Roster change

Tom Ridge, director of the Office of Homeland Security, yesterday announced several staff appointments, including retired Adm. Steve Abbot to be deputy director of the Office of Homeland Security. Abbot is currently serving as executive director of the Vice President's National Preparedness Review.

The U.S. Naval Academy graduate and Rhodes scholar served in the Navy from 1966 until his retirement as a four-star admiral in 2000. His final military assignment was serving as deputy commander-in-chief of the U.S. European Command during the recent conflict in Kosovo. Abbot also served as the deputy director of operations for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the end of the previous Bush administration and the beginning of the Clinton administration and as commander of the Sixth Fleet.

Mark Holman was named deputy assistant to the president for homeland security. Holman served Ridge during his time in Congress as chief of staff and administrative assistant from 1983 to 1991 and in the Pennsylvania governor's office as chief of staff until December 2000. Holman joins the White House from the law firm Blank Rome Comisky and McCauley LLP's Washington, D.C., office.

Becky Halkias has been named deputy assistant to the president for legislative affairs in the Office of Homeland Security. Prior to joining the White House, Halkias served as deputy chief of staff for federal affairs in Gov. Ridge's Washington, D.C., office.

Carl Buckholz will serve as special assistant to the president and executive secretary for the Office of Homeland Security. Buckholz was previously special assistant to former Sen. John Heinz and joins the White House from Blank Rome Comisky and McCauley in Philadelphia.

Barbara Chaffee has been named special assistant to the president and public liaison for the Office of Homeland Security. Chaffee has served Gov. Ridge since 1995, most recently as deputy secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

Susan Neely will serve as special assistant to the president and director of communications for homeland security. Neely has served as the senior vice president for communications at the Association of American Medical Colleges since 1996. From 1982 to 1987, she served former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad as press secretary, communications director and manager of the governor's successful re-election campaign.

For more on key players in the Office of Homeland Security, go to: /fcw/articles/2001/1015/news-home1-10-15-01.asp.


Phillip Bond, former head of Hewlett-Packard Co.'s federal public policy programs, was approved by the Senate Oct. 23 as the next undersecretary for technology at the Commerce Department. In this role, he manages the three agencies in the department's Technology Administration: the Office of Technology Policy, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Technical Information Service.


Chris Ullman, communications director at the Office of Management and Budget, left his job to move to the private sector. On Nov. 5, he will join the Carlyle Group as vice president for strategic communications. Amy Call will serve as acting communications director at OMB.


President Bush said Friday that he intends to nominate Richard Russell to be associate director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Russell has served as the office's chief of staff since January. From 1995 to 2001, he served with the House Science Committee, first as a professional staff member for the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, then staff director for the Subcommittee on Technology and finally as deputy chief of staff for the Science Committee. Russell was a professional staff member for the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee's Subcommittee on Oceanography, Gulf of Mexico and Outer Continental Shelf from 1993 to 1994.

The president also intends to nominate Dan Blair to be deputy director of the Office of Personnel Management. Blair has served as senior counsel for the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee since 1998 and was previously staff director of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee's Subcommittee on the Postal Service from 1995 to 1998. From 1985 to 1995, he was minority general counsel to the House Committee on the Post Office and Civil Service.

Arden Bement Jr. was nominated on Oct. 23 to be director of the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology.


Roger Baker, former chief information officer at the Commerce Department, is now executive vice president and manager of the Network and Telecommunications Business Group at CACI International Inc.

Baker, who began his new job last week, was CIO at Commerce for nearly three years until he resigned from his position in April. Before entering government, he worked in industry, including at the META Group Inc. and at Visa International Service Association.

Tom Pyke, former CIO at Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is Commerce's new CIO. Pyke will serve as acting CIO at NOAA until a permanent successor is found.

For more information, see "Commerce CIOs on the move".


Danny Powell is the new executive director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Powell will join the NCSA staff Nov. 1, according to an announcement last week.

Powell will manage the day-to-day operations of NCSA and work to link NCSA staff and programs with the National Computational Science Alliance and NCSA's Private Sector Program. He will also act as NCSA's day-to-day liaison with the University of Illinois, the National Science Foundation and the state of Illinois. He succeeds Jim Bottum, who left NCSA last summer to become vice president of information technology and chief information officer at Purdue University.

Powell most recently served as associate director at Rice University's Los Alamos Computer Science Institute and as the associate director for the Center for High Performance Software Research, also at Rice.

For more about work at the NCSA, see "Plug-and-play supercomputers".


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