Unflappable and U.N.-bound
In December, President-elect Barack Obama nominated Susan E. Rice, ’86, to represent the United States as ambassador to the United Nations—a position he intends to make a Cabinet-level post. Known for her frank style, Rice, 44, served as assistant secretary of state for African affairs and on the National Security Council during the Clinton administration.
Since leaving the State Department in 2001, she has worked as a senior fellow for the Brookings Institution and was a senior foreign policy adviser to Obama’s presidential campaign.
The following appointments were made after the January/February issue went to press.
Valerie Jarrett, a long-time friend and confidante to the Obamas, has been named senior adviser and assistant to the president. An expert in housing, transportation and health care, and a specialist in negotiation and conflict resolution, Jarrett, ’78, will serve as the White House's point person for state and local officials and supervise the Office of Public Liaison.
Former Stanford physics department chair Steven Chu has been nominated by President-elect Barack Obama to be the next secretary of energy. Chu won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1997 for his work on methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light, and is currently director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is also one of the nation’s foremost advocates for scientific solutions to the problems of global warming and the need for alternative sources of energy.
President-elect Barack Obama has nominated John P. Holdren, PhD '70, to serve as his top science adviser, a post formally known as assistant to the president and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Holdren, a professor at Harvard, "has been one of the most passionate and persistent voices of our time about the growing threat of climate change," Obama said in a radio address. "I look forward to his wise counsel in the years ahead."
The Obama administration has picked Lt. Gen. Karl W. Eikenberry, MA ’94, a former top military commander in Afghanistan, to be the next U.S. ambassador to Kabul. The New York Times reports that Eikenberry not only has good relations with Afghan president Hamid Karzai, but in his current post as deputy chairman of NATO's military committee in Brussels, Belgium, has developed ties with European allies that could be useful in rallying more support for the Afghan mission.
Political science professor Michael McFaul has been tapped to serve as special assistant to the president for national security affairs and senior director for Russian and Eurasian affairs at the National Security Council. McFaul, ’86, MA ’86, has been deputy director of Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and was a senior adviser on Russia and Eurasia during Obama's campaign.
Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, a senior research scholar at the Freeman Spogli Institute's Center for International Security and Cooperation, will join the Obama administration as a special assistant to the president and senior director for European affairs at the National Security Council. Sherwood-Randall served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia from 1994 to 1996, during the Clinton administration.
President Barack Obama intends to nominate Kristina Johnson, '81, MA '81, PhD '84, to be U.S. Under Secretary of Energy, a post in which she will oversee renewable energy and efficiency programs, as well as coal and nuclear energy programs. Johnson, an electrical engineer, is provost and senior vice president for academic affairs of Johns Hopkins University.
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Data is from the past two weeks.