The White House announces intent to nominate the following to the key posts within the administration.
Nominees include Brian Benczkowski, Steve Bradbury and Carlos Muñiz.
Brian Allen Benczkowski of Virginia to be an Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, Department of Justice. Mr. Benczkowski is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP whose practice focuses on litigation and white collar criminal defense, including government and internal investigations. He has over 10 years of diverse public service experience in the federal government, including key leadership positions both in the U.S. Department of Justice and on Capitol Hill. Prior to joining Kirkland in 2010, Mr. Benczkowski served as the Republican Staff Director for the Committee on the Judiciary of the U.S. Senate, where he was the top advisor and strategist to Republican members of the committee for legislative, oversight and nominations matters. Previously, Mr. Benczkowski was the Chief of Staff for the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of the Deputy Attorney General. As the principal legal, policy and political advisor to the two senior leaders of the Department of Justice, he was responsible for overall direction of the Department, including operational, policy and public relations efforts. Mr. Benczkowski also served as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs, where he managed DOJ's relationship with Congress. During this time, he was responsible for directing the Department's response to congressional investigations and requests for information and documents, and preparing numerous witnesses and nominees for testimony before Congress.
Steven Bradbury of Virginia to be General Counsel of Transportation. Mr. Bradbury is a litigation partner at Dechert LLP in Washington, D.C., where his practice focuses on regulatory enforcement and investigations, rulemaking and judicial review of agency actions, appellate cases, and antitrust matters. He has extensive experience with automotive safety and airline competition issues, including before the Department of Transportation. From 2005 to 2009, Mr. Bradbury headed the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he advised the executive branch on a wide range of constitutional and statutory questions, and where he received the Edmund J. Randolph Award and the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service, among other awards. Before serving in the Justice Department, Mr. Bradbury was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP for ten years. He clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court and for Judge James L. Buckley on the D.C. Circuit. Mr. Bradbury graduated magna cum laude from Michigan Law School and received his B.A. from Stanford University.
Robert Charrow of Maryland to be General Counsel of Health and Human Services. Mr. Charrow is a principal shareholder in the Washington, D.C. office of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, where he specializes in litigation arising under the Administrative Procedure Act, the federal regulation of healthcare, and federal appellate litigation. Before joining Greenberg Traurig in 2002, he was with the law firm Crowell & Moring. Previously, he served as the Deputy and then Principal Deputy General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He supervised the chief counsel for the various agencies within the Department, including the Health Care Financing Administration (now CMS), Office of Inspector General, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Public Health Service. Mr. Charrow received his law degree from Stanford University in 1969 and did his undergraduate work in physics at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California.
Carlos G. Muñiz of Florida to be General Counsel at the Department of Education. Mr. Muñiz is an attorney and consultant at McGuireWoods. His prior experience in government includes serving as Deputy Attorney General of the State of Florida and as Deputy General Counsel to the Governor of Florida. He earned degrees from the University of Virginia and from Yale Law School. After law school, he served as a law clerk to Judge José A. Cabranes of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and to Judge Thomas A. Flannery of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Mr. Muñiz and his wife reside in Tallahassee, Florida, with their three children.
Peter Louis Oppenheim of Maryland to be Assistant Secretary for Legislation and Congressional Affairs at the Department of Education. Mr. Oppenheim is currently the Education Policy Director and Counsel for the majority staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. During his tenure on the Senate HELP Committee staff, Mr. Oppenheim was instrumental in negotiations leading to the enactment of several landmark education laws, including the Every Student Succeeds Act, the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013. Previously, Mr. Oppenheim was Senator Lamar Alexander's (R-TN) Legislative Counsel, advising the Senator on education, labor, and pensions issues. Before working on the Hill, Mr. Oppenheim was a Managing Associate in the education and workforce practice at the Carmen Group. Mr. Oppenheim also served as a public policy research assistant for former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA), a finance coordinator for the Republican Governors Association, and a project manager for the Republican National Committee. Mr. Oppenheim earned a B.A. from Colby College and a J.D. cum laude from the American University Washington College of Law.
