Appalachian Regional Commission: Who is Earl Gohl, Jr.?

Saturday, January 09, 2010

In nominating Earl F. Gohl, Jr. to serve as the federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission, President Barack Obama played up Gohl’s years of experience in Pennsylvania state and local government. Left out of the November 16, 2009, announcement was the fact Gohl has also worked as a lobbyist for Puerto Rico in Washington, DC, and that his wife is a prominent leader of a union representing federal employees. Gohl was confirmed by the Senate March 10, 2010.

Gohl received his Bachelor of Arts from Rider College and his Master of Public Administration from Pennsylvania State University (1973).
According to the Obama administration, Gohl’s first job was spent working for the State Association of Boroughs in Pennsylvania, followed by serving as the executive assistant to the mayor of Harrisburg.
Gohl also served as deputy secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community Affairs. In this capacity he reportedly awarded and administered $100 million annually in housing and community development programs benefiting communities within the Appalachian region. 
Gohl served in Pennsylvania Governor Robert Casey’s Washington, DC, office during 1993-1994, where he was listed as a budget analyst and director of the office. The sweeping Republican victory in November 1994 cost Gohl his job, and those of others working in the office, thanks to Republican Tom Ridge’s victory in the gubernatorial contest against Democrat Mark Singel.
In 1996, Gohl was appointed special assistant and then associate assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Labor.
By this decade Gohl had found work lobbying for Puerto Rico, serving as director of legislative affairs for the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration in Washington.
Gohl is married to Anna Burger, a labor leader with the Service Employees International Union. She too has been nominated by Obama, but as a member of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. The couple has one daughter.
Big Spender (by Sheryl Fred,


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