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  • Chair of the Federal Labor Relations Authority: Who Is Colleen Duffy Kiko?

    Monday, September 25, 2017
    In 2002, Kiko became a member of the Employees’ Compensation Appeals Board. In 2005, President George W. Bush appointed her to be FLRA general counsel, where she served until 2008. Her stint as general counsel coincided with a marked decline in employee morale at FLRA, which earned the title of the worst small agency to work for three years in a row. In 2016, she co-founded Future with Hope Women, a group for Catholic women older than forty.   read more
  • Director of the Office of Legacy Management: Who Is Carmelo Melendez?

    Sunday, September 24, 2017
    Melendez has served as a civilian in the departments of Defense and State in civil engineering and property management roles. In the late 2000s, he worked in the Dept of Energy’s Office of Engineering and Construction Management. He left to become an assistant chief of staff in the Marine Corps Combat Development Command and director of Installations and Environment in the National Capital Region. Melendez was in charge of the facilities at Quantico Marine Base during a period of rapid growth.   read more
  • U.S. Ambassador to India: Who Is Kenneth Juster?

    Friday, September 22, 2017
    Juster served as U.S. chair of the U.S.-India High Technology Cooperation Group, and was instrumental in an initiative between the U.S. and India that led to a civil nuclear agreement between the nations. This helped make Juster perhaps more qualified for his post than most non-State Department ambassadorial appointees. He joined Trump's economic team early in the administration but fell out of favor in the spring of 2017 in the internecine battles in the executive branch.   read more
  • U.S. Ambassador to Germany: Who Is Richard Grenell?

    Thursday, September 21, 2017
    Grenell was named in 2001 to be spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the UN, becoming the longest-serving person at the job. He next joined industry, first as a VP for DaVita Healthcare, then forming his own firm, Capitol Media Partners. In 2012, Grenell served as Mitt Romney’s foreign affairs spokesman, but was chased off the campaign by anti-gay attacks from the right. Since then, he has contributed to Fox News and other conservative outlets, where he often sniped at the Obama administration.   read more
  • U.S. Ambassador to Timor-Leste: Who Is Kathleen Fitzpatrick?

    Wednesday, September 20, 2017
    Fitzpatrick served as political counselor at the embassy in Madrid in 2003 and returned to the U.S. in 2007 as director of the Office of Southern European Affairs. She was named deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor in 2010 and in 2012 became chief of staff in the Office of the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights. In 2014, she was appointed principal deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research.   read more
  • Alabama Candidate Claimed Endorsement of Dead Person

    Wednesday, September 20, 2017
    In Alabama’s runoff election for the GOP nomination for a U.S. Senate seat, Luther Strange may have the crowning endorsement of President Trump, but Roy Moore seemed to have support from beyond the grave. On Monday night, Moore’s campaign deleted an endorsement on its website from conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, after it became apparent that Schlafly died last year at the age of 92. The two candidates have sought endorsements outside of Alabama to win over GOP voters.   read more
  • Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy: Who Is Tom Marino?

    Tuesday, September 19, 2017
    In 2007, Marino had to recuse himself from an organized crime investigation because he’d signed a letter of referral for Louis DeNaples, who had ties to a crime family. Under investigation by the Justice Dept, Marino resigned and went to work for DeNaples. In Congress, Marino sponsored a law at the behest of big pharma to make it harder to stop sales of addictive drugs--causing the DEA to show an “immediate” rather than “imminent” threat to the public to stop sales.   read more
  • Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA): Who Is Jim Bridenstine?

    Monday, September 18, 2017
    Although Bridenstine has a sincere interest in space and NASA, his extreme right-wing views, including climate change denial, have drawn criticism from scientists and even politicians from his own party. A backer of Donald Trump for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, he lobbied for a job in the new administration after the election and positioned himself for the NASA nomination. He deleted most of the social media posts, many containing speeches denying climate change, made by his campaign.   read more
  • United States Ambassador to Zambia: Who Is Dan Foote?

    Sunday, September 17, 2017
    In 2010, Foote was in Colombia as director of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) section in that country. In Afghanistan he served as coordinating director at the embassy, where he managed U.S. civilian foreign assistance and law enforcement activities. In 2015, he returned to Washington as a deputy assistant secretary for INL to oversee its activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan, in addition to its Office of Anticrime Programs.   read more
  • Administrator of the General Services Administration: Who Is Emily W. Murphy?

