Campaign Promises

Other/Miscellaneous -> Appointments


ItemAppointments
American Indian AdvisorGrade
AP-1
The Promise: "I'll appoint an American Indian Policy Adviser to my senior White House staff to work with tribes."
When/Where: Speech at Crow Agency, MT, 05/19/08.
Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SU4WR_rcGUA
Status:On 06/15/09, President Obama announced the appointment of Kimberly TeeHee as his Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs. She served in that position until 04/27/12 when she was replaced by Jodi Gillette. Ms. Gillette served until 05/14/15 and was not replaced.

This promise was fulfilled.
1.00
Autism CoordinatorGrade
AP-2
The Promise: "...will appoint a Federal ASD Coordinator to oversee federal ASD research and federal efforts to improve awareness of ASD and improve the training of medical professionals to identify and treat ASD."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Supporting Americans with Autism Spectrum Disorders" dated 10/30/08.
Source: http://www.haleynagy.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/obama-on-autism-spectrum-disorders.pdf
Status:By end-CY2016, no Federal Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Coordinator had been appointed by President Obama.

This promise was not fulfilled.
0.00
Cabinet RepublicanGrade
AP-3
The Promise: "Often stated promise to appoint a Republican to his Cabinet, otherwise stated as "appoint a cabinet of the talents, irrespective of party labels." At one point, Obama stated that he "absolutely" considered it important to have Republicans in the Cabinet."
When/Where: Throughout campaign.
Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSTRE49T05X20081030
Status:Obama retained Robert Gates as Defense Secretary. On 12/18/08, he added Congressman Ray Lahood (R-IL) as his pick to be Transportation Secretary, a nomination that was confirmed.

This promise was fulfilled.
1.00
Chief Financial OfficerGrade
AP-4
The Promise: "Will appoint a Chief Financial Officer to oversee the rebuilding following national disasters to minimize waste and abuse."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Rebuilding the Gulf Coast and Preventing Future Catastrophes" dated 09/11/08.
Source: https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/550006/barack-obama-2008-rebuilding-the-gulf-coast-and.pdf
Status:In 09/11, the Obama Administration released its National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF). The sole, new federal-level position introduced in that plan was that of Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator (FDRC). The mitigation of fraud, waste,
discrimination and abuse is addressed to some extent in the plan, but not the involvement of a federal-level Financial Officer in those efforts.

The following are examples of multi-state disasters that occurred during President Obama's two terms in office:

YEAR/TYPE/LOCATION
2011 - Flood/Mississippi River Valley
2011 - Tornado/Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas, Virginia
2012 - Hurricane Sandy/ Eastern USA
2014 - Tornado/Nebraska, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Illinois, Florida, North Carolina
2015 - Flood/Carolinas
2016 - Hurricane Matthew/Florida, Carolinas, Georgia; Wildfires/West-Southwest

No Chief Financial Officer was appointed in the aftermath of these national disasters.

This promise was not fulfilled.
0.00
Chief Performance OfficerGrade
AP-5
The Promise: "Obama ...will create a focused team within the White House that will work with agency leaders and the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to improve results and outcomes for federal government programs while eliminating waste and inefficiency. This unit...will be ... headed by a new Chief Performance Officer (CPO) who will report directly to the president."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "The Change We Need in Washington" dated 09/22/08.
Source: http://obama.3cdn.net/0080cc578614b42284_2a0mvyxpz.pdf
Status:On 01/07/09, Obama named Nancy Killefer, a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, to this post. Killefer had to withdraw her nomination for failure to pay household help employment taxes.

Jeffrey Zients, a board member of several corporations, was nominated to replace Ms. Killefer as the first CPO/Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on 04/18/09. On 01/27/12, Mr. Zients was named the Acting Director of the OMB while maintaining his CPO functions until his departure from the OMB to become President Obama's National Economic Council Director on 03/05/14, a position in which he served for the remainder of President Obama's second term in office.

Ms. Beth Cobert, formerly a Director and Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company, replaced Mr. Zients until she became Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) on 07/10/15.

Mr. Andrew Mayock, a former senior associate for development and international diplomacy at Booz Allen Hamilton and an international trade consultant at Harvard University's Center for Business and Government, was nominated by President Obama to replace Ms. Cobert on 12/14/15. Mr. Mayock was confirmed by the Senate nearly a year later on 12/10/16, but was not sworn in to serve during President Obama's last month in office.

