Recess Appointments to Key Administration Positions Announced
President Obama announced 15 recess appointments including Michael Punke to serve as deputy trade representative based in Geneva; Islam A. Siddiqui to serve as chief agricultural negotiator, Office of the US Trade Representative; and Jill Long Thompson to serve as a member of the Farm Credit Administration Board.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2010
President Obama Announces Recess Appointments to Key Administration Positions
Fifteen Appointees Have Waited an Average of 214 Days for Senate Confirmation
“The United States Senate has the responsibility to approve or disapprove of my nominees. But if, in the interest of scoring political points, Republicans in the Senate refuse to exercise that responsibility, I must act in the interest of the American people and exercise my authority to fill these positions on an interim basis,” said President Barack Obama. “Most of the men and women whose appointments I am announcing today were approved by Senate committees months ago, yet still await a vote of the Senate. At a time of economic emergency, two top appointees to the Department of Treasury have been held up for nearly six months. I simply cannot allow partisan politics to stand in the way of the basic functioning of government.”
Following their appointment, these nominees will remain in the Senate for confirmation.
Obama Administration appointees have faced an unprecedented level of obstruction in the Senate.
- President Obama currently has a total of 217 nominees pending before the Senate. These nominees have been pending for an average of 101 days, including 34 nominees pending for more than 6 months.
- The 15 nominees President Obama intends to recess appoint have been pending for an average of 214 days or 7 months for a total of 3204 days or almost 9 years.
- President Bush had made 15 recess appointments by this point in his presidency, but he was not facing the same level of obstruction. At this time in 2002, President Bush had only 5 nominees pending on the floor. By contrast, President Obama has 77 nominees currently pending on the floor, 58 of whom have been waiting for over two weeks and 44 of those have been waiting more than a month.
The President announced his intention to recess appoint the following nominees:
Jeffrey Goldstein: Nominee for Under Secretary for Domestic Finance, Department of the Treasury
Jeffrey Goldstein is a former Managing Director of Hellman & Friedman LLC, a private equity investment firm with offices in
Michael F. Mundaca: Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy, Department of the Treasury
Michael F. Mundaca currently is Senior Advisor for Policy within the Treasury Department's Office of Tax Policy and the Acting Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy. Mr. Mundaca served in the Treasury Department during the Clinton Administration and returned to the Treasury Department in 2007, as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Tax Affairs. Before that appointment, he was a partner for five years in the International Tax Services group of Ernst & Young's National Tax Department, in
Eric L. Hirschhorn: Nominee for Under Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration and head of the Bureau of Industry and Security, Department of Commerce
Eric Hirschhorn, a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Winston & Strawn LLP, long has been active in the areas of international law, litigation, and professional responsibility. As Deputy Assistant Secretary for Export Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce (1980-81), Mr. Hirschhorn oversaw U.S. export controls for items having commercial as well as military applications, antiboycott compliance, restraints on imports for national security reasons, and the Department’s participation in the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Earlier, while a member of President Jimmy Carter’s reorganization project staff (1977-80), he worked on reorganizing the government’s international trade, public diplomacy, and foreign assistance mechanisms. Before working in the Executive branch, Mr. Hirschhorn held several congressional staff positions, was in private law practice in New York City, and was a legal services lawyer. Mr. Hirschhorn has represented clients on a wide range of commercial and regulatory matters since returning to private law practice in 1981. He is Executive Secretary of the Industry Coalition on Technology Transfer (ICOTT), a group whose industry participants are affected by U.S. export control and embargo rules. He is the author of The Export Control and Embargo Handbook, Second Edition, published in 2004, and numerous articles on export controls, embargoes and related topics. He chairs the D.C. Bar Rules of Professional Conduct Review Committee and is a member (and former chair) of the D.C. Bar Legal Ethics Committee. He also is a member of the New York City Bar Association and the Thurgood Marshall American Inn of Court. Mr. Hirschhorn received his B.A. degree from the University of Chicago and a J.D. degree from Columbia University, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.
