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  • Executive Director of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships: Who Is Melissa Rogers?

    Friday, March 24, 2017
    Rogers got her foot in the door at the White House in 2009 when President Obama appointed her to be chair of the Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. She recommended changes in the Affordable Care Act to allow more religious exemptions from its contraception mandate. The language was changed to require that contraception be covered by insurance, but paid for by the insurer. Obama appointed Rogers to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council four days before he left office.   read more
  • Secretary of Agriculture: Who Is Sonny Perdue?

    Tuesday, February 21, 2017
    Perdue has a grasp on the Agriculture Dept, but the form it takes remains to be seen. While he was governor of Georgia, the state food safety budget was slashed by 29%. In 2006, Perdue paid $2 million for land near Disney World to a developer he’d put on Georgia’s economic development board. Perdue then got a bill passed, backdated to save him $100,000 in capital gains taxes on the land sale. During his re-election campaign, he pretended he didn’t know he'd benefit from the tax break.   read more
  • Acting Director of the U.S. National Central Bureau of INTERPOL: Who is Wayne Salzgaber?

    Tuesday, February 21, 2017
    In 2010, Salzgaber received an appointment to the Senior Executive Service as deputy assistant inspector general for investigations. In that post, he headed the DHS OIG’s Investigative Field Operations Division, in charge of the agency’s investigative operations in 14 regional offices. In 2012, he became principal advisor to the Dept of Homeland Security. In 2015, Salzgaber was appointed deputy director of the U.S. National Central Bureau of INTERPOL.   read more
  • Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement: Who Is Thomas Homan?

    Monday, February 20, 2017
    Donald Trump promised to deport undocumented immigrants and in Thomas Homan, now acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), he has a man who won an award for deporting thousands of people. Trump tapped Homan to lead ICE in January 2017. At about that time, as ICE appeared to step up its pace of raids and deportations, Homan agreed to sit down on February 14 with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to address its concerns about the raids. He later backed out of the meeting.   read more
  • Acting Director of the U.S. Marshals Service: Who Is David Harlow?

    Monday, February 20, 2017
    Harlow was commander of operation FALCON 2007, overseeing development of Toledo’s first fugitive apprehension team made up of numerous law enforcement agencies. Between 2008 and 2011, Harlow was chief of USMS’s Sex Offender Investigations Branch, for which he oversaw the National Sex Offender Targeting Center and the Sex Offender Apprehension Program. He additionally developed the USMS Behavioral Analysis Unit, which helps target fugitive and non-compliant sex offenders.   read more
  • U.S. Ambassador to Italy: Who Is Lewis Eisenberg?

    Saturday, February 18, 2017
    The Trump administration added another member of the Goldman Sachs alumni association to its roster when it announced that financier Lewis Eisenberg, head of the Trump Victory Fund, would be the next ambassador to Italy. A former GOP finance chairman, Eisenberg resigned from Goldman Sachs in 1989 after a civil lawsuit accused him of harassing a former assistant, Kathy Abraham, after she tried to end a seven-year extramarital affair. Abraham later received a settlement and recanted her claims.   read more
  • Radiation Exposure Compensation Program: Who is Kali Bracey?

    Saturday, February 18, 2017
    In 2012, Bracey joined what was then a new federal agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She worked as senior counsel in its Office of Supervision Policy and was involved in student loan servicing, auto lending, and rulemaking. A year later, she was named the Bureau’s senior counsel and executive secretary, and then continued up the ladder to become counsel to the director and executive secretary. She held that post until her appointment at the Justice Dept the following year.   read more
  • Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission: Who Is Ajit Pai?

    Friday, February 17, 2017
    When Pai took over as FCC chairman, he couldn’t wait to roll back consumer protections enacted under the Obama administration. Many of his actions were done late on a Friday with virtually no public notice. “With these strong-arm tactics, Chairman Pai is showing his true stripes,” Matt Wood, of the consumer group Free Press, told The New York Times. “The public wants an FCC that helps people. Instead, it got one that does favors for the powerful corporations that its chairman used to work for.”   read more
  • Secretary of Labor: Who Was Andrew Puzder?