This promise was fulfilled.
1.00
Chief Technology OfficerGrade
AP-6
The Promise: "Will appoint the nation's first Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to ensure that our government and all its agencies have the right infrastructure, policies and services for the 21st century."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan for Science and Innovation dated 09/25/08
Source: https://pubs.acs.org/cen/news/pdf/FactSheetScience.pdf
Status:Obama's nominee, Aneesh Chopra, formerly the Secretary of Technology for Virginia, required Senate confirmation which was rendered 05/21/09. Mr. Chopra resigned from his position as the first first Chief Technology Officer (CTO) on 02/08/12.

Mr. Chopra was replaced by Mr. Todd Park who served as the second CTO from 03/01/12 to 08/28/14.

The third CTO was Ms. Megan J. Smith, a former Google Vice President, appointed on 09/04/14. She remained as incumbent CTO until the end of the Obama Administration on 01/20/17.

This promise was fulfilled.
1.00
Director, FEMAGrade
AP-7
The Promise: "The FEMA Director will report directly to President Obama, serve a six-year term and will have professional emergency management experience."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Rebuilding the Gulf Coast and Preventing Future Catastrophes" dated 09/11/08.
Source: https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/550006/barack-obama-2008-rebuilding-the-gulf-coast-and.pdf
Status:The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) exists as a major agency of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Administrator for Federal Emergency Management (aka FEMA Director) reports directly to the Secretary of Homeland Security.

Craig Fugate, former director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as FEMA Director on 05/12/09.

Mr. Fugate reported directly to the Secretary of Homeland Security throughout his period of service (05/09 to 01/17) in lieu of reporting to the President as promised.

This promise was not fulfilled.
0.00
Fed Rebuilding CoordinatorGrade
AP-8
The Promise: "...will elevate the federal rebuilding coordinator so that he or she reports directly to the president and so that rebuilding remains a national priority."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Rebuilding the Gulf Coast and Preventing Future Catastrophes" dated 09/11/08.
Source: https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/550006/barack-obama-2008-rebuilding-the-gulf-coast-and.pdf
Status:Janet Woodka was appointed as Gulf Coast Rebuilding Coordinator by the Secretary of Homeland Security on 03/31/09 and reported to Secretary Napolitano, not to President Obama as promised.

Ms. Woodka served as Director of the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Rebuilding until that office was closed on 03/31/10, at which time she transferred to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

This promise was not fulfilled.
0.00
Federal Coordinating OfficerGrade
AP-9
The Promise: "Immediately following a catastrophe, Barack Obama will appoint a Federal Coordinating Officer to direct reconstruction efforts."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Rebuilding the Gulf Coast and Preventing Future Catastrophes" dated 09/11/08.
Source: https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/550006/barack-obama-2008-rebuilding-the-gulf-coast-and.pdf
Status:The appointment of a Federal Coordinating Officer is mandated under the "Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act," which is an amended version of the "Disaster Relief Act of 1974."

Reporting to the Director of of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), William L. Vogel was appointed as Federal Coordinating Officer on 03/24/10 in the aftermath of flooding in New Jersey.

Gracia B. Szczech was appointed as Federal Coordinating Officer on 05/13/10 in the aftermath of flooding in Tennessee.

By another name (National Incident Commander), the former Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Thad Allen, was designated as the government's point person for the 04/20/10 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He served in that position until 09/10, three months after he retired from the Coast Guard in 06/10.

Federal Coordinating Officers were also appointed in the aftermath of tornado and flooding disasters in Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas and other states during the first half of CY2011, after Hurricane Sandy in late CY2012, and other disasters since then.

This promise was fulfilled.
1.00
GeneralGrade
AP-10
The Promise: "...in an Obama-Biden administration, every official will have to rise to the standard of proven excellence in the agency's mission."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan for America "Blueprint for Change" dated 10/09/08
Source: https://my.ofa.us/page/-/Action%20Center/ObamaBlueprintForChange.pdf
Status:The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) falls under the purview of the Secretary of the Treasury. Upon his nomination for that post, it was learned that Timothy Geithner had evaded paying $26,000 in taxes since the 2001-2002 timeframe, an amount he quickly paid. In this instance, Mr. Geithner had failed to "rise to the standard of proven excellence" in the mission of the department he was nominated and later confirmed to lead.

