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  • Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims: Who Is Robert N. Davis?

    Sunday, April 23, 2017
    As a law professor, Davis published in the areas of constitutional law, administrative law, national security law, alternative dispute resolution, and sports law. He's been a mediator/arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association, U.S. Postal Service and U.S. Olympic Committee. He joined the Navy Reserve Intelligence Program in 1988, and was called to active duty in 1999 (Bosnia) and 2001 (post-9/11). Davis is also a founder of the Journal of National Security Law & Policy.   read more
  • Chair of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars: Who Is Thomas Nides?

    Friday, April 21, 2017
    An active Wall Street Democrat, Nides raised more than $100,000 as a Hillary Clinton bundler in 2008, and provided informal advice to her 2016 run. Wikileaks revealed that he had advised Clinton campaign Chair Podesta in 2015 to “pull the official” emails off of Clinton’s private server, exclaiming that “you know as well as I every god damn cabinet officer and WH staff uses there (sic) gmail account!” The Wilson Center, which Nides heads, would be fully defunded under Trump's proposed budget.   read more
  • Bears Under Fire in Florida

    Friday, April 21, 2017
    “2015 was a deadly year for the Florida black bear. Collisions with vehicles killed at least 169 ... wildlife managers killed at least 108...that were considered nuisances or threats to human safety, at least 9 were killed illegally, and in October hunters killed at least 304 Florida black bears in the first Florida black bear hunt in 20 years,” the petition stated. The 2016 hunt was “voted down due to overwhelming public outcry against the barbaric and unnecessary hunt,” said an advocacy group.   read more
  • Executive Director of the United States Botanic Garden: Who Is Ari Novy?

    Thursday, April 20, 2017
    From 2008 to 2009, Novy was program director of the Landscape Architecture Study Abroad program at Rutgers, where he organized and taught a course on Italian gardens and landscapes in Italy. In 2010, he researched the prevalence of environmental chemical biomarkers in humans and helped plan a sustainability-focused garden for the U.S. Botanic Garden. He later developed molecular marker systems to track germplasm resources in a pharmacologically active plant.   read more
  • Chairman of the Railroad Retirement Board: Who Is Tom Kotarac?

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017
    As adviser to Sen. Dick Durbin, Kotarac scored a minor victory when he learned that Sen. John McCain planned to amend a spending bill to kill funding for Illinois bike trails. Kotarac was able to alert Durbin to the threat and the bike trails, including one running through Chicago’s southern neighborhoods, were saved. Some of the bigger bills Kotarac worked on include those improving railroad infrastructure and service and water resources.   read more
  • Chairperson of the AbilityOne Commission: Who Is James Kesteloot?

    Tuesday, April 18, 2017
    Kesteloot was made CLB’s executive director in 1996 and added the title of president to his resume in 2002. One of his challenges there was the dropoff in business from CLB’s largest customer. The federal government formerly accounted for 90% of the organization’s business in clocks. Regulations changed, allowing departments to purchase clocks locally, such as from big-box stores. Kesteloot retired from CLB in 2009.   read more
  • Speaker of the House of Representatives: Who Is Paul Ryan?

    Monday, April 17, 2017
    In 2012, Ryan was selected as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate. “Ryan is the most conservative Republican member of Congress to be picked for the vice-presidential slot since at least 1900,” wrote statistician Nate Silver. Ryan has received top ratings from the NRA and anti-abortion groups. Up for reelection in 2016, Ryan distanced himself from candidate Donald Trump’s controversial statements, while maintaining lukewarm support for Trump to avoid rocking the boat with GOP factions.   read more
  • Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Who Is Kristine Svinicki?

    Sunday, April 16, 2017
    Svinicki was appointed to the NRC in 2008, but had a run-in with Sen. Harry Reid, who wanted one of his former staffers, Gregory Jaczko, to be reappointed to the commission. Reid held up her nomination until the appointments were joined. Svinicki gained a reputation for keeping her head down and working long hours as a commission member. In 2011, she joined three other commissioners in accusing Jaczko, by this time the chairman of the NRC, of being a bully. He stepped down the following year.   read more
  • Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Who Is Stephen Burns?

