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July 14, 2009

Who's Who in the Obama Administration: Update!

It's been a while since we we wrote about President Obama's Cabinet and other "VIPs" so we figured it was time for an update on who's been confirmed, who declined the nomination, who's been appointed since then, etc...

Note: An asterisk* next to a position indicates that this is a new nominee (i.e., one that we had not previously discussed in our original Who's Who). The date in parenthesis after the nominee's name indicates the date that he or she assumed office. We have included every cabinet member and cabinet-level office, but have not readdressed EVERYONE from the Original Who's Who unless we had something new to say about them at this point in time. Stay tuned for more updates later on...


*Supreme Court Justice: Sonia Sotomayor (TBD)
Secretary of State: Hillary Clinton (1/21/2009)
  • Her confirmation required a Saxbe fix.
  • Confirmed by vote of 94-2.
Secretary of the Treasury: Timothy Geithner (1/26/2009)
  • During Senate confirmations it was revealed at Senate confirmations that he had not paid self-employment taxes for several years.
  • Confirmed by a vote of 60-34.
Attorney General: Eric Holder (2/2/2009)
  • Confirmed by a vote of 75-21.
Secretary of the Interior: Ken Salazar (1/21/2009)
  • His confirmation required a Saxbe fix.
  • Confirmed by a unanimous vote.
Secretary of Agriculture: Tom Vilsack (1/21/2009)
  • Confirmed by a unanimous vote.
*Secretary of Commerce: Gary Locke (5/1/2009)
  • The former Washington Governor was nominated after both New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Sen. Judd Gregg (New Hampshire) withdrew their nominations.
  • The first Chinese American Secretary of Commerce and the third Asian American in Obama's cabinet (the most of any administration in U.S. history).
  • Confirmed by a unanimous vote.
Secretary of Labor: Hilda Solis (2/24/2009)
  • Her confirmation required a Saxbe fix.
  • Confirmation hearings were stalled by Republicans and tax problems with her husband.
  • Confirmed by a vote of 80-17.
*Secretary of Health and Human Services: Kathleen Sebelius (4/28/2009)
  • The Kansas Governor was nominated after Tom Daschle withdrew his nomination.
  • "Unintentional errors" in tax returns came out during the background investigation.
  • "Pro-life" advocates opposed her nomination.
  • Confirmed by a vote of 65-31.
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Shaun Donovan (1/26/2009)
  • Confirmed by a unanimous vote.
Secretary of Transportation: Ray LaHood (1/21/2009)
  • Confirmed by a unanimous vote.
Secretary of Energy: Steven Chu (1/21/2009)
  • Confirmed by a unanimous vote.
Secretary of Education: Arne Duncan (1/21/2009)

Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Eric Shinseki (1/2o/2009)
  • Confirmed by a unanimous vote.
Secretary of Homeland Security: Janet Napolitano (1/21/2009)

Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency: Lisa Jackson (1/23/2009)
  • Confirmed by a unanimous vote.
Director of the Office of Management and Budget: Peter Orszag (1/20/2009)
  • At 40, he is the youngest member of the Obama Cabinet (President Obama upgraded this office to cabinet-level priority).
Trade Representative: Ronald Kirk (3/18/2009)
  • Confirmed by a vote of 92-5.
  • The first African American to hold this position.
Ambassador to the United Nations: Susan Rice (1/22/2009)
  • Confirmed by a unanimous vote.
Chair, Council of Economic Advisers: Christina Romer (1/28/2009)

*Director of the National Drug Control Policy: Gil Kerlikowske (5/7/2009)
  • The Seattle Police Chief has been quoted as advocating treatment over incarceration.
  • Confirmed by a vote of 91-1.
  • Downgraded from Cabinet-level to non-Cabinet level.
Senior Advisor for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Engagement: Valerie Jarrett (1/20/2009)
  • Chairs the newly created White House Commission on Women and Girls

*Surgeon General: Regina Benjamin (TBD)
  • The Alabama physician was nominated 7/13/2009 a few months after Sanjay Gupta withdrew his name.
  • The acting Surgeon General is Rear Admiral Steven K. Galson (since 2007).
  • If confirmed, she will be the third African American and the third non-acting woman to hold the position. (Plus, Feministing likes her!)
Solicitor General: Elena Kagan (3/19/2009)
  • Confirmed by a vote of 61 to 31.
Director, National Economic Council: Lawrence Summers (1/20/2009)
  • Was criticized regarding the economic stimulus spending bill, for accepting perks from Citigroup, and for collecting millions from companies that received government bailout money.
Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality: Nancy Sutley (2/22/2009)
  • Confirmed by a unanimous vote.
*Communications Director: Anita Dunn, interim (4/30/2009)
  • The former Democratic political consultant assumed the office when Ellen Moran resigned to become Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Commerce.
  • Previously, she was a top adviser to Obama's presidential campaign.
*White House Advisor on Violence Against Women: Lynn Rosenthal (6/26/2009)
  • This is a brand new position! More info here.

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