President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts


WASHINGTON – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts:

  • Michelle Gavin, Ambassador to the Republic of Botswana, Department of State
  • Thomas M. Harrigan, Deputy Administrator of Drug Enforcement, Department of Justice
  • Mara Rudman, Assistant Administrator for the Middle East, U.S. Agency for International Development

The President also announced his intent to appoint several individuals to key Administration posts.  Their biographies are below.

President Obama said, “I am grateful that these talented and dedicated individuals have agreed to take on these important roles and devote their talents to serving the American people.  I look forward to working with them in the coming months and years.”

President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts:


Michelle Gavin, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Botswana, Department of State

Michelle Gavin most recently served as a Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Africa on the National Security Staff.  Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Ms. Gavin was an Adjunct Fellow for Africa and an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Before joining CFR, Ms. Gavin served as legislative director to U.S. Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO). She had previously spent six years serving as the primary foreign policy adviser to Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI), where she worked on a broad range of initiatives, including the creation of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction and the reform of U.S. policy relating to HIV/AIDS treatment abroad. She has also served as the staff director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on African Affairs.  Ms. Gavin earned an MPhil in International Relations from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar, and a B.A. from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
Thomas M. Harrigan, Nominee for Deputy Administrator of Drug Enforcement, Department of Justice

Thomas M. Harrigan is currently the Chief of Operations in the Drug Enforcement Administration at the U.S. Department of Justice.  He was appointed to this position in 2008 and is the principal advisor to the DEA Administrator on all enforcement-related matters.  Mr. Harrigan began his career as a Special Agent with the DEA in 1987 and was reassigned to the Bangkok, Thailand Country Office in 1991.  Since then, he has served as Group Supervisor in the Newark Field Division, Staff Coordinator in the Office of Congressional and Public Affairs, Chief of the Dangerous Drugs and Chemicals Section, and Deputy Chief in the Office of Domestic Operations.  He also served as Senior Advisor to the Chief of Domestic Operations and as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge in the Washington Field Office.  In 2004, Mr. Harrigan was appointed to the Senior Executive Service to serve as the Chief of Enforcement Operations.  In this role, Mr. Harrigan served as the principal deputy for the Chief of Operations and directed the re-organization of DEA’s Operations Division.  He is the recipient of numerous agency awards and commendations, including the Presidential Rank award of Distinguished Executive in December 2009.  Mr. Harrigan has an M.A. in Education from Seton Hall University.


Mara Rudman, Nominee for Assistant Administrator for the Middle East, U.S. Agency for International Development
Mara Rudman is currently Deputy Envoy and Chief of Staff to the Special Envoy for Middle East Peace at the Department of State.  In early 2009, Ms. Rudman served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Executive Secretary for the National Security Council.  From 2005-2009,  she led Quorum Strategies, LLC, an international strategic consulting firm, and was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, where she focused on national security issues and advised Middle East Progress. She served as a deputy national security advisor and National Security Council chief of staff to President Clinton from 1999-2001, and earlier in her career, as chief counsel to the House Foreign Affairs Committee under Chairman Lee Hamilton (D-IN). She also has worked as a vice president and general counsel for The Cohen Group, a Washington-based consultancy founded by former Secretary of Defense William Cohen; and she worked previously for Rep. Gerry E. Studds (D-MA).  Ms. Rudman holds an A.B. summa cum laude from Dartmouth College and a J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School.

President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

James Hamilton, Appointee for Member, Board of Governors of the United Service Organizations, Incorporated

James Hamilton is a partner with the law firm Bingham McCutchen LLP.  His principal practice areas are civil and criminal litigation, congressional and other investigations, and advising clients on government and professional ethics.  Mr. Hamilton previously served as the Assistant Chief Counsel of the Senate Watergate Committee and on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.  He served as the Clinton-Gore transition counsel for nominations and confirmations.  He served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army in Germany and is the author of The Power to Probe: A Study of Congressional Investigations and many articles on legal and public affairs.

Lisa Borin Ogden, Appointee for Member, Board of Governors of the United Service Organizations, Incorporated

Lisa Borin Ogden most recently served as Special Assistant to the President in the White House Presidential Personnel Office.  Prior to that, she served as Legislative Assistant to then Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr., where her focus was on energy, the environment, transportation, agriculture and telecommunications. Ms. Ogden has a B.A. from Emory University and received her J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law.

Bob King, Appointee for Member, Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations

Bob King was elected as President of the United Auto Workers Union (UAW) in 2010.  From 1998 until 2010, he served three four-year terms as a Vice President at UAW.  In his final term as Vice President, he directed the Ford, Severstal, and Competitive Shops/Independent Parts Suppliers Departments of the UAW.  Before this, Mr. King served nine years as the Union’s Director for most of Wayne, Monroe, and Washtenaw Counties in Michigan.  He also chaired the UAW-Ford Negotiating Committee twice.  Mr. King is a life member of the NAACP and a member of the Coalition of Labor Union Women.

Cappy McGarr, Appointee for General Trustee, Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Cappy McGarr serves as Managing Partner of the U.S. Renewable Energy Group and President of the capital management firm MCM Interests, LLC.  Mr. McGarr serves on the boards of the Foundation for the National Archives and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  He is the founder of the University of Texas Sports Journalism Program in the College of Communications and the University’s annual McGarr Symposium in Sports Journalism.  He also served as Chairman of the University of Texas at Austin Development Board from 2001 to 2002.  Mr. McGarr was appointed by President Clinton to the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, serving from 1996 to 2002.  He is an executive producer and creator of the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize, the nation’s highest award for humor, and in 2009 was nominated for an Emmy Award for the production honoring George Carlin.  Mr. McGarr is also an executive producer and creator of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, the nation’s highest honor for popular song.

Al Tarasiuk, Appointee for Chief Information Officer of the Intelligence Community, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Al Tarasiuk is a career senior intelligence officer at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). From 2005 to 2010, Mr. Tarasiuk served as Chief Information Officer at the CIA. In this role, he supported cyber defense and also served as the CIA’s Senior Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer. Prior to being appointed CIO, Mr. Tarasiuk was Director of CIA’s Information Services Center. In his early years at CIA, Mr. Tarasiuk served overseas in an operational role with the National Clandestine Service. He began his federal career as a project engineer with Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. In January 2011, he received the National Intelligence Reform Medal from the Director of National Intelligence for significant accomplishments leading to the transformation and integration of the U.S. Intelligence Community.  Mr. Tarasiuk holds a B.S.E.E. from New Jersey Institute of Technology and a M.S. from the George Washington University.


The Washington Review & Commentary is a White House Blog dedicated to publishing official administration documents, press releases, fact sheets, and other information released through the White House Press Office.

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