh began her career as a management consultant to Fortune 500 manufacturing companies and an economist at forecasting firm Townsend-Greenspan & Co. She received a Masters from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a BA from Bryn Mawr College
Bruce Oreck, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Finland
Bruce Oreck was a partner in the New Orleans, Louisiana law firm of Liskow & Lewis from 1981 until 1992 where his practice was centered on the representation of the oil and gas industry. He went on to found his own firm: Oreck, Crighton, Adams & Chase, where he represented primarily Fortune 100 companies in connection with state and local tax issues. Mr. Oreck also served as Vice President and General Counsel for his family business, The Oreck Corporation (the manufacturer and seller of Oreck vacuum cleaners), from 1993 until the company was sold in 2003. Mr. Oreck is the author of a number of treatises and legal publications. Separate from his legal practice, Mr. Oreck founded and operated a real estate development company. Originally focused on historic restorations, he renovated and restored over 100,000 square feet of historic homes and apartment buildings in New Orleans, Louisiana. He also founded The Zero Carbon Initiative, is a founding member of the Board of Trustees for The Grand Canyon Trust, and remains very active in environmental matters. Mr. Oreck served as a member of Colorado Governor Bill Ritter’s New Energy transition advisory team and as a member of the Colorado Climate Action Panel.
Charles A. Ray, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Zimbabwe
Charles A. Ray, a career member of the Foreign Service since 1983, has been the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Prisoners of War/Missing Personnel Affairs and Director of the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office since 2006. He is responsible to the Secretary of Defense for policy development and oversight of all matters relating to missing personnel. Mr. Ray served in the U.S. Army from 1962 to 1982, retiring with the rank of Major. During his military career, he served at a number of places in the U.S. and abroad, including two tours of duty in Southeast Asia. Since joining the Foreign Service, he has served in China and Thailand, and was Deputy Chief of Mission in Sierra Leone. In 1998, he was appointed as the first U.S. Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In 2002, he was sworn in as the U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia, where he served until 2005. Mr. Ray served as Diplomat in Residence at the University of Houston for the 2005-2006 academic year. Mr. Ray holds a Bachelors Degree from Benedictine College, a Masters from the University of Southern California, and a Masters in National Security Strategy from the National Defense University.
David Thorne, Nominee for Ambassador to the Italian Republic and the Republic of San Marino
Mr. Thorne is a co-founder of Adviser Investments, one of the nation’s most highly regarded firms specializing in Vanguard and Fidelity mutual funds and electronically traded funds.  Mr. Thorne has been an investor and entrepreneur in a wide variety of business ventures, including marketing consulting, real estate, publishing, and financial services. He recently sold his publishing business to Martha Stewart Omnimedia. Mr. Thorne is a former President and current Board member of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and led the design oversight team for its new building in Boston. Mr. Thorne graduated from Yale University in 1966 with a BA in American History and received a Masters degree in journalism from Columbia University in 1971. Mr. Thorne served in the US Navy from 1966-1970 and is author of The New Soldier (Macmillan 1971).