Joe Biden

Press Release - President Biden Announces Key Nominees

February 08, 2024

WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to serve as key leaders in his Administration.

  • Sarah Baker, Nominee to be General Counsel, Department of Transportation 
  • Emily Edenshaw, Nominee to be a Member on the National Council on the Humanities
  • Margaret FitzPatrick, Nominee to be a Member on the National Council on the Humanities
  • Deborah Willis, Nominee to be a Member on the National Council on the Humanities

Sarah Baker, Nominee to be General Counsel, Department of Transportation

Sarah Baker currently serves as the Principal Deputy General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), after previously serving as the Department's Deputy General Counsel and Senior Counsel to the General Counsel.

Before joining DOT, Baker served as the founding President and Executive Director of We The Action, a digital platform used by lawyers nationwide to volunteer with leading nonprofit organizations. Baker also served as Associate Counsel and Special Assistant to President Obama in the Office of White House Counsel. Additionally, from 2013 to 2015, she was Senior Policy Director to Dr. Jill Biden and prior to that served as Deputy Associate Counsel until 2013 in the Obama administration.

Earlier in her career, Baker was a member of the White Collar and Investigations group at the Washington, D.C. office of Hogan Lovells LLP, eventually becoming the Senior Associate in charge of the firm's U.S. Pro Bono practice. Baker graduated from Rutgers College, with highest honors and received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she served as Student Bar Association President.

Emily Edenshaw, Nominee to be a Member on the National Council on the Humanities

Emily Edenshaw (Yup'ik and Iñupiaq) is the President and CEO of the Alaska Native Heritage Center (ANHC), one of America's Cultural Treasures and a renowned statewide living cultural center dedicated to advancing all Alaska Native cultures and peoples. With roots in Emmonak, Alaska, Edenshaw was adopted into the St'langng Laanas Thunderbird Raven clan in Old Massett, Haida Gwaii. She is a proud Tribal Citizen of the Native Village of Emmonak Tribal Citizen and a Doyon Limited and Calista Corporation shareholder.

Outside her leadership role at ANHC, Edenshaw actively serves on boards like the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness, Native Americans in Philanthropy, and the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) Civic Advisory Board. Edenshaw is a committed sixth-year Ph.D. student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, researching Alaska Native Boarding School experiences and healing strategies related to these experiences. She holds an Executive MBA from Alaska Pacific University and a Bachelor's in Journalism and Strategic Communications from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Her diverse career includes impactful contributions to Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, First Alaskans Institute, Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, Southcentral Foundation, and Alaska Communications, to name a few.

Edenshaw lives in Anchorage with her family and enjoys traveling to other Indigenous communities across the country. Edenshaw's Yup'ik name, Keneggnarkayaaggaq, translates to a person with a beautiful persona, spirit, aura, and friend, while her Xaad kil (Haida) name, Tl'áa Kihl X?ánj, translates to "The People's Echo."

Margaret FitzPatrick, Nominee to be a Member on the National Council on the Humanities

Margaret (Maggie) FitzPatrick is a top corporate affairs leader who has spent her career working to strengthen engagement between businesses and communities. She is the founder of FitzPatrick & Co., and previously served in the c-suite of multiple Fortune 200 companies. In several of these roles, she was responsible for the oversight of corporate foundations providing millions of dollars in grant funding to arts and community organizations across the United States.

In 2023, FitzPatrick completed a three-year appointment to the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, where she served as Vice Chair of the Commission and Chair of the Public Arts Committee. A long-time supporter of the arts and humanities, FitzPatrick is a past trustee of Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. She has extensive experience serving on non-profit and publicly traded company boards. She is currently a director at two NASDAQ-listed companies and was recently named to the expert faculty of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Board Advisory Services. 

FitzPatrick has been featured in business media on topics related to effective leadership and governance and was a speaker at the 2022 and 2023 NACD Annual Summits. She is an active member of the organization Women Executive on Boards and has been steadfast in her support of programs designed to help women succeed in business. She holds an M.A. in Public Policy from The George Washington University and a B.A. in English and Policy Studies from Syracuse University. She completed the Harvard Business School Board Directorship Program and is a certified NACD director. FitzPatrick was born and raised in Delaware, and now resides in Washington, D.C. with her family.

Deborah Willis, Nominee to be a Member on the National Council on the Humanities

Deborah Willis is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Photography and Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She is also a recipient of MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as the author of The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship and Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present, among other books. Willis's curated exhibitions include Framing Moments: Photography from the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts; Migrations and Meaning(s) in Art  at Maryland Institute College of Art, Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits at the International Center of Photography, and Out [o] Fashion Photography: and Reframing Beauty: Intimate Moments at Indiana University.

Joseph R. Biden, Press Release - President Biden Announces Key Nominees Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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