Joe Biden

Press Releases - President Biden Announces Key Nominees

November 30, 2023

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

  • Kris Sarri, Nominee to be Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
  • Douglas Craig Schmidt, Nominee to be Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, Department of Defense
  • Juan Carlos Iturregui, Nominee to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Dominican Republic
  • Deven Parekh, Nominee to be a Member on the Development Finance Corporation Board of Directors

Kristen Sarri, Nominee to be Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Department of State

Kris Sarri has been a leader in environmental stewardship and community development for over two decades. Most recently she served as the president and CEO of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and transformed it into a leading voice for conserving our ocean and Great Lakes. Before her tenure at the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, Sarri served for six years in the Obama-Biden Administration. She served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management, and Budget at the Department of the Interior from 2014 to 2016, the Associate Director for Legislative Affairs for the Office of Management and Budget from 2011 to 2014, and Deputy Director of Policy and Strategic Planning at the US Department of Commerce from 2010 to 2011. Sarri also spent eight years in the U.S. Senate where she was on the Professional Staff of the Senate Commerce Committee with responsibility for the Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard Subcommittee. She served as Senior Policy Advisor to Senator Jack Reed and the Legislative Director of the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition. Sarri earned her B.A. in Biology from Washington University, St. Louis and an M.S. and M.P.H. from the University of Michigan.

Douglas Craig Schmidt, Nominee to be Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, Department of Defense

Douglas C. Schmidt is the Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Computer Science at Vanderbilt University. Schmidt served as Associate Provost of Research and Founding Co-Director of the Data Science Institute at Vanderbilt University from 2018 to 2022. Schmidt previously served as the Deputy Director of Research and Chief Technology Officer at the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University from 2010 to 2012, a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board from 2010 to 2014, a Deputy Office Director and a Program Manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency from 2000 to 2003, and co-chaired the Software Design and Productivity Coordinating Group of the United States government's multi-agency Networking and Information Technology Research and Development program from 2000 to 2003. He was also the Chief Technology Officer for Prism Technologies from 2006 to 2009 and Zircon Computing from 2009 to 2010.

In addition to his academic research, government service, and commercial experience, over the past three decades Schmidt has led the development of middleware frameworks used in thousands of distributed real-time and embedded systems across many domains, including national defense and homeland security, datacom/telecom, financial services, and healthcare. He received a B.A. and M.A. in Sociology from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine.

Juan Carlos Iturregui, Nominee to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Dominican Republic

Juan Carlos Iturregui currently is the Managing Partner of Milan Americas, LLC, his consulting practice specializing in business, regulatory and public policy issues, with a focus on infrastructure and renewable energy projects in the Caribbean and Latin America. He serves as Vice Chair of the board of the United States Inter-American Foundation and recently concluded a 4-year term a member of the Board of Visitors at George Mason University. He is a former partner at Nelson Mullins, LLP, a national full-service law firm. Previously, he served as a Senior Advisor for over a decade at Dentons, LLP, the world's largest law firm. He also served on the Vice Chair of the American Red Cross, National Capital Region. Earlier, Iturregui was a member of the President's Export Council, the nation's top advisory panel on international trade and overseas markets. He earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a J.D from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He is fully bilingual (English/Spanish) and lives with his family in Maryland.

Deven Parekh, Nominee to be a Member on the Development Finance Corporation Board of Directors

Deven Parekh is a Managing Director at Insight Partners, a growth equity investment fund based in New York City. Since joining Insight in 2000, Parekh has made more than 140 investments in enterprise software, data, and consumer internet businesses globally, including in North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and Australia. In addition to his work at Insight and for the Development Finance Corporation, Parekh serves as a Board Member for the Council on Foreign Relations, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, NYU Langone, the Tisch New York MS Research Center, and the Economic Club of New York. He has previously served on the Board of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Advisory Board of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, and a Technical Advisory Council of the Federal Communications Commission. He is Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Publicolor, a non-profit organization focused on New York City public schools.

In 2021, Parekh received the Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award. He is also a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. Prior to joining Insight, Parekh was a Principal at Berenson Minella & Company, a New York-based merchant banking firm, where he served on the M&A Committee. He also worked for Blackstone on M&A and other investment activities. Parekh has a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

By statute, the Development Finance Corporation Board of Directors includes four members recommended to the President from Senate and House leadership. Parekh is the nominee recommended by the Senate Majority Leader.

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/368172

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