The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts, 7/1/10

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

  • Alexander A. Arvizu, Ambassador to the Republic of Albania, Department of State
  • Nisha Desai Biswal, Assistant Administrator for Asia, United States Agency for International Development
  • Michele T. Bond, Ambassador to the Kingdom of Lesotho, Department of State
  • Paul W. Jones, Ambassador to Malaysia, Department of State
  • George A. Krol, Ambassador to the Republic of Uzbekistan, Department of State
  • Francis J. Ricciardone, Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey, Department of State
  • Timothy Charles Scheve, Member, Internal Revenue Service Oversight Board
  • Duane E. Woerth, for the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service as U.S. Representative on the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization, Department of State

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

President Obama said, “I am grateful that these impressive individuals have agreed to join my administration. I am confident they will serve ably in their new roles, and 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:

Alexander A. Arvizu, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Albania, Department of State
Alexander Arvizu is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, rank of Minister-Counselor.  He is currently the Director of Entry-Level Career Development and Assignments in the Department of State.  Previously, he was a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.  He served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Bangkok, Thailand, and Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  His other overseas postings were Seoul, Korea and Osaka-Kobe, Japan.  His Washington service includes a detail assignment to the National Security Council, where he was Director for Asian Affairs, and as a Member of the 46th Senior Seminar.  A native of Colorado, Mr. Arvizu received a B.S. degree from Georgetown University.

Nisha Desai Biswal, Nominee for Assistant Administrator for Asia, United States Agency for International Development
Nisha Desai Biswal is the Majority Clerk for the State Department and Foreign Operations Subcommittee on the Committee on Appropriations in the U.S. House of Representatives which has jurisdiction over the State Department, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other aspects of the international affairs budget.  Ms. Biswal provides staff support to Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey and Subcommittee Chairwoman Nita Lowey in managing the appropriations and oversight of the U.S. international affairs budget. Ms. Biswal was the Director of Policy and Advocacy at InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S. based international humanitarian and development non-governmental organizations.  She previously served on the professional staff of the House International Relations Committee where she was responsible for South and Central Asia policy as well as oversight of the State Department and USAID.  Ms. Biswal worked at the U.S. Agency for International Development where she served as Special Assistant to the Administrator.  During her four years at USAID, Ms. Biswal also worked in the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, the Office of Transition Initiatives, and served as chief of staff in the Management Bureau. Ms. Biswal has also worked with the American Red Cross both in their Washington headquarters and overseas as an international delegate in Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan.  Ms. Biswal holds a B.A. from the University of Virginia.

Michele T. Bond, Nominee for Ambassador to the Kingdom of Lesotho, Department of State
Michele T. Bond is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, with the rank of Minister-Counselor.  She currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Overseas Citizens Services in the Bureau of Consular Affairs.  She previously served as Director of Consular Affairs' Office of Policy Coordination and Public Affairs, Managing Director for Overseas Citizens Services, and Director of Consular Training at the Foreign Service Institute.  Overseas postings include Guatemala City, Belgrade, Prague, Moscow and Amsterdam, where she was Consul General.  Mrs. Bond received a B.A. with honors from Wellesley College and Master’s degrees from the National War College and Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.

Paul W. Jones, Nominee for Ambassador to Malaysia, Department of State
Paul W. Jones is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service. He is currently the Deputy to the Special Representative and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mr. Jones previously served as the Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge d'Affaires in the Philippines. Prior assignments include Deputy Chief of the U.S. Mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and Deputy Chief of Mission in Macedonia. Other overseas posts include Colombia and Russia. In Washington, he has served as Director of the Executive Secretariat Staff and Director of the European Bureau's Balkans office. Mr. Jones graduated from Cornell University and received Master's degrees from the University of Virginia and the Naval War College.

George A. Krol, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Uzbekistan, Department of State
George A. Krol is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, with the rank of Minister-Counselor.  He currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central Asia in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.  He previously served as United States Ambassador to the Republic of Belarus, Minister Counselor at the United States Embassy in Moscow and has had other overseas postings in Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, India and Poland.  In Washington, he has held several assignments, including Director of the State Department Office of Russian Affairs, Special Assistant to the Ambassador–at-Large for the Newly Independent States and served on the faculty of the National War College. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania but raised in New Jersey, Mr. Krol is a graduate of Harvard College and Oxford University, England.

Francis J. Ricciardone, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey, Department of State
Francis Joseph Ricciardone, Jr., of Massachusetts, is a Career Minister in the Foreign Service. He has served since 2009 as Deputy Ambassador and Charge’ d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. He also served as Ambassador to Egypt until 2008, and Ambassador to the Philippines and concurrently to Palau. Ambassador Ricciardone began his career in Ankara and Adana, Turkey. He served twice again in Turkey: as political advisor to the US and Turkish commanders of Operation Provide Comfort at Incirlik Air Force Base, and as Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge’ d’Affaires. He led the transition to an organization of the US Embassy in Baghdad in 2004, and the Department of State’s Task Force in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001. He served as former Secretary Albright’s Special Representative for the Transition of Iraq from 1999-2001. Ricciardone graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1973.