Another example: Ms. Elizabeth Birnbaum was appointed as Director of the Minerals Management Service (MMS) of the Department of the Interior on 07/15/09. She apparently did not meet the "standard of proven excellence" demanded by her job in the aftermath of the oil spill of 04/20/10 in the Gulf of Mexico. By some accounts she was fired by President Obama on 05/27/10; by other accounts she resigned after criticism over her lax oversight of oil drilling in general and alleged coziness with the industry she was hired to oversee.

To replace Ms. Birnbaum, President Obama selected Mr. Michael Bromwich (a litigation partner at the Fried Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson law firm when selected) to head the MMS, since rebranded as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement. Mr. Bromwich had no experience with oil and gas issues and thus had no "proven excellence" in his appointed mission.

On 06/30/11, General David Petraeus was unanimously confirmed as the Director of the CIA by the Senate. During his relatively short tenure as CIA Director, General Petraeus was discovered to be having an extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. General Patraeus resigned as CIA Director on 11/09/12 and later pleaded guilty to one count of having shared classified CIA information with Ms. Broadwell. The CIA's mission was potentially compromised.

These are but a few examples where this promise was not fulfilled.
0.00
National Cyber AdvisorGrade
AP-11
The Promise: "...will establish the position of National Cyber Advisor who will report directly to the President and will be responsible for coordinating federal agency efforts and development of national cyber policy."
When/Where: President-Elect "Change.gov" web site, undated, now deleted, and TechTarget Security Bytes posting dated 11/11/08
Source: https://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/blog/Security-Bytes/Will-Barack-Obama-keep-his-promises-on-cybersecurity
Status:On 12/22/09, President Obama announced the appointment of Howard Schmidt, a former Chief Security Officer for eBay and Microsoft, as National Cyber-Security Coordinator or "Cyber Czar". However, Schmidt reported to the National Security Council through the Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, John O. Brennan, not to the President.

In 05/12, Mr. Schmidt retired and was replaced by Michael Daniel, formerly head of the White House budget office intelligence branch. Like Mr. Schmidt, Mr. Daniel reported to the National Security Advisor and to the head of the National Economic Council.

Under Executive Order 13718 signed on 02/09/16, President Obama established the position of Federal Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). The new CISO does not report directly to the president. Rather, the position is overseen by the Office of the Administrator, Office of E-Government and Information Technology, in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

This promise was not fulfilled.
0.00
Nuclear Security AdvisorGrade
AP-12
The Promise: "Obama will appoint a deputy national security advisor to be in charge of coordinating all U.S. programs aimed at reducing the risk of nuclear terrorism and weapons proliferation."
When/Where: Obama's New Plan to Confront 21st Century Threats, 07/16/08
Source: https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/press-release-fact-sheet-obamas-new-plan-confront-21st-century-threats
Status:In late 01/09, President Obama appointed Gary Samore, a former Clinton Administration advisor on nonproliferation matters and coordinator of U.S. policy on nuclear, chemical and biological weapons matters, as White House Coordinator for Arms Control and Weapons of Mass Destruction, Proliferation, and Terrorism.

Mr. Samore reported to the National Security Advisor, General (Ret.) James Jones prior to the latter's resignation on 10/08/10. General Jones was replaced by Thomas E. Donilon. Mr. Samore was appointed as Executive Director of Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs in 01/13.

Mr. Samore was replaced by Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall as Coordinator for Defense Policy, Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Arms Control in 04/13, a position she vacated on 09/14 when she was appointed by President Obama to be Deputy Secretary of Energy.

This promise was fulfilled.
1.00
Privacy/Civil Liberties BoardGrade
AP-13
The Promise: "Support efforts to strengthen the Privacy and Civil Liberties Board with subpoena powers and reporting responsibilities."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan to Improve Intelligence Capacity and Protect Civil Liberties,11/16/08
Source: http://webarchive.loc.gov/all/20090429184932/http://change.gov/agenda/homeland_security_agenda/
Status:This promise could have been filed under Homeland Security (HS), but the key tenet pertains to White House level appointments.

As a result of a 9/11 Commission Report recommendation dated 07/22/04 (formally referred to as the "Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States"), former President Bush selected three Republicans and one Democrat to serve on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB). Only the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson required Senate confirmation at the time and this was accomplished in 02/06.

In 01/07, Congress decided that the PCLOB should be reorganized as an independent agency with each member subject to Senate confirmation, serving for overlapping six-year terms with no more than three members being from the same party. By 01/08 the PCLOB, as originally structured, ceased to operate. It would remain nonfunctional for over four years.

