President Biden Announces Key Diplomatic and Agency Nominees

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President Biden Announces Key Diplomatic and Agency Nominees

WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to serve in key roles: Caroline Kennedy, Nominee fo

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

  • Caroline Kennedy, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Commonwealth of Australia
  • Michelle Kwan, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Belize
  • Robert Wood, Nominee for Alternate Representative of the United States of America for Special Political Affairs in the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador
  • Frank Calvelli, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition, Department of Defense
  • Franklin Parker, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Department of Defense
  • Michael Morgan, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Environmental Observation and Prediction, Department of Commerce
  • LaWanda Toney, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for the Office of Communications and Outreach, Department of Education
  • Marvin Adams, Nominee for Deputy Director for Defense Programs, Department of Energy

Caroline Kennedy, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Commonwealth of Australia

Caroline Kennedy served as U.S. Ambassador to Japan from 2013-2017. She played a critical role in the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II culminating in the historic visits of President Obama to Hiroshima and Prime Minister Abe to Pearl Harbor. She advanced the realignment of U.S. Forces in Okinawa, promoted women’s empowerment in Japan, and increased student exchange between the U.S and Japan. In 2017, she founded the International Poetry Exchange Project to virtually connect students in Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and the Bronx through the power of the spoken word. In November 2021, she was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Rising Sun, the highest honor for which foreigners are eligible, for her efforts to strengthen the US-Japan alliance.

Prior to her time in Japan, Kennedy was at the forefront of education reform efforts in New York City, creating public private partnerships to promote arts education, school libraries, and performing arts spaces. She served as the CEO of the Office of Strategic Partnerships at the NYC Department of Education from 2002-2004, Vice Chair of the Fund for Public Schools from 2002-2010, and served on the Board of New Visions for Public Schools.

An attorney and author, Kennedy has published 11 New York Times best-selling books on law, civics, and poetry and serves as the Honorary President of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. She is a Director of the Carnegie Corporation and a member of the Board of Advisors of the International Rescue Committee.

Michelle Kwan, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Belize

Michelle Kwan has had a distinguished career in public service, diplomacy, and sports. She is the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history, having won 43 championships, including five world championships, nine national titles, and two Olympic medals. She became the first Public Diplomacy Envoy in 2006 and for a decade, traveled extensively on behalf of the U.S. Department of State to engage youth around the world on social and educational issues. Kwan currently serves as the Treasurer and Board Member of Special Olympics International.

After she earned a B.A. from the University of Denver with a focus on international relations and a M.A. from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, she became a Senior Advisor at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. In addition, she served as an Advisor to the Office of Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State, where she assisted with the U.S.-China Women’s Leadership Exchange and Dialogue. She was also a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition and Council on Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports initiative at the U.S. Department of State.

Robert Wood, Nominee for Alternate Representative of the United States of America for Special Political Affairs in the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador

Robert A. Wood served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva, Switzerland, from 2014-2021. During that time, he also served concurrently as the United States Commissioner to the Bilateral Consultative Commission of the New START Treaty, and as the United States Special Representative for Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) issues. Prior to that, he was Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium; he also served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna, Austria. Wood was the Deputy Spokesperson and Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Public Affairs in the Department of State, and an Information Officer at U.S. Embassy in Berlin, Germany. Earlier in his career, he was Deputy Director of Communications and Spokesperson at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York.

Previous assignments include serving as Senior Advisor in the Office of the Stability Pact for Southeast Europe; Special Assistant in the Office of the Under Secretary of Public Diplomacy; Executive Assistant in the Office of the Counselor of the United States Information Agency; Public Affairs Officer in the Bureau of African Affairs; Desk Officer for Egypt, Yemen, and Sudan; and Near East Regional Program Officer in the United States Information Agency. Other overseas postings include Islamabad, Pakistan, Lagos, Nigeria, and Mexico City, Mexico. Wood speaks Spanish, German, and French. He earned a B.A. from The City University of New York.