    Friday, September 15, 2017
    President Trump may hope he can rely on Murphy's lifelong GOP partisanship to stymie a GSA Inspector General probe into his company’s GSA lease for the building where the Washington Trump Hotel is located. In March, GSA exempted Trump from being in violation of a lease provision, a decision called “unbelievable” by two prominent law professors. Since January, Murphy has served as White House liaison to GSA but it's not known whether she had any input on the Trump Hotel GSA lease decision.   read more
  • U.S. Ambassador to Djibouti: Who Is Larry André, Jr.?

    Thursday, September 14, 2017
    André’s first experience in Africa came courtesy not of the State Dept, but of the Peace Corps, which sent him to work as a volunteer in Senegal from 1983 to 1985. He returned to Africa to work on a refugee resettlement project in Chad from 1988 to 1990, then joined the Foreign Service for postings in Nigeria, Cameroon, and Bangladesh. At the State Dept, André served as deputy director of the Office of West African Affairs in the Bureau of African Affairs and also worked briefly in Iraq in 2005.   read more
  • Director of the Office of Personnel Management: Who Is Jeff T. H. Pon?

    Wednesday, September 13, 2017
    Pon served in the White House Office of Public Liaison during the final year of the George H. W. Bush administration, and worked for such corporations as Federal Express, PetCo and Burger King. In 2003 he joined OPM, focusing on modernizing the federal government’s personnel practices, including helping to lead the rollout of USAJobs. Pon left OPM in 2006 to serve as chief human capital officer at the Department of Energy. He left the agency in 2008 to join mega-contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.   read more
  • Chairman of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars: Who Is Fred Malek?

    Tuesday, September 12, 2017
    In 1970, Malek was named special assistant to President Richard Nixon. Afraid that Jews working in BLS were making him look bad with unemployment statistics, Nixon told Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman, “We’ve got to get a man in charge who is not Jewish to control the Jewish … do you understand?” Haldeman gave the job to Malek, who came back with a list of BLS employees with “Jewish-sounding” names, some of whom were demoted. The "Jew counting" scandal came back to haunt Malek in later years.   read more
  • Maldives’ Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Ali Naseer Mohamed

    Monday, September 11, 2017
    As assistant director in the Dept of External Resources, in 2004 Mohamed coordinated global relief efforts in Maldives for the aftermath of the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. Speaking at the UN Human Rights Council in 2015, he said his government rejected freedom of religion for its citizens, as well as LGBT and non-traditional forms of families. Representing a low-lying island nation, his focus in foreign relations has been to urge other nations to cooperate to reduce global warming.   read more
  • Ambassador of Russia to the United States: Who Is Anatoly Antonov?

    Sunday, September 10, 2017
    Since 2011, Antonov has emerged as a vocal proponent of Russia’s increasingly aggressive foreign policy. Known as a “bull terrier,” he accused the West of waging an “information war” against Russia. He said the West masterminded the ouster of Ukraine’s pro-Russia president in 2014 to “contain” Russia by making Ukraine into a “frontline of confrontation.” He also helped plan Russia’s invasion and annexation of the Crimea, as well as Russia’s support for pro-Russian militias in Ukraine.   read more
  • Tuvalu’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Samuelu Laloniu?

    Friday, September 08, 2017
    In 2015, Laloniu served as Tuvalu’s first high commissioner in New Zealand. As a diplomat from an island nation, he applauded the U.S. agreement to the Paris Climate Accords. But now he'll be dealing with a U.S. administration that has pulled out of the accords, increasing odds of flooding in his country. "For Tuvalu...we are already suffering from climate and sea level rise," he said. "Living with fear and uncertainty on a daily basis is not our normal way of life nor should it be anybody’s.”   read more
  • Bahrain’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Abdullah bin Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa?

    Thursday, September 07, 2017
    Two years after being made head of educational affairs for the Royal Family Council, Al Khaifa. became director of education and the Social Affairs Directorate. In 2007, he was named director of planning and followup for the General Organization for Youth and Sports and the following year became the its human resources director. In 2010, Al Khalifa was appointed to a four-year term as governor of Bahrain’s Southern Governorate, the largest such political division.   read more
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