Joseph Otting of Nevada to be Comptroller of the Currency at the Department of the Treasury. Prior to his nomination, Mr. Otting had a long career in financial services working for a number of highly regarded regional banks. Most recently he served as managing partner of Ocean Blvd LLC and Lake Blvd LLC. Mr. Otting previously served as President and CEO of OneWest Bank N.A and Vice Chairman of U.S. Bancorp. Mr. Otting holds a B.A. from the University of Northern Iowa and is a graduate of the School of Credit and Financial Management at Dartmouth College.
David P. Pekoske of Maryland to be an Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration. Mr. Pekoske has extensive operational and command experience through a distinguished career with the U. S. Coast Guard, where he retired as the Vice Commandant. In this key leadership position within the Department of Homeland Security he was the Coast Guard’s second-in-command and chief operating officer. Before that, he was Commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area and Coast Guard Defense Forces West. Throughout his career, he worked closely with the men and women in Federal, State, and local law enforcement and public safety organizations to protect the American people. Since retiring from the Coast Guard, he has been an executive in the government services industry leading business units that provided homeland security and intelligence related services. Additionally, he has been a member of the adjunct faculty at American University and been active in many organizations that advance military, veterans, and national security issues. Mr. Pekoske has a Master of Business Administration degree from the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Master of Public Administration degree from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. He is a graduate of the U. S. Coast Guard Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree.
Charles Douglas Stimson of Virginia to be General Counsel of the Department of the Navy. Mr. Stimson currently serves as a Senior Legal Fellow and Manager of the National Security Law Program at The Heritage Foundation, where he leads the foundation's research efforts related to national security law issues including the Law of Armed Conflict, FISA, military law, War Powers, military commissions, and U.S. detention and interrogation policy. He also specializes in criminal law and homeland security. Mr. Stimson also serves as a Captain in the United States Navy Judge Advocate Generals Corps (JAG), reserve component, and is currently the Commanding Officer of the Navy Appellate Government unit. Previously, Mr. Stimson was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs under President George W. Bush, and an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. In addition, he served as a Vice President for Private Equity Mergers & Acquisitions at Marsh McLennan. Mr. Stimson holds a B.A. from Kenyon College, a J.D. from the George Mason University School of Law, and attended Harvard University and Exeter University in England.
Owen West of Connecticut to be an Assistant Secretary of Defense, Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict. Mr. West most recently served as Partner, Head of Global Natural Gas Trading and Co-Head of Global Power Trading at Goldman Sachs & Co., where he designed and managed this international risk business. Previously, Mr. West served as an infantry platoon commander, reconnaissance platoon leader, and combat advisor in the United States Marine Corps, where he was twice deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is the author of three books and dozens of articles on military affairs and adventure sports. Mr. West was also a director of the Positive Coaching Alliance, a director of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. West is a graduate of Harvard University, and the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
David Steele Bohigian of Missouri to be Executive Vice President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. Mr. Bohigian is the Managing Director of Pluribus Ventures, an advisor to financial services firms and growth companies. Earlier, he served on the core management team of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund. Prior to Bridgewater, Mr. Bohigian founded E2 Capital Partners, which developed new financing models for energy efficiency projects. Mr. Bohigian previously served as an Assistant Secretary of Commerce and served as a Managing Director of Idealab and as a partner at Jefferson Partners, a Washington, D.C.-based venture capital firm. He received his law degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a journalism degree from Washington & Lee University.
Ray Washburne of Texas to be the President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. Mr. Washburne is the President and CEO of Charter Holdings, a private real estate investment company based in Dallas. He is the co-founder and co-owner of M Crowd Restaurant Group, which owns and operates Mi Cocina, Taco Diner and The Mercury restaurants. Mr. Washburne is the President and Managing Director of Highland Park Village in Dallas. Mr. Washburne received his B.A. from Southern Methodist University.