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Press Release - President Biden Announces Key Administration Nominations in National Security

April 27, 2021

WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to serve in national security positions:

  • Frank Kendall, Nominee for Secretary of the Air Force, Department of Defense
  • Thomas A. Monheim, Nominee for Inspector General of the Intelligence Community
  • Gina Ortiz Jones, Nominee for Under Secretary of the Air Force, Department of Defense
  • Meredith Berger, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations, and Environment, Department of Defense
  • Michael Connor, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Department of Defense
  • Ed Gonzalez, Nominee for Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security
  • Caroline Krass, Nominee for General Counsel, Department of Defense
  • Chris Lu, Nominee for Representative to the United Nations for Management and Reform, with the Rank of Ambassador, Department of State
  • Lee Satterfield, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State
  • Adam Scheinman, Nominee for Special Representative of the President for Nuclear Nonproliferation, with the Rank of Ambassador, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, Department of State
  • Heidi Shyu, Nominee for Under Secretary for Research and Engineering, Department of Defense

Frank Kendall, Nominee for Secretary of the Air Force, Department of Defense

Frank Kendall is an independent consultant, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, a Senior Advisor to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Among other industry positions, he is a member of the board of directors of Leidos Corporation and of Leonardo Electronics USA Inc. From 2012 to 2017, Mr. Kendall served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L), after serving as the Principal Deputy Under Secretary from 2010-2012. Mr. Kendall has over 45 years of experience in engineering, management, defense acquisition, and national security affairs. Earlier in his career Mr. Kendall was the Vice President of Engineering for Raytheon Company, and prior to that, the Deputy Director of Defense Research and Engineering for Tactical Warfare Programs. In addition, Mr. Kendall is an attorney and has been active in the field of human rights, working primarily on a pro bono basis. He has served as the Chairman of the Board of the Tahirih Justice Center, a Member of the Board of Amnesty International USA, and as an observer for Human Rights First at Guantanamo. He is currently a member of the board of directors of The Center for Victims of Torture. Among his awards are four Defense Distinguished Public Service Awards, the highest Secretary of Defense award for civilian service, and the Presidential Rank A ward for Senior Executive Service members. In 2016 Mr. Kendall was named "Aviation Week and Space Technology" Person of the Year (together with Secretary Ash Carter and Deputy Secretary Robert Work). He is the author of "Getting Defense Acquisition Right" (Defense Acquisition University Press 2017). Mr. Kendall retired from the US Army Reserves as a Lieutenant Colonel and is a graduate of the Army War College. Mr. Kendall holds degrees from West Point (BS), the California Institute of Technology (MS and AE), the C. W. Post Center of Long Island University (MBA), and Georgetown University Law Center (JD). Mr. Kendall is a frequent contributor to Forbes, writing on national security matters. An avid sailor and ocean race competitor, Mr. Kendall resides in Falls Church, VA with his wife Beth and youngest son, James.

Thomas A. Monheim, Nominee for Inspector General of the Intelligence Community

Thomas A. Monheim has served as the Acting Inspector General of the Intelligence Community. Mr. Monheim's prior civilian service includes being General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Deputy General Counsel at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Senior Legal Counsel at the National Counterterrorism Center, Associate Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice, and Associate Counsel to the President at the White House. Mr. Monheim retired as a Colonel from the US Air Force Reserves. His prior military service includes time as a prosecutor, defense counsel, appellate counsel, military judge, Deputy General Counsel of the White House Military Office, and Senior Individual Mobilization Augmentee. He was mobilized for 9 months in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and was mobilized again for 9 months with a Joint Special Operations Task Force in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Mr. Monheim's awards include the Presidential Meritorious Executive Award, the Director of National Intelligence Exceptional Service Award, the Legion of Merit, and the Bronze Star. Mr. Monheim is graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, the University of California School of Law, and National War College.

Gina Ortiz Jones, Nominee for Under Secretary of the Air Force, Department of Defense

Gina Ortiz Jones has spent her career working to protect U.S. economic and national security. Commissioned through the Air Force ROTC program at Boston University, Ms. Jones served as an Air Force intelligence officer and deployed to Iraq with the 18th Air Support Operations Group supporting close air support operations. A member of the LGBTQ community, Ms. Jones served under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Upon separation from the Air Force, Ms. Jones advised on military operations in Central and South America with the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade and U.S. Army South. She joined the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) as an inaugural member of U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany and served in the Libya Crisis Intelligence Cell. Following an assignment as the Special Advisor to the DIA Deputy Director, Ms. Jones was detailed to the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center to serve as the Intelligence Community's Senior Advisor for trade enforcement. She joined the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative as a Director for Investment leading the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) portfolio. Ms. Jones served as the Democratic nominee for Texas's 23rd Congressional District in 2018 and 2020. She has advanced degrees from Boston University, the University of Kansas, and the U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies.

