President-elect Barack Obama has chosen a seasoned venture
capitalist to head the Small Business Administration. Obama's
announcement earlier today drew cheers from Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.),
chairman of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship committee.
Karen Gordon Mills, who also has served as an advisor to Maine Gov. John Baldacci, is Obama's choice.
"A venture capitalist who invests in small businesses, Karen
understands the challenges faced by both small business owners and the
workers they employ," Obama said in announcing his pick. "With a
background in the private sector and experience helping Maine’s
governor promote growth across the state, I am confident that Karen
will lead an SBA that will not only help small business owners realize
their dreams, but help our nation rebuild our economy."
"The President-elect’s selection to lead the SBA demonstrates his
commitment to bring Washington in touch with the real needs of Main
Street," Kerry said in a written statement. "Karen has been a champion
for small business owners in a state economy that depends on small
firms. As a successful entrepreneur, Karen understands firsthand what
it takes to build and grow a firm."
Posted by Michael Hardy on Dec 19, 2008 at 6:59 PM0 comments
President-elect Barack Obama has picked Arne Duncan, superintendent
of Chicago's public school system, to be Secretary of Education and to
spearhead the new administration’s attempts at education reform.
That’s been a long-time aim of the incoming president. It was a
major part of his campaign platform, and in his Grant Park election
night speech in Chicago, Obama called it one of the top five priorities
for his administration.
He’s promised to spend up to $18 billion a year in new spending for
various issues, including improvements for early childhood education,
hiring thousands of new teachers, and extending teacher
Duncan first became involved in education issues in 1992, when he
headed the Ariel Education Institute, which looks to improve the
educational opportunities for Children in Chicago’s South Side. He
joined Chicago Public Schools in 1998, and became its chief executive
In nominating Duncan, Obama said the reform that he had overseen in
Chicago would bring a “hands-on” approach to his job as Education
“For Arne, school reform isn’t just a theory in a book,” Obama said.
“And the results aren’t just about test scores or statistics, but about
whether our children are developing the skills they need to compete
with any worker in the world for any job.” Obama developed his
political career in Chicago.
Duncan called education “the civil rights issue of our generation.”
However, various published reports pointed out that Duncan has
little experience of the national political stage, which could prove a
problem when trying to represent the Obama administration’s views on
education to Congress, state school systems and the myriad of other
interest groups in the education arena.
Posted by Brian Robinson on Dec 17, 2008 at 6:59 PM1 comments
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) will be the new
chairwoman of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee in the
As 2008 winds to a close, Congressional
leadership and the Obama cabinet and administration management picks
are all coming into focus. The earlier announcement that Rep. Edolphus
Towns (D-N.Y.) will chair the House Oversight and Government Reform
Committee gave the Obama team another specific name of people they'll
work closely with.
“I intend to use my gavel to ensure that
[small businesses] play an active role in our nation’s economic
recovery and that the federal government is a supportive and efficient
partner in their success,” Landrieu said in a statement released Dec.
Landrieu has introduced several bills to help small
businesses, especially in the Gulf Coast region after hurricane Katrina
devasted her home state and Mississippi, and Hurricane Rita laid waste
to parts of Florida in 2005.
Posted by Michael Hardy on Dec 16, 2008 at 6:59 PM0 comments
The next administration's environmental team is falling into place.
The Washington Post reports that
Steven Chu will head the Energy Department, Lisa Jackson will take the
helm at EPA and Carol Browner, former EPA administrator under President
Bill Clinton, will fill a new post overseeing energy, environmental and
Separately, the DorobekInsider blog reports
that Housing and Urban Development Chief Information Officer Lisa
Schlosser will join EPA as head of the Office of Information Collection.
Obama's picks come highly qualified for their posts. Chu runs the
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and won the Nobel Prize in 1997
for physics research. Jackson previously headed the New Jersey
Department of Environmental Protection and more recently served as
chief of staff to New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine. Browner was EPA
administrator throughout Clinton's two terms of office.
Obama has not yet named a leader for the Interior department, another key environmental post.
Posted by Michael Hardy on Dec 11, 2008 at 6:59 PM0 comments