- Top Stories(1629)
- Unusual News(996)
- Where is the Money Going?(1165)
- U.S. and the World(1231)
- Appointments and Resignations(824)
Appointments and Resignations
Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs: Who Is Victoria Nuland?
Serving as State Department spokesperson since May 2011, Nuland played a major role in editing the administration “talking points” in the aftermath of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last year. Nevertheless, recent praise for her nomination from key Senate Republicans. Nuland served and as principal deputy national security advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney from 2003 to 2005. She is married to neoconservative writer Robert Kagan. Read More
Ambassador to Burkina Faso: Who Is Tulinabo Mushingi?
From 2006 to 2009, he was counselor for management affairs at the embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and chargé d’affaires ad interim, and from 2009 to 2011, he was chargé d’affaires and deputy chief of mission at the embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Since 2011, Mushingi has served as deputy executive secretary and executive director of the Executive Office of the Secretary of State. Mushingi bears an unusual resemblance to President Obama. Read More
Administrator of the Rural Utilities Service: Who Is John Charles Padalino?
Padalino practiced law in El Paso at Kemp Smith LLP from 2003 to 2009, representing rural water districts, litigating commercial cases and handling appeals in state and federal appellate courts. He also took leave from his law practice in 2008 to volunteer as a field organizer for Obama for America in Texas. From 2009 to 2012, Padalino served in a number of positions at USDA, including chief of staff for USDA Rural Development Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager. Read More
Nepotism Considered Normal at Energy Dept.
In one instance, a senior manager pushed for three of his college-age children to be hired for department internships last year. The unnamed official, who worked in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, contacted 12 colleagues, including a high-ranking human capital official, to encourage the hiring of his three kids. But the family lobbying paid off—all three of the children got jobs in DOE. Read More
Director of the FBI: Who Is James Comey?
Although Comey donated more than $7,000 during the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, his money went to Obama's Republican opponents, Arizona Sen. John McCain and Mitt Romney. But Comey became a political hero on the moderate Left in January 2006, when reports surfaced regarding his role two years previously in averting a constitutional crisis by forcing the George W. Bush White House to accept certain changes to its warrantless wiretapping program. Read More
Ambassador to Nigeria: Who Is James Entwistle?
President Barack Obama has turned to a career diplomat with extensive experience in Africa to serve as the next U.S. ambassador to the troubled nation of Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa. James F. Entwistle, who has been ambassador to the even more troubled Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since November 2010, will succeed Terence P. McCulley. Read More
Chair of the Federal Communications Commission: Who Is Tom Wheeler?
The revolving door between big business and government is spinning again. Despite his promise during the 2008 campaign that lobbyists would take a back seat in his administration, President Barack Obama recently nominated a long-time telecommunications lobbyist—who has also donated and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for his campaigns—to serve as the next chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the agency that plays the principle role in regulating the telecom industry. Read More
Former Obama Aides Take Lucrative Consulting Jobs with Special Interest Groups
Former political advisers Robert Gibbs, Jim Messina and David Plouffe received five-figure checks to speak at a forum in the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan, which is trying to win news friends in Washington. Messina, who was Obama’s 2012 campaign manager, has started his own consulting firm that will count “Team Obama” as its primary client. Read More
CEO of the Tennessee Valley Authority: Who Is Bill Johnson?
Johnson became president of Progress Energy in 2005, and worked as chairman and CEO from 2007 to 2012, when the company was bought by Duke Energy. Although the Duke-Progress Energy merger agreement named Johnson CEO of the new combined company, the new corporate board, dominated by Duke Energy members, fired him less than an hour after the merger closed, allowing him to walk away with a $44 million severance payment for one hour's work. He had been paid $9.5 million by Progress in 2011. Read More
Director of the U.S. Census Bureau: Who Is John Thompson?
Thompson worked at the Census Bureau from 1975 to 2002. Leaving government service for the private sector in 2002, he joined the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, serving as executive vice president from 2002 to 2008, and as president and CEO since 2008. Read More
Acting Director of the Internal Revenue Service: Who Is Danny Werfel?
Dissatisfied with litigation work, Werfel returned to OMB in April 2002 to work as a budget examiner in the Education Branch until late 2003, as chief of the Financial Integrity and Analysis Branch from late 2003 to 2006, and as deputy controller from 2006 to July 2009. As controller of OMB, Werfel was largely responsible for establishing Recovery.gov, a federal Web site that tracked how the 2009 economic stimulus program was distributing billions of dollars to jump-start the economy. Read More
Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs: Who Is Danny Russel?
Russel worked as director of the State Department Office of Japanese Affairs from August 2008 to January 2009. He then took a job with the Obama administration, serving as director for Japan, South Korea and North Korea at the National Security Council from January 2009 to 2011 and as special assistant to the president and senior director for Asian Affairs since then. Read More
Director of the National Reconnaissance Office: Who Is Betty Sapp?
Joining the Central Intelligence Agency in 1997, Sapp was subsequently assigned to the NRO, where she held several senior management positions. In May 2007, Sapp became acquisition and resource director for the under secretary of defense for intelligence. In July 2008, her position was renamed deputy under secretary of defense for portfolio, programs and resources. In April 2009, Sapp became principal deputy director of NRO. Read More
Secretary of Commerce: Who Is Penny Pritzker?
Pritzker was chair of a bank that failed because of subprime loans, Hyatt is a staunchly anti-labor hotel chain, and many believe that the murky overseas investments of the secretive Pritzker family fortune represent a form of offshore tax evasion—a practice criticized by Obama during the 2012 campaign. Read More
United States Trade Representative: Who Is Michael Froman?
Although Froman lost touch with Obama after Harvard, he advised Obama on policy during Obama's 2004 Senate campaign and introduced him to Robert Rubin, eventually serving on the 12-member advisory board of the Obama campaign’s transition team. Froman also functioned as a prodigious fundraiser for Obama, especially among younger Wall Street Democrats, bundling at least $200,000 in contributions. Read More
Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency: Who Is Mel Watt?
Watt's work on the Finance Committee and his reliance on contributions from the banking industry to fund his political campaigns have generated criticism. Since he entered Congress in 1992, Watt has received more campaign money—$1.33 million—from financial interests than any other industry or special interest. Critics charge that Watt's financial dependence on the finance industry and his cozy relationship with Bank of America have led him to be more less consumer-oriented on related issues. Read More