The White House on Jan. 4 sent to the Senate fresh nominations for dozens of senior Federal government posts, including key positions at the Department of Energy (DoE), the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Most of the nominations were repeats of those submitted by the Biden administration during 2021. Because those nominations were not acted upon by the full Senate during the 2021 calendar year, new nominations were required to be submitted for the Senate to consider them this year.
Among the most prominent of the re-nominations on the Federal IT front are:
Laurie Locascio, who was nominated in July to become director of NIST. The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee voted to approve her nomination on Nov. 17, but it was not taken up by the full Senate by year’s end. Locascio is a former acting principal deputy director of NIST’s laboratory programs, and following her government service has been vice president of research for the University of Maryland, College Park, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
Amseret Berhe, who was nominated in April 2021 to become director of the Office of Science at DoE. The agency’s Office of Science is the largest government supporter of research in the physical sciences, and supports research for energy production and security. Berhe’s nomination was approved in early November by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Gigi Sohn, who was nominated in October to a term as an FCC commissioner. She has long been a fixture in Washington telecom policy circles, having served for three years as counselor to former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, and from 2001 to 2013 as CEO of the Public Knowledge think tank. The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held a hearing on her nomination in early December, but did not manage to vote on the nomination by the end of 2021. If her nomination is approved, Sohn would give Democrats a 3-2 majority on the FCC.
The Biden administration’s list of refreshed nominations also features:
- Joseph DeCarolis to become administrator of the Energy Information Administration;
- Ernest DuBester to become a member of the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA);
- Brenda Sue Fulton to become Assistant Secretary of Defense for manpower and reserve affairs;
- Ed Gonzalez to become Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security and director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement;
- Susan Tsui Grundman to become a member of the FLRA;
- Cathy Ann Harris to become chairman of the Merit Systems Protection Board; and
- Grant Harris to become Assistant Secretary of Commerce for industry and analysis.