In early-08/12, the Senate confirmed four of the PCLOB's five members -- two Republicans and two Democrats -- but failed to confirm its chairman, Democrat David Medine. In 01/13, the White House re-nominated Mr. Medine as chair and the Senate confirmed him on 05/07/13. On 07/09/13, the Board held its first public workshop followed by its first substantive hearing on 11/04/13.

As of end-CY2016, a majority of the PCLOB could submit a written request to the Attorney General (AG) to issue a subpoena on behalf of the board. Within 30 days, the AG must either comply or provide a written explanation for a denial to the board and to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. Thus after President Obama's eight years in office, the PCLOB itself had no subpoena powers.

This promise was not fulfilled.
0.00
Science/Technology AdvisorGrade
AP-14
The Promise: "Will appoint an Assistant to the President for Science and Technology Policy who will report directly to the president, and be deeply involved in establishing research priorities..."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Advancing the Frontiers of Space Exploration" dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/382369main_48%20-%2020090803.2.Space_Fact_Sheet_FINAL.pdf
Status:President Obama's nominee, John P. Holdren, was confirmed by the Senate as Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (the "Science Czar") on 03/19/09, a position he held throughout President Obama's two terms in office.

Mr. Holdren also served as Co-Chair of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) during the period 03/09-01/17.

This promise was fulfilled.
1.00
Special Envoy - AmericasGrade
AP-15
The Promise: "In the past, American presidents have filled the position of special envoy to bring senior-level attention to hemispheric matters...the position was eliminated...in June of 2004. As president Barack Obama will reinstate the position."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Renewing U.S. Leadership in the Americas" dated 06/06/08.
Source: http://obama.3cdn.net/85c9392c81570937d6_lqomvygpq.pdf
Status:Early in President Obama's first term in office, there was some lip service to the effect he and SecState Clinton were considering filling this position, which could easily have gone to a retired or retiring, well-known Senate or House Democrat. This didn't happen.

Former President Clinton was appointed Special Envoy to Haiti -- by the United Nations. That didn't count toward promise fulfillment.

On 02/20/15, President Obama appointed Bernard W. Aronson, a former Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, as a special envoy to facilitate negotiations between the Colombian government and the guerilla warfare Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia -- in Spanish: Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC). It's interesting that FARC was listed as a terrorist organization by the Department of State at the time.

By the end of President Obama's second term in office, no Special Envoy for the Americas had been nominated/appointed.

This promise was not fulfilled.
0.00
Urban Policy DirectorGrade
AP-16
The Promise: "Will create a White House Office of Urban Policy...The Director of Urban Policy will report directly to the president and coordinate all federal urban programs."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Supporting Urban Prosperity" dated 09/11/08.
Source: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/550008-barack-obama-2008-supporting-urban-prosperity.html
Status:The White House Office of Urban Affairs was created by President Obama under Executive Order 13503 dated 02/19/09. On that date, President Obama announced the appointment of Adolfo Carrion as White House Director of Urban Affairs, reporting directly to the President and concurrently to Valerie Jarrett (Assistant to the President for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs) and Melody Barnes (Director of the Domestic Policy Council).

Mr. Carrion's White House service ended on 05/03/10 when he was named by President Obama to be Regional Director at the New York and New Jersey Regional Office for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

On 05/03/10, Mr. Carrion was replaced by Derek R.B. Douglas as Special Assistant to the President for Urban Affairs. Mr. Douglas served until end-CY2011 when he accepted a position as the University of Chicago's Vice President for Civic Engagement.

This promise was fulfilled.
1.00
Violence Against WomenGrade
AP-17
The Promise: "As president, Barack Obama will appoint a special advisor who will report to him regularly on issues related to violence against women."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Ending Violence Against Women and Children" dated 10/31/07.
Source: http://obama.3cdn.net/d0739d3f67e3c0896f_b2m6bn9dz.pdf
Status:The appointment of Lynn Rosenthal as the first White House Advisor on Violence Against Women was announced on 06/26/09. Ms. Rosenthal served until 12/14. She was replaced by Carrie Bettinger-Lopez in 01/15. Ms. Bettinger-Lopez served White House Advisor on Violence Against Women until the end of the Obama Administration in 01/17.

This promise was fulfilled.
1.00
Appointments GPA0.53