The Administration Filling Key Positions in EPA, Labor

From the White House website, a timely (!) posting of nominations made by President Obama yesterday, including these two we’ll be watching with interest.

Jon Cannon, Nominee for Deputy Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
Cannon is currently a professor of environmental law as well as the director of the Environmental and Land Use Law Program at the University of Virginia. Cannon has served as senior counsel at Beveridge & Diamond law firm. Prior to joining the University of Virginia, Cannon served in numerous positions within the EPA during the Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton administrations, eventually rising to general counsel. Prior to serving as general counsel, Cannon was deputy general counsel for Litigation and Regional Operations, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Civil Enforcement, Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Office of Solid Waste Emergency Response (OSWER), Acting Assistant Administrator for OSWER, Assistant Administrator for Administration and Resource Management and Chief Financial Officer. Cannon graduated with a BA from Williams College in 1967 and a J.D. from University of Pennsylvania in 1974.

Seth Harris, Nominee for Deputy Secretary of the Department of Labor
Harris was most recently the Obama Transition Project’s Agency Working Group Leader for the labor, education, and transportation agencies.  He is a Professor and the Director of Labor & Employment Law Programs at New York Law School.  He is also a Senior Fellow of the Life Without Limits Project of the United Cerebral Palsy Association and a member of the National Advisory Commission on Workplace Flexibility.  He served as the Chair of Obama for America’s Labor, Employment, and Workplace Policy Committee and a Co-Chair of its Disability Policy Committee.  During the Clinton Administration, he served as Counselor to the Secretary of Labor and Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Policy, among other policy-advising positions.  Before joining the administration, he was a law clerk to Judge William Canby of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and Judge Gene Carter of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine.  He graduated cum laude from New York University School of Law where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Review of Law & Social Change.  He received his Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University’s School of Industrial & Labor Relations.

The Senate is expected to vote on the nomination of Hilda Solis to be U.S. Secretary of Labor this week, with confirmation anticipated but not without some pointed criticisms. There will be a cloture vote today.

There are also reports that former Washington Governor Gary Locke, a Democrat, is topping the list for Commerce Secretary. He was a pro-trade governor who worked with business and has real expertise in U.S.-Chinese relations and energy issues. Excellent.


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