The White House has been showcasing African-American men and women who hold senior posts in the Obama Administration as part of its salute to Black History Month.
Here are some of them:
Charles F. Bolden Jr.
Bolden began duties as the 12th administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on July 17, 2009, leading the NASA team and managing its resources to advance the agency's missions and goals.
His Senate confirmation marked the beginning of his second stint with the nation's space agency. His 34-year career with the U.S. Marine Corps included 14 years as a member of NASA's Astronaut Office. After joining the office in 1980, he traveled to orbit four times aboard the space shuttle between 1986 and 1994, commanding two of the missions.
His flights included deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope and the first joint U.S.-Russian shuttle mission which included a cosmonaut as a member of his crew.
A resident of Houston, Bolden was born Aug. 19, 1946, in Columbia, S.C. He graduated from C. A. Johnson High School in 1964 and received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. He earned a bachelor of science in electrical science in 1968 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps.
After completing flight training in 1970, he became a naval aviator and flew more than 100 combat missions in North Vietnam and South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, while stationed in Namphong, Thailand, from 1972-1973.
Bolden, who retired from the Marine Corps in 2003, is married to the former Alexis (Jackie) Walker of Columbia, S.C. The couple has two children: Anthony Che, a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps, who is married to the former Penelope McDougal of Sydney, Australia, and Kelly Michelle, a medical doctor now serving a fellowship in plastic surgery.
He is assistant secretary for Governmental Affairs in the Department of Transpoprtation, since May 2009, serving as the principal advisor to the secretary, deputy secretary and senior staff on legislative affairs, Congressional relations, and policy matters affecting federal, state and local governments and public and private interest groups.
Gresham was born in Birmingham, Ala., and received a bachelor’s in International Politics in 1994 from Georgetown University. Prior to joining DOT, he served on the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team as the Legislative Liaison for then DOT Secretary Designate Ray LaHood. He began his career on Capitol Hill in 1994 as a staff assistant for U.S. Rep. Eva Clayton of North Carolina.
He and his wife Kathryn live in Washington, D.C., with their young son.
Lisa P. Jackson
She is the first African American to serve as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, leading EPA’s efforts to protect the health and environment for all Americans. She and a staff of more than 17,000 professionals are working across the nation to usher in a green economy, address health threats from toxins and pollution and renew public trust in EPA’s work.
Before joining the White House, she served as chief of staff to then New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine and as commissioner of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection.
Jackson graduated summa cum laude from Tulane University in New Orleans and earned a master’s in chemical engineering from Princeton University. Born in Pennsylvania, she grew up in New Orleans and now lives in Washington, D.C. She is married to Kenny Jackson and is mother of two sons, Marcus and Brian.
Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale
She is assistant secretary of Commerce for Manufacturing and Services in the Department of Commerce, helping to strengthen the competitive position of U.S. industries in domestic and foreign markets by coordinating the department’s strategies, policies and programs.
Prior to joining the Obama Administration, she was managing partner of the Detroit office of the law firm of Foley & Lardner LLP, specializing in business restructuring in the manufacturing sector.
She received her B.A. with high honors from the University of Michigan in 1988 and her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1991.
Denise L. Pease
Pease has been regional administrator for the U.S. General Services Administration’s Northeast and Caribbean Region since last Sept. 13, overseeing the federal government’s real estate portfolio, procurement of goods and services, and information technology for New York, northern New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The region has 700 employees and an annual operating budget of $1.4 billion and a real estate portfolio that includes 72 government-owned buildings and leased space in 469 commercial buildings.
Previously, she served as New York City’s assistant comptroller of Commercial Banking in the Office of the New York Comptroller.
Pease is an alumna of Columbia University School of General Studies and has a bachelor’s in American history and biology.
A member of the Council of Economic Advisers, Rouse is currently on leave from Princeton University, where she is the Theodore A. Wells '29 Professor of Economics and Public Affairs. Her research has focused on labor economics and the economics of education. Recent research includes studying Florida’s school accountability and voucher programs, technology-based programs in schools in large urban districts, strategies for increasing educational attainment among community college students and the impact of student loans on post-college occupational choices.
Rouse is the founding director of the Princeton University Education Research Section and has been the director of the Industrial Relations Section. She served in the National Economic Council under President William J. Clinton from 1998 to 1999.
She received her Ph.D in economics from Harvard University.
He has been serving as deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development since May 8, 2009, the second most senior official at HUD, responsible for managing the department's day-to-day operations, a nearly $40 billion annual operating budget and the agency's 8,500 employees.
Sims previously served as the Executive for the King County, Washington, the 13th largest county in the nation in a metropolitan area of 1.8 million residents and 39 cities, including Seattle, Bellevue and Redmond. He has been nationally recognized for his work on transportation, homelessness, climate change, health care reform, urban development and affordable housing. His leadership in affordable housing and multiple community and housing partnerships has funded 5,632 units of housing during 12 years.
Born in Spokane, Wash., in 1948, Sims is a graduate of Central Washington University.
As deputy assistant secretary for Oil and Natural Gas in the Office of Fossil Energy of the U.S. Department of Energy, Smith is responsible for administering domestic and international oil and gas programs, including research and development, policy analysis and natural gas import and export licensing. The Oil and Natural Gas Office leads the Department of Energy's LNG program which involves the analysis of safety and other technical
Prior to his appointment in October 2009, he served in managerial and analytical positions of increasing responsibility in the private sector. He began his career as an officer in the U. S. Army and served tours in Korea and Hawaii. He subsequently worked for Citibank and JPMorgan in New York City and London in the area of emerging markets and currency derivatives.
Smith holds a bachelor's in Engineering Management from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Cambridge University. He is married to Dr. Patricia Smith and they live in Alexandria with their two children.
A recognized expert in labor policy and research, Spriggs is assistant secretary for Policy in the Department of Labor. For more than 25 years, he has worked as an educator, researcher and advocate for working families and low-income communities.
Born in Washington, D.C., he attended public elementary schools in the district in the midst of the Civil Rights era, spurring his commitment to public service. After graduating cum laude from Williams College in 1977, he attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earning a Ph.D in Economics and served as co-president of American Federation of Teachers Local #3220.
He was serving as chairman of the department and a professor of Economics at Howard University in Washington, D.C., when he joined the White House. He is a past board member and president of the National Economic Association, the professional organization of black economists and has served on the board of the National Academy of Social Insurance.