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Press Releases - President Biden Announces Key Nominees

September 07, 2022

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

  • Jennifer M. Adams, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Cabo Verde
  • Nicole D. Theriot, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Co-operative Republic of Guyana
  • Joel Matthew Szabat, Nominee for Member of the AMTRAK Board of Directors
  • Robert G. Taub, Nominee for Member of the Postal Regulatory Commission

Jennifer M. Adams, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Cabo Verde

Jennifer Adams is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), class of Career Minister. She currently is a USAID Faculty Representative at the National War College, National Defense University in Washington D.C. Prior to that she served as the Acting Assistant Administrator, Global Health Bureau at USAID in Washington D.C. She was the USAID Mission Director at the U.S. Embassy in Mozambique, and the Deputy Assistant Administrator and Acting Assistant Administrator of the Global Health Bureau. Earlier she worked as the Director of the Office of Donor Engagement in the Bureau for Policy, Planning, and Learning at USAID in Washington D.C. Among her other assignments in a career spanning three decades, she served as the Development Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China, the USAID Mission Director at the U.S. Embassy Brasilia, Brazil, and as the Director of the Health and Education Office of the USAID Mission in Dakar, Senegal. Adams earned a Bachelor's degree from Johns Hopkins University, a Master's degree from Duke University, a Master of Philosophy degree from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, and a Doctorate from Cambridge University. She speaks Portuguese and French.

Nicole D. Theriot, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Co-operative Republic of Guyana

Nicole D. Theriot, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Counselor, currently serves as the Principal Officer in Karachi, Pakistan. She previously served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Prior to that, she was Director for Immigration and Visa Security at the National Security Council in the Executive Office of the President. Before that, she was Senior Advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Overseas Citizens Services in the Bureau of Consular Affairs. Previously, Theriot was Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan; Principal Officer in Casablanca, Morocco; and Bureau of Consular Affairs' Supervisory Regional Consular Officer in Frankfurt, Germany. Other overseas assignments include Internal Politics Chief in Islamabad, Pakistan; Consul General in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean; Deputy Consular Chief in Baghdad, Iraq; Non-immigrant Visa Chief in Montreal, Canada; Consular Officer in Paris, France; and Information Officer in Lagos, Nigeria. Theriot is the recipient of numerous State Department performance awards, including a Senior Foreign Service Performance award. She holds a B.A. degree from Louisiana State University and a Master's degree in International Relations from Vanderbilt University. A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she speaks French and Urdu.

Joel Matthew Szabat, Nominee for Member of the AMTRAK Board of Directors

Joel Szabat is retiring from the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to enter the private sector after 38 years of government service. He is currently the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aviation & International Affairs. In 2019, Szabat was confirmed by the Senate as Assistant Secretary for Aviation & International Affairs at DOT, managing 140 bilateral air service agreements with other countries, approving or rejecting airline joint venture proposals, and running grant programs supporting 200 small community airports nationwide. Szabat also served as Acting Under Secretary for Policy and supervised the Department's Policy and Research Offices. Szabat represented DOT on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), the White House COVID-19 Task Force, and the Amtrak Board of Directors. He spearheaded new policies on broadband and spectrum use for drones and autonomous vehicles, and rolled out a trillion-dollar infrastructure proposal. Szabat also served as the Executive Director of the United States Maritime Administration. Before that, Szabat was the designated federal official who led DOT's $48 billion in Recovery Act investments in 15,000 surface transportation projects. He also formerly served as the Chief of Staff of the Small Business Administration and as the Transportation Counselor in the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, overseeing $500 million to reconstruct Iraqi airports, ports, and railroads. Szabat served as the Principal Transportation Consultant in the California State Legislature. Szabat also served as a Budget and Management Advisor at EPA, and worked at a management consultancy. Szabat received his B.A. in Economics from Georgetown University, and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. After college, Szabat was a cavalry officer in the US Army, patrolling the East-West German border. Together with his wife, Chiling Tong, a noted Asian Pacific American activist, Szabat created the International Leadership Foundation to promote the civic awareness and involvement of APA youth.

Robert G. Taub, Nominee for Member of the Postal Regulatory Commission

Robert G. Taub was Chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission for more than 6 years, from December 2014 until January 2021. Twice appointed to the Commission following unanimous confirmations by the U.S. Senate in 2011 and 2016, Taub has more than 40 years of public service experience at local, state, and federal levels. Before joining the Commission in October 2011, he was a Principal Civilian Advisor to the Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh. Taub helped the Secretary lead a workforce of more than 1.2 million people, and manage an annual budget exceeding $200 billion. Taub was awarded the Army's Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service. Before his appointment to the Army, Taub served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Representative John M. McHugh (R-NY). As Chief of Staff, he oversaw the day-to-day operations of Representative McHugh's staff and offices in Washington, D.C., and Northern New York State. Taub served in a variety of leadership roles on the U.S. House Oversight & Government Reform Committee for 12 years. Taub also worked closely with Representative McHugh on matters relating to the nation's postal and delivery sector. He crafted Representative McHugh's legislation for modernizing America's postal laws for the first time since 1970, culminating in passage of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act in 2006. Prior to his time with the House of Representatives, Taub worked for eight years at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). As a Senior Policy Analyst, Taub planned and directed evaluations for the Congress on environmental, banking, energy, and defense issues. Prior to his position with GAO, Taub worked as a staff member for three different Members of Congress, a Member of the British Parliament, and state and county officials in upstate New York.

Joseph R. Biden, Press Releases - President Biden Announces Key Nominees Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/357653

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