President Trump announced more than three dozen appointments Friday night for key administration positions.
The president intends to nominate Richard Grenell to serve as the next U.S. ambassador to Germany. Grenell served in former President George W. Bush’s administration as a spokesman for the U.S. mission to the United Nations.
“For nearly two decades, he has served as the primary communications adviser for public officials at the local, state, Federal, and international levels, as well as for a Fortune 200 ranked company,” the White House statement said. “Mr. Grenell is the longest serving United States spokesman at the United Nations (2001-2008) having served four United States Ambassadors.”
Rep. Tom Marino was also chosen to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Marino, a former county prosecutor, worked to help expand access to treatment for people with opioid addiction. Marino’s nomination will lead to a special election in Pennsylvania.
The president also tapped Oklahoma Rep. Jim Bridenstine to head NASA, which is already causing controversy on both sides of the political aisle. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, both of Florida, say a politician should not have the lead role in the country’s space program.
“I just think it could be devastating for the space program. Obviously, being from Florida, I’m very sensitive to anything that slows up NASA and its mission,” Rubio told POLITICO.
“It’s the one federal mission which has largely been free of politics and it’s at a critical juncture in its history,” he added. “I would hate to see an administrator held up -- on [grounds of] partisanship, political arguments, past votes, or statements made in the past -- because the agency can’t afford it and it can’t afford the controversy.”
Nelson told Politico much the same: “The head of NASA ought to be a space professional, not a politician.”
His nomination will also lead to a special election in Oklahoma.
Additionally, the president nominated Robert Jackson, a Columbia University law professor, for a vacant seat on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
According to the White House’s press release, the rest of the list includes:
- James Thomas Abbott to be a member of the Federal Labor Relations Authority
- Larry Edward Andre Jr. to be U.S. Ambassador to Djibouti
- Robert Behler to be Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, Department of Defense
- Thomas Carter of South Carolina to be the U.S. Representative on the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization
- John Demers to be an Assistant Attorney General in the DOJ’s National Security Division
- Nina Maria Fite to be U.S. Ambassador to Angola.
- Daniel Lewis Foote to be U.S. Ambassador to Zambia.
- Timothy Gallaudet to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere
- Mark Greenblatt to be Inspector General for the Export-Import Bank
- Kenneth Juster to be U.S. Ambassador to India
- Gregory Ibach to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs
- Colleen Kiko to be a Member of the Federal Labor Relations Authority
- W. Robert Kohorst to be U.S. Ambassador to Croatia.
- Matthew Leopold to be an Assistant Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, General Counsel
- Cheryl Mason to be Chairman of the Board of Veterans Appeals
- Admiral Edward Masso to be U.S. Ambassador to Estonia
- Katherine Brunett McGuire to be an Assistant Secretary of Labor, Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs
- Edward McMullen, Jr. to be U.S. Ambassador of the Swiss Confederation, “and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Principality of Liechtenstein.”
- Jonathan Mitchell to be Chairman of the Administrative Conference of the United States
- Thomas Modly to be Under Secretary of the Navy
- Emily Webster Murphy to be Administrator of General Services
- Jennifer Gillian Newstead to be Legal Adviser at the Department of State
- William Northey to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services
- Frederick Nutt to be Controller of the Office of Federal Financial Management, Office of Management and Budget
- Jeff Tien Han Pon to be Director of the Office of Personnel Management
- Randy Reeves to be Under Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Memorial Affairs
- David Dale Reimer to be U.S. Ambassador to Mauritius and the Seychelles.
- David Ross to be Assistant Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water.
- Christopher Sharpley to be Inspector General for the Central Intelligence Agency
- Cheryl Marie Stanton to be Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division, Department of Labor
- Suzanne Israel Tufts to be Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Administration
- Stephen Alexander Vaden to be General Counsel, Department of Agriculture
- Bruce Walker to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy, Electricity, Delivery and Energy Reliability
- Margaret Weichert to be Deputy Director for Management, Office of Management and Budget
- Eric Whitaker to be U.S. Ambassador to Niger
- Steven Winberg to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy, Fossil Energy
- Dean Winslow to be an Assistant Secretary of Defense, Health Affairs
- David Zatezalo to be the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health