Browsing: Transition

That’s the word on the Hill and in today’s newspapers, and CNN has all but confirmed that its medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, will be President-elect Barack Obama’s choice for surgeon general. When word spread yesterday that Obama had discussed the position with Gupta, it led to a lot of head scratching and “really?” comments on the Hill. Though a distinguished Atlanta neurosurgeon and professor, Gupta is best known to most Americans as a prolific television commentator. However, he served as an adviser to the Clinton White House, helping craft health care speeches and policy for Hillary Clinton. According to…

The Associated Press reported last week that the wife of Michael Griffin, the current NASA administrator, has been sending e-mails to friends and family asking them to sign an online petition urging President-elect Barack Obama to keep her husband on as administrator. Rebecca Griffin apparently sent the appeal entitled “Campaign for Mike” on Christmas Eve. According to AP, she told the recipients: Yes, once again I am embarrassing my husband by reaching out to our friends and ‘imposing’ on them…. And if this is inappropriate, I’m sorry.” It’s not clear why she’d start such a petition, particularly given the reportedly…

President-elect Barack Obama today named two deputies to serve under Hillary Clinton at the State Department. James Steinberg and Jacob Lew will serve as deputy secretaries of State under Clinton. Steinberg is expected to be Clinton’s top advisor on policy issues, while Lew’s chief task will be securing additional financing for the diplomatic corps. Both nominations are subject to Senate confirmation, as is Clinton’s. Steinberg and Lew both held key policy positions under President Clinton. Steinberg was deputy national security advisor from December 1996 to August 2000 and previously held leadership positions in the State Department. He currently is dean of…

President-elect Barack Obama took to the stage Friday afternoon in Chicago to announce four nominees for labor and transportation positions: Rep. Hilda Solis as labor secretary, Rep. Ray LaHood as transportation secretary, former Dallas secretary Ron Kirk as U.S. trade representative and Maine venture capitalist Karen Mills to lead the Small Business Administration. With labor and transportation announced, Obama rounded out his Cabinet today and took a moment to brag about his speediness in filling the Cabinet. With these outstanding appointees, I have filled out our economic team, and done so at an earlier point than any President in history,…

Does the federal government have too many middle managers? President-elect Barack Obama has promised to thin the ranks of management, especially in the Washington area, and shift more employees to “front-line” positions in field offices. But the plan isn’t sitting well with groups like the Senior Executives Association and Federal Managers Association. A coalition of managers groups sent a letter (pdf) to John Podesta, the co-chair of Obama’s transition team, urging the president-elect to reconsider: An arbitrary cut of managers based upon an across the board ratio for all of federal service is not the answer. Instead, we encourage you…

Tom Daschle, the nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services, wants to know how you’d change the nation’s health care system. That’s according to an e-mail sent by John Podesta, co-chair of the Obama-Biden Transition Project. He’s inviting people to create health care forum discussions about what needs to be changed and promises the transition team will take those opinions seriously. “Secretary-designate Daschle is committed to reforming health care from the ground up, which is why he won’t just be reading the results of these discussions — he’ll be attending a few himself,” Podesta wrote in the e-mail, sent…

President-elect Barack Obama announced Saturday that New York City Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Shaun Donovan, will be the nominee for secretary Housing and Urban Development. As housing commissioner, Donovan expanded affordable housing in New York through plans to give tax breaks to developers who built affordable housing in upscale developments. He also launched a program to provide financial education, legal and credit assistance to those at risk of predatory lending. As HUD Secretary, Donovan will be charged with carrying out Obama’s top housing priorities, such as modifying terms of mortgages to prevent foreclosures and expanding the amount of affordable housing.…

When the transition to the new administration kicked off on Nov. 5, President Bush pledged his administration will fully cooperate with President-elect Obama’s transition team to ensure things go smoothly. But it appears not every Bush administration official has received that message if this article in the Orlando Sentinel is correct: NASA administrator Mike Griffin is not cooperating with President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team, is obstructing its efforts to get information and has told its leader that she is “not qualified” to judge his rocket program. The piece goes on to say that Griffin also telling federal employees and contractors…

We’re hearing this morning that President-elect Barack Obama has settled on a handful of appointments for key positions handling energy and environmental issues. Among the likely picks: Steven Chu, director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, to serve as secretary of the Energy Department. Lisa Jackson, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Carol Browner, former EPA administrator during the Clinton administration, to serve in a new White House position coordinating energy and climate control initiatives across goverment. Nancy Sutley, deputy mayor for energy and environment in Los Angeles, to head the White…

Wondering how the next Congress is going to approach acquisition issues? Answer: More oversight. That’s what Cathy Garman, a professional staff member for the House Armed Services Committee, said today at a panel discussion hosted by Venable, a Washington, D.C. law firm. The discussion centered on the acquisition management priorities of the next Congress and the next administration. Garman noted that Congress approved several changes to procurement regulations and procedures through the Defense authorization bills in recent years. The 111th Congress is going to make sure those changes have been enacted. Among the congressionally mandated changes topping the oversight list:…

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