Timothy Charles Scheve, Nominee for Member, Internal Revenue Service Oversight Board
Timothy C. Scheve is President and Chief Executive Officer of Janney Montgomery Scott LLC. Mr. Scheve became the President and CEO in August 2007 and has over 25 years of experience in the securities industry. Before becoming the President and CEO of Janney, Mr. Scheve served in a variety of leadership roles at Legg Mason. He was appointed Executive Vice President of Legg Mason in 1998 and Senior Executive Vice President in 2000. In 2003, he was named President and CEO of Legg Mason’s broker-dealer, the former Legg Mason Wood Walker, Inc. (LMWW). After Legg Mason sold LMWW, Mr. Scheve was responsible for the integration of Citigroup’s Asset Management division into Legg Mason’s Asset Management business serving as Chief Administrative Officer. He was also responsible for Legg Mason’s International Asset Management business. Prior to joining Legg Mason, Mr. Scheve served as a Senior Consultant for the Management Information Consulting Group of Price Waterhouse & Company. His professional affiliations include roles on the Board of Trustees of the American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania, the Board of Directors of The Pennsylvania Trust Company, the Board of Directors of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, where he serves on the Private Client Group Steering Committee. He is also a trustee for The Catholic University of America. Mr. Scheve earned a B.A., summa cum laude, from Catholic University and a M.A. in economics from Brown University. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 1980.

Duane E. Woerth, Nominee for the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service as U.S. Representative on the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization, Department of State
Duane E. Woerth is currently Senior Vice President at an internet advertising firm in Omaha, Nebraska that he co-founded. From 1999-2006, he served as president of the Air Line Pilots Association. Immediately following the attacks of 9/11, he was appointed by United States Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta to serve on the Rapid Response Team for Aircraft Security. Additionally, he was Co-Chairman of the Next Generation Air Transportation System Executive Council, a private sector organization developed to work with the Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration to modernize the National Airspace System through 2025. He has served on several airline boards of directors, including Northwest Airlines, and he is currently a director of Hawaiian Airlines. Woerth earned a B.S. in business from the University of Nebraska and a Master’s from the University of Oklahoma. He served in the United States Air Force and the Kansas Air National Guard and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

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

James M. Kesteloot, Appointee for Member, Committee for Purchase from People Who are Blind or Severely Disabled
James M. Kesteloot is the former President and Executive Director of The Chicago Lighthouse for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired. He joined the organization in 1969 as a Job Placement Counselor and served in many capacities throughout his 40 plus years with the organization. Mr. Kesteloot, who has been legally blind his entire life, has extensive practical experience with issues relating to the hiring of those who are blind or visually impaired.  He has consulted for many organizations and has served on numerous councils, including appointments by Governors Thompson and Edgar to the state Blind Services planning Council, and an appointment by Mayor Richard M. Daley to his Task Force for the Employment of People with Disabilities. Mr. Kesteloot has served on the Executive Committee of the Board of National Industries for the Blind; as President of the Central Lions Club; and as a member of the United Way of Chicago Council. He has received the American Optometric Association’s Apollo Award for his contributions to the visual welfare of the public; the National Industries for the Blind’s Robert B. Irwin Award for service to people who are blind; and the Illinois Association for Education and Rehabilitation’s Distinguished Service Award. He earned his Master’s of Science in Management of Rehabilitation Services from DePaul University and his Bachelor’s of Science from Loyola University.

Wayne Newell, Appointee for Member, National Advisory Council on Indian Education
Wayne Newell is a member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe located in eastern Maine and currently resides in Indian Township. Mr. Newell’s career spans over 40 years in Native education. He has participated in various projects which include the publication of a tribal dictionary, creation of a tribal language writing system and training of Native people to participate in the education of their children. Mr. Newell is also a singer of Native music and a story teller for his community.  He currently serves as Trustee for the University of Maine system and is a former member of NACIE under the Carter Administration.  Mr. Newell holds a master’s degree in Education from Harvard University and is working toward a doctoral degree from Boston College.

Stacy Phelps, Appointee for Member, National Advisory Council on Indian Education
Stacy Phelps is an enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribe in South Dakota. He currently coordinates the South Dakota GEAR UP and is the Chief Executive Officer of the American Indian Institute for Innovation. In 2008, South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds appointed Mr. Phelps to the South Dakota State Board of Education.  Due to his efforts working with American Indian students in early college readiness programs and developing STEM programs at tribal colleges and universities, Mr. Phelps was presented with a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring in a White House ceremony in January 2010. Mr. Phelps earned his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and his M.S. degree in Educational Technology from Dakota State University.  He is completing his doctoral degree in Adult Higher Education at the University of South Dakota.

Patricia Whitefoot, Appointee for Member, National Advisory Council on Indian Education
Patricia Whitefoot is a member of the Yakama Nation.  Ms. Whitefoot has almost 40 years of education experience and has managed various Indian Education programs ranging from early childhood to higher education.  As the Indian Education Director of Toppenish School District, she serves as President of the National Indian Education Association.  She also served on the Yakama Tribal Council.  Ms. Whitefoot earned her B.A. in Elementary Education at Central Washington University of Ellensburg, WA and her M.A. in Education at Ft. Wright College of Spokane, WA.