Appointee Watch: Movement at Consumer Bureau, More Ambassadorial Nominations

By Andrea Izzotti / Shutterstock.com

As all eyes have been on President Trump’s deliberations over filling the opening on the Supreme Court, the White House in recent weeks has announced the nominations of a number of key administration posts, including a new director for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Last month, Trump announced that he would nominate Kathleen Kraninger to be the permanent CFPB director, just days before current acting Director Mick Mulvaney would run afoul of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act.

Currently serving as associate director for general government under Mulvaney at the Office of Management and Budget and a former Senate appropriations staffer, Kraninger drew praise from banking groups but scorn from consumer advocates and progressive groups.

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Last week, Leandra English, who was initially tapped by outgoing CFPB Director Richard Cordray to be acting director, announced her retirement from the agency and the withdrawal of her lawsuit to be instated at the head of the agency, citing Kraninger’s nomination.

According to The Washington Post and the Partnership for Public Service, which have been tracking more than 600 key administration positions requiring Senate confirmation, 338 appointees have been approved by senators. Another 158 have been announced or formally nominated, while 181 posts remain vacant.

In recent weeks, the Trump administration has nominated the following people to agency posts:

Agency for International Development: Mark Montgomery, assistant administrator for the Bureau of Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance. Montgomery is policy director for the Senate Armed Services Committee. He is a 32-year Navy veteran and a retired rear admiral.

Michael Harvey, assistant administrator for the Middle East Bureau. Harvey is a career USAID foreign service officer and a faculty member at the National War College. He previously led the agency’s Defeat ISIS Task Force, and he was mission director in Nigeria, where he worked on the response to Boko Haram.

Commerce: John Fleming, assistant secretary for economic development. Fleming is a doctor and former congressman, who has served at the Health and Human Services Department since his appointment in 2017.

Defense: Alan Shaffer, deputy undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment. Shaffer has served as director of science and technology at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Collaboration Support Office. He also has served as principal deputy assistant secretary of Defense for research and engineering, and had a three-year stint as acting assistant secretary.

Energy: Terri Donaldson, inspector general. Donaldson is general counsel for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. She began her legal career as a federal prosecutor in Florida, and later became general counsel for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Since entering the private sector in 2004, she represented energy companies and utilities.

Karen Evans, assistant secretary for cybersecurity, energy security and emergency response. Evans is the national director of the U.S. Cyber Challenge, a public-private partnership aimed at boosting the cybersecurity workforce. She previously was chief information officer at Energy, and she served as administrator for E-Government and Information Technology during the George W. Bush administration.

Daniel Simmons, assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy. Simmons has served as principal deputy assistant secretary in the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. He was previously vice president for policy of the Institute of Energy Research, a fossil fuels proponent group funded by Charles Koch.

Government Publishing Office: Robert Tapella, director. Tapella is an oversight staffer on the House Administration Committee. In that role, he led a review of Title 44 of the U.S. Code, which outlines the role of public printing and publishing of documents by the federal government. He was the 25th Public Printer of the U.S. under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Homeland Security: Peter Gaynor, deputy administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency. Gaynor was most recently director of the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency, and previously director of the Providence Emergency Management Agency. He is a more-than 20-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Housing and Urban Development: William Bryan, undersecretary for science and technology. Bryan currently serves as a senior official performing the duties of the position for which he has been nominated. Previously, he was president of ValueBridge International’s Energy Group and has held posts at the departments of Energy and Defense.

Rae Oliver Davis, inspector general. Oliver Davis is acting assistant inspector general for the Office of Special Inquiry and she has nearly a decade worth of experience in the inspector general community.

Justice: Shannon Goessling, director, Office of Violence Against Women. Goessling was a state prosecutor in Georgia for more than a decade, eventually becoming head of the Crimes Against Women and Children Unit in Cobb County. She has spent the last 18 years as a small business owner.

Office of the Director of National Intelligence: Joseph Maguire, director, National Counterterrorism Center. Maguire is president and CEO of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and a career Naval Special Warfare officer, retiring in 2010 as a vice admiral. He previously was deputy director for strategic operational planning at the National Counterterrorism Center.

State: Brian Bulatao, undersecretary for management. Bulatao is the chief operating officer of the Central Intelligence Agency and was a senior adviser to then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo. A former Army officer, Bulatao was chief operating officer of a number of companies in the private sector.

Ellen McCarthy, assistant secretary for intelligence and research. McCarthy is president of Noblis NSP, a government consulting firm. Before entering the private sector, she was acting director of security in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence. She previously worked at the U.S. Coast Guard as director of intelligence operations, strategy and policy.

R. Clarke Cooper, assistant secretary for political-military affairs. Cooper is director of intelligence planning for Joint Special Operations Command’s Joint Inter-Agency Task Force – North Capital Region. A combat veteran, he has served as U.S. Alternate Representative to the United Nations Security Council, among other diplomatic posts.

Robert Destro, assistant secretary for democracy, human rights and labor. Destro is a civil rights attorney and a law professor. He is the director of Catholic University of America’s Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies.

John Richmond, director, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking. Richmond is founder of the Human Trafficking Institute, a nonprofit that works to stop international human trafficking. He previously was special litigation counsel at the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and a founding member of the human trafficking prosecution unit.

Michael Hammer, ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Hammer has been a career diplomat since 1988. He is currently acting senior vice president of the National Defense University, and he previously was ambassador to Chile.

Lynda Blanchard, ambassador to Slovenia. Blanchard is the co-founder of 100X Development Foundation, a nonprofit focused on worldwide poverty issues.

Derek Hogan, ambassador to Moldova. Hogan has been a career diplomat since 1997, and he currently is deputy executive secretary of state. An expert on Eastern Europe, he has served five tours in the region, including Russia.

Daniel Rosenblum, ambassador to Uzbekistan. Rosenblum is currently deputy assistant secretary of State in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.

Stephanie Sullivan, ambassador to Ghana. Sullivan has been a career diplomat since 1986, currently serving as acting principal deputy assistant secretary for African Affairs. She was previously ambassador to the Republic of Congo and chief of staff to the deputy secretary for management and resources.

Karen Williams, ambassador to Suriname. Williams has been a career diplomat since 1991, currently serving as senior advisor to the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. She was previously deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Guyana.

Kathleen Kavalec, ambassador to Albania. Kavalec is currently deputy assistant secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. She previously was director of the Office of Russian Affairs, deputy chief of mission of the U.S. Mission to UNESCO, among other overseas posts.

Francisco Palmieri, ambassador to Honduras. Palmieri is acting assistant secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. He has served at five U.S. missions overseas during his 30-year diplomatic career.

Philip Kosnett, ambassador to Kosovo. Kosnet is Chargé d’Affaires ad interim at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey. He has served at eight U.S. missions abroad, along with a number of senior leadership posts within the State Department.

Treasury: Dino Falaschetti, director, Office of Financial Research. Falaschetti was a senior economist on President George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisors, and is currently chief economist for the House Financial Services Committee.

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