Meredith Berger, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations, and Environment, Department of Defense

Meredith Berger served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Department of the Navy during the Obama-Biden Administration, where she advised the Secretary of the Navy on the formulation, prioritization, and execution of Department-wide strategy, policies, plans, and standards. Prior to assuming the role of Deputy Chief of Staff, she served for two years at the Pentagon as a Defense Fellow, providing support to key offices in the Department of Defense. She joined the Obama-Biden Administration in 2011 as Policy Advisor at the Environmental Protection Agency where she worked on the Presidential Task Force focused on the long-term recovery of the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding areas following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Berger began her career in public service at the state of Florida Chief Financial Officer's office where she developed and executed state policies on climate, insurance, risk, energy, public finance, and housing.

Michael Connor, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Department of Defense

Michael Connor is currently a partner in the law firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, LLP. The majority of Mr. Connor's career has been in the public sector, most recently serving in the Obama Administration as the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior from 2014 until 2017. As Deputy Secretary, Connor was a key leader in implementing the Administration's priorities for the Department, including establishing water policies and strategies to address an unprecedented Western drought; promoting renewable energy development on public lands and the outer continental shelf; developing science-based strategies to support landscape-level management of public lands; and taking actions to improve the federal government's fulfillment of its trust responsibility to Native Americans. Prior to serving as Deputy Secretary, Connor served as the Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation from 2009 to 2014 where he led efforts to integrate climate science and resilience actions into water resource management. He also forged major Indian water rights settlements and led the Department of the Interior's negotiations to complete two major binational agreements with Mexico on the Colorado River.

From 2001 until 2009, Connor served as Counsel to the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and previously served in the Department of the Interior in the Solicitor's Office, and then as Director of the Secretary's Indian Water Rights Office. Connor received his J.D. from the University of Colorado and a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from New Mexico State University. A long-time New Mexican, he is an enrolled member of the Taos Pueblo and now resides with his family in Denver, Colorado.

Ed Gonzalez, Nominee for Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, a lifelong Houstonian, was elected on November 8, 2016 as the Sheriff of Harris County. On January 1, 2017, Gonzalez became the 30th Sheriff of Harris County, Texas. Voters elected Sheriff Gonzalez to a second term in 2020 when he earned the highest vote total of any candidate on the countywide ballot. The Harris County Sheriff's Office is the largest Sheriff Office in the State of Texas, and the third-largest nationally. Sheriff Gonzalez leads upwards of 5,000 employees to protect the County's 4.5 million residents within the 1,700 square miles of Harris County. Sheriff Gonzalez began his law enforcement career as a civilian employee in the Houston Police Department, where he later became a police officer and rose to the rank of Sergeant. He served on the elite hostage negotiation team and was assigned to the Homicide Division as an investigator.

After serving 18 years with the Houston Police Department, Sheriff Gonzalez retired in 2009 to serve three terms on the Houston City Council representing District H. He was elected by his peers in 2010 to serve as Vice Mayor Pro-Tem and was appointed Mayor Pro-Tem in 2012 by then-Mayor Annise Parker. Sheriff Gonzalez holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University of Houston Downtown, and a master's degree from the University of St. Thomas.

Caroline Krass, Nominee for General Counsel, Department of Defense

Caroline Krass is currently Senior Vice President & General Counsel, General Insurance and Deputy General Counsel of American International Group (AIG), where she leads a global legal team supporting the primary business unit, as well as the cybersecurity and privacy, technology and innovation teams across AIG. Previously, she was a partner and Chair of the National Security Practice Group at Gibson Dunn. Before entering the private sector, Krass spent more than two decades in public service, including thirteen years in the Department of Justice, primarily as a career lawyer in the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) and as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney within the National Security Section at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia. Krass received the Department of Defense Exceptional Civilian Service Award in 2002 and the Attorney General's Award for Excellence in Furthering the Interests of National Security in 2007.

In 2009, Krass was appointed Special Assistant and Special Counsel for National Security Affairs to President Obama and Deputy Legal Adviser to the National Security Council (NSC), where she advised officials on a range of legal issues related to national security and foreign policy. In 2011, Krass returned to the Justice Department and served as Acting Assistant Attorney General, advising the President, Attorney General and other Executive Branch leaders on complex questions of constitutional and statutory law. She received the John Marshall Award, the highest Department of Justice Award for an attorney, and the Department of Defense Medal for Outstanding Service. In 2014, Krass was the first woman to be confirmed by the United States Senate as General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Earlier in her career, Krass served as Deputy Legal Adviser to the NSC, as Special Assistant to the General Counsel of the Department of the Treasury, and as a lawyer at the Department of State. Krass clerked for the Honorable Patricia M. Wald on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University and received her J.D from Yale Law School.

