Officially In: McHale to "R" and Crowley to Public Affairs

Two more nominees made the leap from rumor mill to official announcement cycle. Yesterday, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Judith A. McHale as Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs and Philip J. “P.J.” Crowley as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs. Also announced was the nomination of Bonnie D. Jenkins as Nominee for Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs (with the Rank of Ambassador). This position — it appears to be a new gig at State.


Judith A. McHale, Nominee for Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Department of State

Ms. McHale is a leading media and communications executive whose career has been devoted to building companies and non-profit organizations dedicated to reaching out to and connecting people around the world. She is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Discovery Communications. From 1987 to 2006, McHale helped build the parent company of the Discovery Channel into one of the world’s most extensive media enterprises, with more than 100 channels telecast in over 170 countries and 35 languages to more than 1 billion subscribers. In the 1990s, McHale launched the non-profit Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership, which supplies free educational video programming to more than half a million students across Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. After two decades at Discovery, McHale extended her commitment to helping build opportunity for people in Africa. With the Global Environment Fund, a private equity firm, she worked to launch the GEF/Africa Growth Fund, an investment vehicle intending to focus on supplying expansion capital to small and medium-sized businesses that provide consumer goods and services in emerging African markets. McHale’s commitment to global outreach efforts also includes her service on the boards of the Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the National Democratic Institute, and Vital Voices. She previously served on the board of Africare. The daughter of a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, McHale was born in New York City and grew up in Britain and apartheid-era South Africa. Before joining Discovery, McHale served as General Counsel for MTV Networks and helped guide the company’s international expansion.


Philip J. “P.J.” Crowley, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, Department of State

Mr. Crowley is a Senior Fellow and Director of Homeland Security at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C. At CAP, he authored a detailed homeland security strategy called Safe at Home and was a frequent public commentator on a wide range of national security issues. During the Clinton administration, Crowley was Special Assistant to the President of the United States for National Security Affairs, serving as Senior Director of Public Affairs for the National Security Council. Prior to that, he was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. In all, he served as a spokesman for the U.S. government for 28 years, including three at the White House and 11 at the Pentagon. He is a retired Air Force colonel and veteran of Operations Desert Storm and Provide Comfort in 1991. During the Kosovo conflict in 1999, he was temporarily assigned to work with then NATO Secretary General Javier Solana in Brussels. Prior to joining the Center for American Progress, Crowley served as a national spokesman for the property/casualty insurance industry, focusing on strategic industry issues that included the impact of terrorism on commercial insurance in the aftermath of the World Trade Center tragedy. He is a native of Massachusetts and a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross.

In one appearance in Congress PJ Crowley said: “We used to joke at the Pentagon that if we keep doing more with less, eventually we will be able to do everything with nothing. It is a good one-liner, but improved chemical security is not free.”


Bonnie D. Jenkins, Nominee for Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs (with the Rank of Ambassador), Department of State

Dr. Jenkins is the Program Officer for U.S. Foreign and Security policy at the Ford Foundation. Her grant making seeks to strengthen public engagement in US foreign and security policy debate and formulation in order to promote support for multilateralism, the peaceful resolution of disputes, and the rule of international law. Prior to joining the Foundation, Jenkins served on the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (“9-11 Commission”), as counsel. She was the lead Commission staff member on counterterrorism policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and on U.S. military plans to go after Al Qaeda prior to 9-11. She wrote part of the 9/11 report, which has since become a national bestseller. Jenkins also served as General Counsel to the U.S. Commission to assess the organization of the federal government to combat proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and as a consultant to the 2000 National Commission on Terrorism. She also worked at the RAND Corporation in their National Security Division. She recently served as a Lieutenant Commander in the US Naval Reserves and completed a year of deployment at CENTCOM. Jenkins has worked in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Policy Planning as a consultant of the Kosovo History Project. An expert on arms control and nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Jenkins also served for nine years as legal advisor to U.S. Ambassadors and delegations negotiating arms control and nonproliferation treaties during her time as a Legal Advisor in the Office of General Council at the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. She began her years in government when appointed as a Presidential Management Fellow. Jenkins is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and the American Bar Association. She received a Ph.D. in international relations from the University of Virginia; an LL.M. in international and comparative law from the Georgetown University Law Center; an MPA from the State University of New York at Albany; a J.D. from Albany Law School; and a BA from Amherst College. She also attended The Hague Academy for International Law.

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