    Friday, February 17, 2017
    Puzder withdrew his nomination after loss of support from Republican lawmakers showed he wouldn’t have enough votes to be confirmed. The reasons for his dwindling support included his hiring of an undocumented immigrant as his housekeeper and the resurfacing of claims by his ex-wife, Lisa Fierstein, of violent physical assaults. A videotape of Fierstein’s 1990 appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” in which she recounted the abuse, circulated among senators considering Puzder’s nomination.   read more
  • Secretary of the Air Force: Who Is Heather Wilson?

    Thursday, February 16, 2017
    Although forbidden to lobby Congress, Wilson directed Lockheed in its quest for contract renewal without competitive bidding. Her deals with Lockheed and other contractors were found to have violated government rules. In 2012, she criticized a bill to cut bullying of LGBTQ children, and voted for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Wilson was named by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington as one of the 22 most corrupt members of Congress.   read more
  • Acting Solicitor General of the United States: Who is Ian Heath Gershengorn?

    Thursday, February 16, 2017
    Among the cases that Gershengorn supervised at the DOJ—and often personally argued in court—was the Obama administration’s defense of the Affordable Care Act against dozens of challenges filed against it across the country. Other high-profile court battles involved the rights of Guantánamo detainees, policy on gays in the military, embryonic stem cell research, and state secrets. “Every day, I deal with two or three cases of a lifetime,” he then told The New York Times.   read more
  • Ambassador to the United Kingdom: Who Is Woody Johnson?

    Wednesday, February 15, 2017
    New York Jets owner Johnson sought some tax dodges and, in 2006, was brought before a Senate panel to testify about shelters in the Isle of Man that were used to offset profits from sales of investments. He eventually settled with the IRS, paying back taxes and interest. Johnson was a big donor to Sen. John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012. He initially backed Jeb Bush in the 2016 contest, even serving as his finance chairman, but threw his support to Trump in May 2016.   read more
  • National Security Advisor: Who Was Michael Flynn?

    Wednesday, February 15, 2017
    Flynn’s tenure in the White House lasted all of 25 days. On February 13, he resigned after a behind-the-scenes controversy brewing at the highest levels of government exploded into the open, its focus being Flynn’s alleged lies to U.S. officials about his private calls to Russian officials. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell once wrote that Flynn was “abusive with staff, didn’t listen, worked against policy, bad management,” and “has been and was right-wing nutty ever since.”   read more
  • Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Who Is David J. Shulkin?

    Tuesday, February 14, 2017
    Shulkin’s work has frequently involved looking at managed and accountable care, in which patients, especially the chronically ill, get the right care at the right time, while avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and preventing medical errors. In 2008, for example, he studied why patients who are admitted at night are more likely to die than patients admitted during the day. One of his innovations was to champion 24-hour visiting hours for its healing effect on patients.   read more
  • Director of National Intelligence: Who Is Dan Coats?

    Monday, February 13, 2017
    In 2014, Coats fought for tough sanctions against Russia after its invasion and annexation of Crimea. He was a member of the secretive The Fellowship (or The Family), a Christian group that includes many conservative lawmakers and has promoted a fundamentalist agenda in the U.S. and around the world, including anti-gay laws in African countries. Coats fought the idea of gays serving openly in the U.S. military in the 1990s and once called same-sex marriage a sign of “deep moral confusion.”   read more
  • Chief Counsel and Director of the Office of Professional Responsibility: Who Is Robin Ashton?

    Monday, February 13, 2017
    Two weeks after Goodling sabotaged her promotion at the Department of Justice in 2005, Ashton left her job. The Obama administration later hired her as head of OPR, a division within the DOJ that has weathered a fair amount of controversy over the years. That includes accusations that the lethargic pace of investigating legal opinions issued by the George W. Bush administration laid the groundwork for the torture inflicted by American interrogators on post-9/11 detainees.   read more
  • Acting Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division: Who is Mary McCord?

    Saturday, February 11, 2017
    McCord is in charge of the division’s 400 employees who collectively are tasked with carrying out the counterterrorism, counterespionage and counterintelligence functions of the Justice Dept. In her post, McCord has interacted with the 94 U.S. Attorney offices across the country. She replaced Assistant U.S. Attorney General John Carlin, who left the division to enter the private sector as chair of the global risk and crisis management team for the international law firm of Morrison & Foerster.   read more
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