    Friday, April 14, 2017
    Burns served as head of legal affairs of the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris from April 2012 to November 2014. He provided legal advice to NEA management, supervised the NEA’s legal education and publications program, and provided advice and secretariat services to the Nuclear Law Committee and to the Contracting Parties to the Paris Convention on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy.   read more
  • Chair of the Board of NeighborWorks America: Who Is Grovetta Gardineer?

    Thursday, April 13, 2017
    Gardineer went to work for the FDIC circa 1988 as an attorney handling enforcement actions and preparing policies and regulations affecting the financial services industry, including the policy statement for minority-owned institutions. She joined the Office of Thrift Supervision in April 2006 as assistant managing director of supervision policy. From 2008 to 2010, she served as the managing director for corporate and international activities.   read more
  • Chair of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission: Who Is Cynthia Attwood?

    Wednesday, April 12, 2017
    Attwood began her legal career in 1973 as an attorney in the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s Civil Rights Division, where she litigated civil rights cases before federal courts. She left DOJ in 1979 to join the Dept of Labor (DOL), where she worked for the next 30 years as associate solicitor for Mine Safety and Health, associate solicitor for Occupational Safety and Health, eight years as attorney advisor for DOL’s Administrative Review Board (ARB), and three years as appellate judge on the ARB.   read more
  • Chair of the Presidio Trust: Who Is Paula Collins?

    Tuesday, April 11, 2017
    Collins and her husband, Chuck, launched WDG Ventures, a real estate development company in San Francisco. They helped develop the Moscone Convention Center and the company has worked on large hotels, medical centers and other projects. Collins was one of the founding directors in 2006 of Presidio Bank, a business bank in the San Francisco Bay area and continues to serve on its board. In May 2015, Collins joined the national board of the American Automobile Association as secretary.   read more
  • States’ Co-Chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission: Who Is Bill Haslam?

    Monday, April 10, 2017
    In 2010, Haslam ran for and won the governorship of Tennessee, weathering criticism by his opponents over allegations of price-gouging by his oil firm in the aftermath of fuel shortages following Hurricane Katrina. Ranked as the 17th most conservative governor in the country, Haslam's controversial initiatives allowed therapists to turn away LGBT clients, criminal assault prosecutions of new mothers who'd used narcotics while pregnant, and denial of public school teachers' bargaining rights.   read more
  • Chairman of the Election Assistance Commission: Who Is Matthew Masterson?

    Sunday, April 09, 2017
    At EAC, Masterson helped develop voluntary voting system guidelines.Since the job of the EAC is to ensure states comply with the Help America Vote Act of 2002, it’s ironic that Masterson went to work for Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted. Husted has worked to suppress the vote of Democratic-leaning Ohio voters, particularly in the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections. During Masterson’s tenure there, Husted cut early voting in Democratic areas while increasing hours in Republican strongholds.   read more
  • Administrator of Job Corps: Who is Lenita Jacobs-Simmons?

    Friday, April 07, 2017
    In South Carolina, Jacobs-Simmons served as grants administrator for the Charleston County government and executive director of the Trident Workforce Investment Board. In 1999, she joined the Labor Department’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) as deputy assistant secretary. In 2002, she was named administrator of the Department of Labor and deputy assistant secretary for ETA’s field operations. She was subsequently named regional administrator for ETA’s Philadelphia office.   read more
  • Director of National Intelligence: Who Is Dan Coats?

    Friday, April 07, 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
  • Chair of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission: Who Is Thomas Hicks?

    Thursday, April 06, 2017
    Hicks worked as a senior lobbyist and policy analyst for Common Cause, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group that empowers citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest. He then served as a senior elections counsel and minority elections counsel on the House Committee on House Administration, responsible for issues relating to campaign finance, election reform, contested elections and oversight of both the EAC and FEC.   read more
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