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  • Illegal to Talk about Yellow Traffic Lights in Oregon

    Sunday, April 30, 2017
    Jarlstrom sued the Portland suburb, claiming it programmed its yellow lights to be so brief that drivers didn’t have time to make it through an intersection before they turned red, putting drivers in danger. After the judge tossed his suit, a state agency launched a two-year investigation of Jarlstrom, then fined him $500 for publicly critiquing the mathematical formulas behind traffic light cameras without an engineering license. Jarlstrom calls that a prohibition on free speech.   read more
  • Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness: Who Is Matthew Doherty?

    Tuesday, March 28, 2017
    In 2013, Doherty was promoted to regional coordinator team leader, and a year later he was made director of national initiatives, a post he held until tapped to lead the ICH. In his tenure there, Doherty helped implement Opening Doors, an Obama administration program to end homelessness and focus on certain communities within that group. In cities including Houston, New Orleans, Salt Lake City and Phoenix, the program saw success in cutting homelessness among veterans to zero.   read more
  • Co-Chair of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board: Who is Shirley Ann Jackson?

    Monday, March 27, 2017
    Jackson's work at Bell Labs was credited with the development of fiber optics, caller ID and call waiting for phones. In 1995, President Clinton appointed her to head the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and she became the 18th president of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She was the first female and first African-American to serve in those positions. In 2016, President Obama awarded her the National Medal of Science, the nation's highest honor for contributions in science and engineering.   read more
  • Managing Director of the Council on Environmental Quality: Who Is Christy Goldfuss?

    Saturday, March 25, 2017
    Goldfuss joined the Obama administration in 2013, first as deputy director for Congressional and external affairs for the National Park Service. While there, she championed a policy to give fourth-graders yearly passes to national parks. At CEQ, Goldfuss worked on the implementation of Obama’s climate action plan and served as co-chair of the National Ocean Council. Four days before he left office, Obama appointed her to the National Infrastructure Advisory Council at Homeland Security.   read more
  • 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
  • Principal Deputy Director of the United States Mint: Who Is Rhett Jeppson?

    Thursday, March 23, 2017
    Jeppson’s 28 years of Marine Corp service included stints as counter-terrorism planner and chief of current operations for Marine Forces Europe from 2001 to 2003; chief of joint national training capability and European engagements lead at the U.S. Special Operations Command from 2004 to 2008; deputy director of operations for U.S. Forces Afghanistan from 2009 to 2010; and lead crisis response planner at U.S. European Command from 2010 to 2012.   read more
  • Coordinator of the Bureau of International Information Programs: Who is Macon Phillips?

    Wednesday, March 22, 2017
    With the rollout of the Obama administration in January 2009, Phillips was appointed director of the newly established Office of Digital Strategy. Among his accomplishments was his development of “We the People,” the White House’s online petitioning system, which served as a platform for 400,000 citizen-petitions signed by more than 16 million users. But Phillips was soon embroiled in controversy over a blog posting on the site related to the debate over Obama’s new health care law.   read more
  • Acting Under Secretary of the Veterans Benefits Administration: Who Is Tom Murphy?

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017
    As the VA's director of compensation services, in charge of the VA’s disability and death compensation programs, Murphy often was called to testify before Congress about the agency’s huge backlog of claims by veterans. Murphy did tout a newly installed computer system designed to handle claims more efficiently, but continued to take heat from Congress. He was also sometimes criticized for denying benefits to veterans claiming damage to their health because of exposure to Agent Orange.   read more
  • Director of the American Institute in Taiwan: Who is Kin Moy?

    Monday, March 20, 2017
    Moy was deputy executive secretary for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and has held posts in the U.S. embassies in Beijing, China, and in Seoul and Busan, South Korea. He was a key proponent of President Barack Obama’s “pivot to Asia” policy and was involved in Taiwan’s bid to join the TPP trade agreement championed by Obama. His wife, former Wall Street Journal reporter Kathy Chen, was one of the journalists who won a Pulitzer Prize for articles on the U.S. military.   read more
  • Acting Under Secretary of the National Cemetery Administration: Who Is Ronald Walters?