Michael Punke: Nominee for Deputy Trade Representative -
Michael Punke has worked in the field of international trade law and policy for two decades. From 1995 to 1996, Punke served as Senior Policy Advisor at the Office of the United States Trade Representative. There, he advised the USTR on issues ranging from agricultural trade to intellectual property protection. From 1993 to 1995, Punke served at the White House as Director for International Economic Affairs with a joint appointment to the National Security Council and the National Economic Council. His responsibilities included assisting in the management of the interagency process. From 1991 to 1992, Punke was International Trade Counsel to Senator Max Baucus, then Chairman of the Finance Committee’s International Trade Subcommittee. Punke has also worked on international trade issues from the private sector, including as a partner at the
Francisco "Frank" J. Sánchez: Nominee for Under Secretary for International Trade, Department of Commerce
Francisco J. Sánchez currently serves as a Senior Advisor to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke on international trade issues. He served as a Policy Advisor on Latin America to the Obama For America campaign. He was also the Chairman of the campaign's National Hispanic Leadership Council. In 1999, Sanchez became a Special Assistant to President Clinton, working in the Office of the Special Envoy for the Americas. While at the White House, Sanchez worked with the National Security Council, the State Department and the U.S. Trade Representative. Clinton later appointed Sánchez as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Transportation where he developed aviation policy and oversaw international negotiations. Prior to his work in the federal government, Sánchez practiced corporate and administrative law with the firm of Steel, Hector and Davis in Miami, Florida. Before practicing law, he served in the administration of former Florida Governor (and later U.S. Senator) Bob Graham, as the first director of the state’s Caribbean Basin Initiative Program. For the last 15 years, Sanchez has worked with several consulting companies on projects involving complex transactions, labor-management negotiations, litigation settlement, negotiation strategy, alliance management, facilitation and training, most recently as a partner with CM Partners. Among his public-sector engagements, Sánchez headed a team in Medellín, Colombia as part of a "Teaching Tolerance" program. He also advised the president of Ecuador in negotiations to settle the 56-year-old border dispute with Peru. He is a contributing author to Negociación 2000, a collection of essays on negotiation published by McGraw-Hill. A Florida native, Mr. Sánchez attended the University of Florida, received his undergraduate and law degrees from Florida State University and holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Islam A. Siddiqui: Nominee for Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
Islam A. Siddiqui is currently Vice President for Science and Regulatory Affairs at CropLife
Alan D. Bersin: Nominee for Commissioner,
Alan Bersin was appointed by Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano in April, 2009 as Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Special Representative for Border Affairs in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In that capacity, he serves as the Secretary's lead representative on Border Affairs and
Jill Long Thompson: Nominee for Member, Farm Credit Administration Board
Jill Long Thompson is a former Member of the United States House of Representatives and the former Under Secretary for Rural Development at the United States Department of Agriculture. She also served as Chief Executive Officer and Senior Fellow at The National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy, a not-for-profit, non-advocacy research and policy organization. She is the first and only woman to be nominated by a major party to run for Governor in Indiana, as well as the first and only Hoosier woman to be nominated by a major party to run for the United States Senate. Long Thompson joined the faculty at
Rafael Borras: Nominee for Under Secretary for Management , Department of Homeland Security
Rafael Borras currently serves as a Vice President, Construction Services, for the Mid-Atlantic Region with URS Corporation, a global engineering services firm. Prior to joining the URS, Mr. Borras served as the Regional Administrator for the Mid-Atlantic Region of the U.S. General Services Administration. Prior to serving in this position, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration in the U.S. Department of Commerce. Mr. Borras also served as Deputy City Manager in the City of Hartford, Connecticut, where he was responsible for the departments of finance, police, fire, code enforcement, information technology, purchasing, budget, and human relations. Mr. Borras began his public sector career with Metropolitan Dade County Government, serving in the Office of the
Craig Becker: Nominee for Board Member, National Labor Relations Board
Craig Becker currently serves as Associate General Counsel to both the Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations. He graduated summa cum laude from
Mark Pearce: Nominee for Board Member, National Labor Relations Board
Mark Gaston Pearce has been a labor lawyer for his entire career. He is one of the founding partners of the
Jacqueline A. Berrien, Nominee for Chair of the Equal Employment
Ms. Berrien has served as Associate Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) since September 2004. In that position, she assists with the direction and implementation of LDF’s national legal advocacy and scholarship programs. Ms. Berrien served from 2001 to 2004 as a Program Officer in the Ford Foundation’s Peace and Social Justice Program, where she administered more than $13 million of grants to promote greater political participation by underrepresented groups and remove barriers to civic engagement. Prior to joining the Ford Foundation, Ms. Berrien was an Assistant Counsel with LDF and directed the Fund’s voting rights and political participation work. For eight years before that, Ms. Berrien was a staff attorney with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union. Berrien has also taught in trial advocacy programs at Fordham and Harvard law schools and served on the adjunct faculty of
Chai R. Feldblum: Nominee for Commissioner, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Chai Feldblum is a Professor of Law at the
Victoria A. Lipnic: Nominee for Commissioner, Equal Employment
Victoria A. Lipnic is of counsel in the
P. David Lopez: Nominee for General Counsel, Equal Employment
David Lopez has served at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for 13 years in the field and at headquarters. He began at the EEOC in 1994 as a Special Assistant to Commissioner Casellas. Currently, Mr. Lopez is a Supervisory Trial Attorney with the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office. During his tenure, Mr. Lopez has successfully tried several cases on behalf of the EEOC in a wide variety of legal bases. Before joining the Commission, Mr. Lopez served at the Civil Rights Division, Employment Litigation Section, at the U.S. Department of Justice in