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FACTBOX-Obama's second-term Cabinet takes shape

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Thu, 7 Mar 2013 22:06 GMT
Author: Reuters
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WASHINGTON, March 7 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama has begun to reshape his Cabinet at the start of his second term, elevating several longtime advisers to key positions and bringing in some fresh faces to his inner circle.

Obama has faced criticism for some of his choices, in part because of past policy decisions and statements some of them have made, but also because he started by naming four white men to a Cabinet once lauded for its diversity.

Following is a list of some key remaining vacancies, followed by nominations already made.

COMMERCE

Secretary John Bryson resigned in June for health reasons. Rebecca Blank, an economist, has been acting secretary since then.

Obama is expected to nominate Penny Pritzker, a Chicago businesswoman and major fundraiser for the president's election campaigns, for the post.

Others said to have been in the running:

- U.S. Export-Import Bank President Fred Hochberg

- Elizabeth Littlefield, president of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation

- Xerox Chief Executive Ursula Burns

- Steve Case - co-founder of America Online

- Daniel Doctoroff - chief executive of the financial news service Bloomberg and a former deputy mayor of New York City

LABOR

Secretary Hilda Solis, the first Latina to head a major U.S. federal agency, announced plans to resign.

Potential candidates:

Thomas Perez, currently the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice. Perez is an Hispanic who previously served as secretary of Maryland's Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

Colorado Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia, an Hispanic former president of Colorado State University-Pueblo, was one leading candidate for the job, though sources have told Reuters he is no longer a frontrunner.

Other potential candidates:

- Patricia Smith, solicitor of Labor, and former New York State Commissioner of Labor

- Betty Sutton, an Ohio congresswoman who was unseated in the November elections

TRANSPORTATION

Secretary Ray LaHood plans to resign. The Republican and former Illinois congressman brought a bipartisan element to the Democratic president's team.

Possible replacements:

- Christine Gregoire - a former Washington state governor, Gregoire has been mentioned as a potential candidate for several positions in Obama's Cabinet.

- Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a Hispanic American who is a rising star in the Democratic Party.

- Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm

- Former Federal Aviation Administration head Jane Garvey

- National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Debbie Hersman

UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE

USTR Ronald Kirk, who helped restart talks on a regional free-trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, said he plans to leave.

Jeff Zients, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, is considered the frontrunner for the job.

Other possible replacements:

- U.S. Export-Import Bank President Fred Hochberg

- Commerce Under Secretary for International Affairs Francisco Sanchez

- Demetrios Marantis - a deputy U.S. trade representative and former chief international trade counsel for Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus

- Michael Punke - U.S. ambassador to the World Trade Organization, who also previously worked for Baucus before joining the Clinton White House as director for international economic affairs

- Lael Brainard - Treasury undersecretary for international affairs, who has been heavily involved in trade and currency talks with China as well as broader global economic discussions

- Michael Froman - now chief White House international economic affairs adviser, who attended Harvard Law School with Obama - although a source familiar with his thinking said he was more likely to remain in his current role.

OTHER VACANCIES

- White House economic adviser Brian Deese is considered a leading candidate to become deputy White House budget director, sources told Reuters.

- Morgan Stanley Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat is under consideration for deputy Treasury secretary, according to a source familiar with the process.

NOMINATIONS

* State - John Kerry, the unsuccessful 2004 Democratic presidential nominee and chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was confirmed by the Senate to replace Hillary Clinton.

* Treasury - Jack Lew, Obama's former chief of staff and a two-time White House budget director, took the top economic job as the White House faces tough talks with Congress on deficit issues. He replaced Timothy Geithner.

* Defense - Chuck Hagel is a former Republican U.S. senator and a decorated war veteran who fought in Vietnam who faced a tough confirmation battle because of past controversial comments about Israel and gays. He replaced Leon Panetta.

* CIA director - John Brennan was Obama's counterterrorism adviser and has worked for the Central Intelligence Agency as officer, analyst and administrator. He replaces David Petraeus, who resigned in November over an extramarital affair.

* Chief of Staff - Obama tapped longtime foreign policy adviser Denis McDonough for the job.

* Office of Management and Budget - Obama chose Sylvia Mathews Burwell, president of the Walmart Foundation, who also worked in the Clinton administration.

* Environmental Protection Agency - Obama tapped Gina McCarthy, currently the assistant administrator for the EPA Office of Air and Radiation, for the top post. She would replace Lisa Jackson.

* Energy - Scientist Ernest Moniz is Obama's pick to replace outgoing Secretary Steven Chu.

* Interior - Obama chose Sally Jewell, chief executive of outdoor retailer REI, for the job. She would replace Ken Salazar.

STAYING PUT, FOR NOW

* Justice - Attorney General Eric Holder, who is part of an Obama task force looking at how to reduce gun violence, will stay on. There had been widespread speculation he would not serve more than four years, a rare long term for an attorney general.

* Homeland Security - Secretary Janet Napolitano had been expected to take over the Justice file if Holder left. Now that the White House has said Holder will stay, Napolitano is expected to remain in her current job.

* Agriculture - Secretary Tom Vilsack, who has spearheaded talks with Congress about cuts to farm subsidies, will stay on for Obama's second term.

* Health and Human Services - Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will remain in her job.

* Veterans Affairs - Secretary Eric Shinseki, a former U.S. Army chief of staff, will stay on.

* Education - Secretary Arne Duncan will stay in his job. (Reporting by Jeff Mason, Mark Felsenthal, and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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