Frank Calvelli, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition, Department of Defense

Frank Calvelli is a senior leader in Booz Allen Hamilton’s national security program, working on space and intelligence initiatives. Prior to joining Booz Allen Hamilton in 2021, he had a 34-year career with the Central Intelligence Agency, having spent over 30 years assigned to the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) – a joint Intelligence Community/Department of Defense organization responsible for designing, building, launching, and maintaining America’s intelligence satellites. From July 2012 to October 2020, he was the Principal Deputy Director of the NRO, where he provided overall day-to-day management of the organization and oversaw a large portfolio of space activities that included satellite and ground system acquisition, systems engineering, and satellite mission operations. During his government career, Calvelli received several awards, including the Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Service, the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, the CIA Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, and the NRO Distinguished Performance Medal. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in computer science from the State University of New York at Potsdam, and an M.B.A. from Loyola University Maryland. He is married to Melissa Calvelli and has four children. 

Franklin Parker, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Department of Defense

Franklin R. Parker is currently Senior Counsel, Intelligence Solutions, for BAE Systems Inc.’s Intelligence & Security Sector, a position he has held since 2019. From 2017 to 2019, he worked as Director and Senior Counsel, International Trade and Compliance, for BAE Systems Inc.’s Platforms & Services Sector. Parker served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs at the Department of Defense from 2016 to 2017. From 2012 to 2016, he served as Chief Counsel for the Maritime Administration at the Department of Transportation. From 2009 to 2012, Parker was an Attorney Advisor in the Office of the General Counsel of the Navy, Department of Defense. Prior to his government service, Parker worked as an Associate at Winston & Strawn LLP. He began his career as an Associate at Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro LLP and Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, LLP. Parker received a B.A. from Yale University, a J.D. from Stanford Law School, and an M.P.P. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Michael Morgan, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Environmental Observation and Prediction, Department of Commerce

Dr. Michael C. Morgan is a professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he serves as the associate chair of the department’s undergraduate program.  He has served as chair of his department and is Associate Chair of his department’s undergraduate program. Dr. Morgan has served the American Meteorological Society (AMS) community as a member of the Board on Women and Minorities, the AMS Scientific and Technological Activities Commission for Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics, and as an AMS Councilor. He was elected an AMS Fellow in 2018 and has served on the World Meteorological Organization World Weather Research Program’s Science Steering Committee since 2014. Dr. Morgan is completing a second term on the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) Board of Trustees and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Physics.

Dr. Morgan was an AMS/UCAR Congressional Science Fellow working in the office of U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin (MD) as a senior legislative fellow on energy and environment issues in support of the Senator’s service on the Environment and Public Works Committee. From June 2010 until June 2014, Dr. Morgan served as Division Director for the Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences at the National Science Foundation. His research interests include the analysis, diagnosis, prediction, and predictability of mid-latitude and tropical weather systems. He was born in Northampton, Massachusetts and grew up in Baltimore, Maryland where he attended the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Morgan earned his S.B. in Mathematics and Ph.D. in Meteorology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

LaWanda Toney, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for the Office of Communications and Outreach, Department of Education

LaWanda Toney is the Director of Strategic Communications at the National Parent Teacher Association (National PTA), whose mission is to empower families and communities to advocate for all children.  She has served at the association for over 12 years. In her current role, she manages the National PTA’s communications team in the areas of web, social media, editorial, creative development, and media relations. Her work has received several awards from the Association of Media and Publishing and the Power of “A” Awards with ASAE. Toney is also the co-host of National PTA’s podcast, Notes from the Backpack.

Prior to working at National PTA, Toney managed marketing programs, planned special events and created communications campaigns for major retailers, nonprofits, publishing, and advertising companies. Toney holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast journalism from Howard University and a Master of Arts in strategic communication with an emphasis in public relations from Trinity University. She is also a member of American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and ColorComm, an organization for women of color in all areas of communications.

Marvin Adams, Nominee for Deputy Director for Defense Programs, Department of Energy

Dr. Marvin L. Adams is the HTRI Professor of Nuclear Engineering and Director of National Laboratories Mission Support at the Texas A&M University System, where he has been on the faculty since 1992. He was a physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) from 1986 to 1992, and has remained extensively engaged with the U.S. national security laboratories since that time. He currently serves on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST); the Stockpile Assessment Team of the Strategic Advisory Group for U.S. Strategic Command; the National Academies Committee on International Security and Arms Control; and the Predictive Science Panel for LLNL and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). For LANL, he also chairs the Mission Committee and serves on the Science, Technology, and Engineering Committee. He has led and contributed to numerous studies for the U.S. government on matters related to national security. Dr. Adams is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in nuclear engineering from the University of Michigan and his B.S. degree in nuclear engineering from Mississippi State University. 

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