Chris Lu, Nominee for Representative to the United Nations for Management and Reform, with the Rank of Ambassador, Department of State

Chris Lu is currently a Senior Strategy Advisor at FiscalNote, a D.C.-based technology company, and the Teresa A. Sullivan Practitioner Senior Fellow at the University of Virginia Miller Center. Previously, in a career of public service that spanned two decades, he served in all three branches of the federal government. From 2014 to 2017, Lu was the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor, having been confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate. In this role, he served as the chief operating officer of a department with 17,000 employees and a $12 billion budget. The son of immigrants, Lu was only the second Asian American in history to become deputy secretary of a Cabinet department.

Earlier, from 2009 to 2013, he was the White House Cabinet Secretary and Assistant to the President. During the first term of the Obama Administration, Lu co-chaired the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Prior to his service in the executive branch, Lu worked for then-Senator Obama, first as the Legislative Director, and then as the Acting Chief of Staff. He also served as the Executive Director of the Obama-Biden transition planning efforts in 2008-09. His government experience includes serving as the Deputy Chief Counsel of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and a law clerk to Judge Robert E. Cowen of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Lu is a graduate of Princeton University and graduate of Harvard Law School.

Lee Satterfield, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State

Lee Satterfield is President and Chief Operating Officer at Meridian International Center, a non-profit center for diplomacy that strengthens engagement between the United States and the world. At Meridian she directs daily operations and spearheads major strategic initiatives, including the launch of the Center for Diplomatic Engagement, the Center for Global Leadership, an organization-wide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Taskforce and the expansion of cultural diplomacy programs. She previously served in the Obama Administration as Acting Assistant Secretary of State and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Prior to that, Satterfield was Deputy Chief of Protocol of the United States. In the Clinton Administration, Satterfield held several senior positions including Chief of Staff to Secretary Alexis Herman at the Labor Department, Special Assistant to the President and Staff Director for The White House Office of Public Liaison. In addition to her government experience, she has worked in the private sector as a consultant. A native South Carolinian, Satterfield graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

Adam Scheinman, Nominee for Special Representative of the President for Nuclear Nonproliferation, with the Rank of Ambassador, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, Department of State

Adam M. Scheinman is a Professor of Practice and the Department of Energy Faculty Chair at the National War College. He served as Special Representative of the President for Nuclear Nonproliferation, with rank of Ambassador, during the Obama Administration, and before that as Senior Advisor for Nuclear Nonproliferation at the Department of State, and as Director for Nonproliferation on the National Security Council Staff. Earlier, during 14 years at the Department of Energy, his senior policy positions included Assistant Deputy Administrator for Nonproliferation and International Security in the National Nuclear Security Administration, when he was selected as a career member of the Senior Executive Service, and Policy Director at the National Nuclear Security Administration. Scheinman earned a Bachelors Degree at Cornell University and a Masters Degree at George Washington University.

Heidi Shyu, Nominee for Under Secretary for Research and Engineering, Department of Defense

The Honorable Heidi Shyu, is a member of the Board of Trustees for Aerospace Corporation, the Chairman of the Board for Plasan North America, Member of the Board for Auterion Government Solutions, Catalyze Dallas, Levitate Capital, Levitate Acquisition Corp., Linse Capital, VK Integrated Systems, and the UCLA Dean's Executive Board. She is the CEO of Heidi Shyu Inc. and consults for over a dozen companies. Previously, she was the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, ASA(ALT), from Sept. 2012 to Jan. 2016. Prior to this, she served as the Acting ASA(ALT), from Jun. 2011 and the Principal Deputy starting Nov. 2010. She was the Vice President of Technology Strategy for Space & Airborne Systems (SAS) at Raytheon in 2010. She also held several senior leadership positions there, including Corporate VP of Technology & Research, VP & Technical Director of SAS, VP of Unmanned & Reconnaissance Systems.

Shyu holds a BSc. Degree in Mathematics from the University of New Brunswick (UNB) in Canada, a Master of Science (MS) Degree in Mathematics from the University of Toronto, MS Degree in System Science (EE) from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and the Engineer Degree from UCLA. She received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the UNB in 2017. She is also a graduate of the UCLA Executive Management Program. She served as the Chairman of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and an Honorable Fellow of the AIAA. She is the recipient of the DoD Medal for Distinguished Public Service, Dept. of the Army Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service, Dept of the Air Force Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service.

Joseph R. Biden, Press Release - President Biden Announces Key Administration Nominations in National Security Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/349760

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