Joe Biden

Press Release - President Biden Announces Key Nominees

April 11, 2024

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

  • Amanda S. Jacobsen, Nominee to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea
  • Christophe Andre Tocco, Nominee to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania
  • Shirley Sagawa, Nominee to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service
  • Heather M. Cahoon, Nominee to be a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation
  • Ashley Jay Elizabeth Poling, Nominee to be a Commissioner of the Postal Regulatory Commission
  • Ann C. Fisher, Nominee to be a Commissioner of the Postal Regulatory Commission

Amanda S. Jacobsen, Nominee to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea

Amanda S. Jacobsen is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Counselor. She currently serves as Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Gaborone, Botswana, where she was also Chargé d’Affaires ad interim. Previously she served as the Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Earlier, Jacobsen was the Spokesperson for the Bureau of African Affairs at the State Department and, prior to that, the Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. Jacobsen’s other diplomatic assignments include service at the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal: first as the Cultural Affairs Officer and subsequently as the Regional Refugee Coordinator. She previously served tours as the Public Affairs Officer in Gaborone, Botswana, and as a Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Lomé, Togo. Jacobsen received her BA from the University of Puget Sound and her MA in International Relations from the Brussels School of International Studies, University of Kent. She speaks Spanish, French, and basic Nepali. She originally hails from Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

Christophe Andre Tocco, Nominee to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania

Christophe Andre Tocco, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Career Minister, is currently the Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator in the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Bureau for Planning, Learning and Resource Management where he oversees the Office of Policy, and the Program Office. Previously, he served as Senior Development Counselor and U.S. Delegate to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Development Assistance Committee. Other assignments include USAID Mission Director, Democratic Republic of Congo; Deputy Mission Director, Democratic Republic of Congo; and Deputy Regional Mission Director, USAID Senegal. Earlier assignments include Supervisory Program Officer for USAID Senegal and for USAID Rwanda and Morocco Country Desk Officer. Before joining the Foreign Service, Tocco was a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco. A native of California, Tocco holds a BA from the University of California at Los Angeles and a Master of Science from the School of Advanced Business Studies (HEC) in Paris, France. He speaks French, Spanish, German, Moroccan Arabic, and Modern Standard Arabic.

Shirley Sagawa, Nominee to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service

Shirley Sagawa is the former CEO of Service Year Alliance and an architect of AmeriCorps. Over the last three decades, she has developed innovative social and education policy, authored groundbreaking reports, and advised national organizations and foundations on strategy. As a partner with sagawa/jospin, she played strategic roles in the creation of America Forward, Cities of Service, Service Year Exchange, and the Presidio Institute Fellows Program.

She has served as a presidential appointee in both Democratic and Republican Administrations. She served as First Lady Hillary Clinton’s Policy Assistant and Deputy Chief of Staff, and helped lead the start-up of the Corporation for National and Community Service for President Bill Clinton. For President George H. W. Bush, she served as first Vice Chair of the Commission on National and Community Service, authorized under the National and Community Service Act of 1990, which she drafted and negotiated as a Chief Counsel for Youth Policy on the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee. A Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, Sagawa is the author of three books, including The American Way to Change and The Charismatic Organization. She holds degrees from Harvard Law School, London School of Economics, and Smith College.

Heather M. Cahoon, Nominee to be a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation

Heather M. Cahoon is a federal Indian policy scholar and Associate Professor of Native American Studies at the University of Montana. She is also the Founder and former Director of the American Indian Governance and Policy Institute, a Native-led research entity and independent think tank that provides tribal nations in Montana with in-depth research and analysis of tribal policies. Previously, Cahoon worked as the State-Tribal Policy Analyst for the Montana Budget and Policy Center where she led the center’s efforts to advance an array of state-level policies affecting American Indians including those priorities identified by tribal leaders in Montana. In 2015, Cahoon was named the University of Montana’s first Elouise Cobell Land and Culture Institute Scholar, a title reserved for faculty who are continuing Cobell’s legacy of working for justice and equity for American Indians and tribal communities. Cahoon has held Gubernatorial appointments to the Montana Ambassadors and the Montana Board of Crime Control’s Youth Justice Council. In addition to her policy research and teaching, Cahoon is also an award-winning poet and the author of Horsefly Dress and Elk Thirst. She is from the Flathead Reservation in western Montana where she is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

Ashley Jay Elizabeth Poling, Nominee to be a Commissioner of the Postal Regulatory Commission

Ashley Jay Elizabeth Poling joined the Postal Regulatory Commission in August of 2019 as a Commissioner. In this role, Poling is responsible for making regulatory decisions, including on rate and service issues that affect the United States Postal Service and postal customers across the country, while ensuring transparency and accountability of this vital public service.

Prior to joining the Commission, Poling served as the Director of Governmental Affairs and Senior Counsel to then-Ranking Member Gary Peters (D-MI) on the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee where she advised Senator Peters on policy issues, negotiated with stakeholders to advance bipartisan legislation, and implemented strategies to advance the Senator’s governmental affairs priorities. Poling also served as Senior Policy Counsel to Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and as Counsel to Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) on their respective U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittees, where she focused extensively on postal reform, rural access, and service issues.

Poling holds a JD from Elon University School of Law and an English degree from The College of William and Mary. She is a native of North Carolina.

Ann C. Fisher, Nominee to be a Commissioner of the Postal Regulatory Commission

Ann C. Fisher was sworn in as Commissioner of the Postal Regulatory Commission in August of 2019. Fisher is a proud 30-year federal employee. Prior to joining the Commission, Fisher spent 12 years working in the U.S. Senate, advising members on small business, health care, federal employee and Postal Service issues. She began her career serving as an economist for her home state senator, Larry Pressler (R-SD) on the Senate Small Business Committee. She later joined Senator Thad Cochran’s (R-MS) staff on the International Security, Proliferation and Federal Services Subcommittee, serving as the Senator’s advisor on federal employee and U.S. Postal Service issues. Her final four years in the Senate were as deputy staff director to then-Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Fisher was the primary Senate Republican aide overseeing passage of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006. Additionally, Fisher spent four years as government relations executive at the U.S. Postal Service Headquarters where she oversaw the resolution of congressional concerns throughout the country’s Midwest region. In 2006, Fisher joined Postal Regulatory Commission Chair Dan G. Blair as chief of staff at the newly renamed and empowered Postal Rate Commission. Prior to her appointment, Fisher served as the Commission’s director of public affairs and government relations. Fisher holds a BS in Mathematics from Minnesota State University, Mankato and an MA in economics from the University of South Dakota.

Joseph R. Biden, Press Release - President Biden Announces Key Nominees Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/371146

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