    Saturday, March 18, 2017
    Walters stepped in as NCA's acting chief when Steve Muro retired under a cloud. Since becoming boss at NCA, Walters helped oversee the expansion of the national cemetery system, getting the threshold for new sites cut from 175,000 veterans within a 75-mile radius to 80,000 within that area. He also approved the first monument at a national cemetery for LGBT veterans and in 2016 implemented a policy prohibiting the flying of the Confederate flag at permanent flagpoles in national cemeteries.   read more
  • Acting Assistant Secretary of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration: Who Is Sophie Shulman?

    Friday, March 17, 2017
    Shulman first took a job in the White House as executive secretary for the Domestic Policy Council, moving up to deputy press secretary. In 2014, she was named the council’s deputy chief of staff. She moved to DOT in 2015, first as a policy adviser in the office of the secretary, then as senior policy adviser. While at DOT, Shulman worked on the Smart City Challenge, in which medium-sized cities were given the opportunity to come up with plans for integrated efficient transportation systems.   read more
  • Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation: Who Is Estevan López?

    Thursday, March 16, 2017
    López and his colleagues in the Dept of Interior were working on a plan to protect Lake Mead when Donald Trump was elected in November 2016. They weren’t able to finish the job and its future was in question as López left the Bureau as the new administration came in. The day before Trump’s inauguration, López did execute an agreement with the Gila River Indian Community to provide the community with $6 million in funding for water conservation in fiscal year 2017 to acquire water from Lake Mead.   read more
  • Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management: Who Is Abby Ross Hopper?

    Wednesday, March 15, 2017
    Hopper served as energy adviser to Maryland's then-Gov. Martin O’Malley. She moved to the BOEM in January 2015. Some of the things her agency accomplished right before she left office as the Trump administration was about to take over was the oversight of the offer of 48 million acres of Gulf of Mexico oil leases; the halt of seismic testing for Atlantic Ocean oil fields; and the prohibition of oil and gas drilling in the Arctic Ocean.   read more
  • Chairman of the Board of The Asia Foundation: Who Is David Lampton?

    Tuesday, March 14, 2017
    Lampton has served as president of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, and was founding director of the Chinese Studies Program at the Nixon Center. He is currently head of SAIS China, a program run by the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies that offers educational courses around the world about contemporary China. Lampton continues to serve as Hyman professor and director of China studies at John Hopkins.   read more
  • Acting Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Indian Affairs: Who Is Lawrence Roberts?

    Monday, March 13, 2017
    Roberts left federal service in 2002 to go into private practice, including a stint as a registered lobbyist, working on Indian law and environmental matters. From 2003 to 2005, he served as chair of the Native American Resources Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy and Resources. He returned to government in 2010 as general counsel to the National Indian Gaming Commission, then joined the Department of the Interior in 2012.   read more
  • U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator: Who Is Deborah Birx?

    Saturday, March 11, 2017
    While participating in a fellowship sponsored by Walter Reed and NIH, Birx began to be consulted on patients with what became known as HIV. Her early knowledge of the disease may have saved her life. While giving birth to her eldest daughter in 1983, Birx had complications, but told her husband not to let the doctors give her blood. They didn’t, and the blood that Birx would have received was later found to contain HIV. Thus, she began a long career of searching for a cure for that disease.   read more
  • Director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing: Who Is Len Olijar?

    Friday, March 10, 2017
    Olijar has worked at BEP for 29 years, beginning his career in 1988 as a systems accountant implementing BEP’s first Enterprise Resource Planning system. In 2006, he became BEP’s chief financial officer. He initiated the performance of BEP-wide risk assessments and implemented a program to improve customer service and efficiency. In 2012, Olijar served as the executive sponsor for BEP’s Best Place to Work initiative and the BEP was recognized as one of the most improved agencies.   read more
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