Appointee Watch: Secretary of State Confirmed, as CIA Director Hearing Looms

Last week, the Senate voted to confirm the nominees to two key Trump administration posts: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell.

Pompeo previously was director of the CIA, and he was tapped by President Trump to run the State Department following the ouster of Rex Tillerson. Grenell, a former spokesman for the U.S. mission to the United Nations, was confirmed after a lengthy confirmation process.

With those nominees confirmed, the White House has turned its attention to its pick to lead the CIA following Pompeo’s departure. Spokespeople have begun an extensive campaign of press releases in support of Gina Haspel's nomination, ahead of what is likely to be a contentious confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

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Haspel is a career intelligence officer serving as acting CIA director. At issue for skeptical senators is her time as chief of an agency black site where prisoners were tortured in 2002, as well as allegations that she destroyed evidence of torture.

According to the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service and The Washington Post, which have been tracking more than 600 key administration posts that require Senate confirmation, 315 people have been confirmed to their positions thus far. Another 132 nominees have been announced or formally submitted to the Senate for confirmation. But 209 key jobs remain vacant.

In recent days, the Trump administration has announced nominations for the following posts:

Agriculture: James Hubbard, undersecretary for natural resources and environment. Hubbard worked for 35 years as a member of the Colorado Forest Service, including two decades as a state forester. In that capacity, he has worked with officials at the Interior Department and the USDA Forest Service. In 2011, he received the National Association of State Foresters’ Lifetime Achievement Award.

Federal Reserve System: Richard Clarida, vice chairman, board of governors. Clarida is the Lowell Hariss Professor of Economics at Columbia University. He previously was assistant Treasury secretary for economic policy, and he was a senior staff economist on President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers.

Michelle Bowman, member, board of governors. Bowman is the Kansas State Bank commissioner. She previously was a staffer under then-Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., and she was counsel to several House committees. She also has served stints at the Federal Emergency Management Agency as director of congressional and intergovernmental affairs, and she was deputy assistant secretary and policy adviser to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge.

Labor: John Lowry, assistant secretary for veterans employment and training. Lowry is a consultant with executive search firm Egon Zehnder. He was a U.S. Marine Corps infantry officer, spending more than 15 years on active duty, and an additional 10 years in the Marine Corps Reserve.

White House: James Carroll, director of National Drug Control Policy. Carroll is acting director in the Office of National Drug Control Policy. He previously was an assistant to President Trump and deputy chief of staff, among other White House posts. Prior to joining government, he was Washington, D.C., counsel to Ford Motor Company. He also served as an assistant to the president and associate counsel during the George W. Bush administration.

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