University at Albany

Six Rockefeller College Alumni Nominated for Senior Posts in the Obama Administration

Developing leaders starts with strong intellectual, analytical and ethical foundations. The faculty and staff of Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany, have always strived to instill these attributes in all of our students. We are especially proud of four alumni who have been nominated by President Obama to serve in senior positions in his administration.

John McHugh
John M. McHugh (MPA, 1977) was nominated to be Secretary of the Army on June 2, 2009. McHugh has represented the 23rd Congressional District of New York since 1993 and is the senior Republican on the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee. Before becoming a representative, McHugh held a series of positions in state and local government in upstate New York.
Christine Varney
Christine Varney (BA, Political Science, 1978) was confirmed as Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in April 2009. Varney was a partner at Hogan & Hartson in Washington, DC, heading the firm's Internet Practice Group and participating in the Antitrust Practice Group. She served as the Federal Trade Commissioner and as an assistant to the President and Secretary to the Cabinet in the Clinton Administration.
John Porcari
John D. Porcari (MPA, 1977) was nominated to be Deputy Secretary of Transportation in April 2009, and confirmed by the Senate in May. Prior to his nomination, Porcari served as Maryland’s Secretary of Transportation from 1999 to 2003, and again from 2007 to 2009. In between these posts, he held the office of Vice-President for Administrative Affairs at the University of Maryland.
Bonnie Jenkins
Bonnie Jenkins (MPA, 1988) was nominated on April 20, 2009 to be Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs, a high-level position in the U.S. Department of State. Jenkins is an expert in counterterrorism and arms control. Jenkins held positions in both the Department of Defense and State Department. She was also counsel to the 9/11 Commission and most recently served as a Program Officer at the Ford Foundation.
Jennifer Manner
Jennifer Manner (BA, 1986) was appointed on July 21, 2009 to be Deputy Chief for Public Safety and Homeland Security at the Federal Communications Commission. Before taking this position, Ms. Manner was a principal at ZComm Strategies, LLC, where she advised telecommunications companies on regulatory policy issues. Prior to that, Ms. Manner was Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at SkyTerra Communications, L.P. Manner has also served as Senior Counsel to FCC Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy, with responsibility for wireless, technology and international issues.

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Mark A. Patterson (BA, 1984) in January 2009 was asked to serve as Chief of Staff to incoming Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Patterson has perviously served as a top aide to former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) and the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York (D-NY). More recently, Patterson served as Vice-President of Government Relations at the leading investment firm Goldman Sachs from 2003 to 2008.