Biden's transition teams have strong Obama credentials, begin work with no Alaskans to be seen - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, April 20, 2021
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Biden’s transition teams have strong Obama credentials, begin work with no Alaskans to be seen


The transition teams for the possible Biden-Harris Administration have been published, and it’s not looking good for Alaska. Must Read Alaska has reviewed the transition teams and hasn’t found a single Alaskan on the list. But it’s early. There’s still time for Alaska Democrats to get involved.

The transition teams gather resumes and start scouting for true believers to put into key appointments throughout the government. As they do their work, another group of partisans are embedded in agencies, often called “beachhead teams,” to ensure the departing administration doesn’t get away with too much during the transition.

For Alaska, the Department of Interior and the EPA are always top concerns.

For the Interior transition team, the transition team reads like the yearbook from the Obama Administration’s DOI team:

Kevin Washburn, Team Lead, Dean of the University of Iowa College of Law, was appointed by President Obama as the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs (BIA) at the U.S. Department of the Interior. He served in that role until January of 2016.
Bob Anderson, Harvard Law School, Oneida Indian Nation Visiting Professor of Law. Specializes in tribal sovereignty.
Bret Birdsong, The Nevada System of Higher Education, he was appointed by the Obama administration to serve as deputy solicitor for land resources at the U.S. Department of Interior in Washington D.C.
Shannon Estenoz, The Everglades Foundation, was President Obama’s federal point person for Everglades restoration.
Chris Goranson, Carnegie Mellon University, The Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, he was residential Innovation Fellow in the Obama Administration.
Janie Hipp, Native American Agriculture Fund. Hipp served under Barack Obama as the director of the Office of Tribal Relations of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Kate Kelly, Center for American Progress, she served in the Obama administration at the Interior Department.
Elizabeth Klein, New York University, School of Law, State Energy & Environmental Impact Center. She was former deputy assistant secretary, policy, management & budget in the Department of Interior under the Obama Administration and worked at DOI in the Clinton Administration. At her work at NYU, with Director David Hayes, the two have sued the Department of Interior over Arctic lease sales.
Amanda Leiter, American University, Washington College of Law, Professor of Law and the Director of the Program on Environmental and Energy Law.
Molly McUsic, Wyss Foundation,
Maggie Thomas, Evergreen Action, Obama Administration at the White House Council on Environmental Quality 
Tanya Trujillo, Colorado River Sustainability Campaign

At the EPA transition team, a very strong bias emerges toward Obama-era policies, led by a Vice President of Earthjustice:

Patrice Simms, Team LeadEarthjustice. Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.
Amanda AguirreBlue Crab Strategies, Director of Public Engagement & Environmental Education, US Environmental Protection Agency
Ann DunkinDell Technologies, Environmental Protection Agency CIO under President Obama
Matt FritzLatham & Watkins, LLP, senior advisor to the EPA Administrator during Obama Administration.
Lisa GarciaGrist Magazine, Inc., led the EPA’s environmental-justice work under President Obama, 
Cynthia GilesHarvard Environmental and Energy Law Program, former Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance for the entire Obama Presidency
Joseph GoffmanHarvard Law School, Associate Assistant Administrator for Climate/Senior Counsel, Office of Air and Radiation, US Environmental Protection Agency
Ken KopocisAmerican University, Washington College of Law, former assistant administrators of the EPA under Obama.
Michael McCabeSelf-employed, former Regional Administrator, and later Deputy Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Clinton, Bush Administration
Billie McGranePA Democratic Party
Alejandra NunezThe Sierra Club
Luseni PiehSelf-employed, Deputy Chief of Staff for Programs and Strategic Initiatives at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for Obama.
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Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • We are so screwed

  • Did the Electoral College declare him the winner?

  • List of disappointed people. Biden will be conceding within a month.

    • Exactly. There’s no way Mr. dog face pony soldier won the election. It was a red tsunami, and they’re all about to be crushed when the truth comes crashing over them.

  • Need any further reason as to why we must win the lawsuits that the Trump/Pence campaign have brought against those state with huge numbers for Biden/Harris after they stopped counting at 2 AM then started again at 10 AM?


  • Mr. Biden is not the President-elect. They are still counting votes. And the election must be certified first. The deadline for all states to certify their votes is December 8th. There is a lot of questionable process in this election.

  • The reptiles are now taking over the government and the country. There would appear to be not a rational person amongst those identified.

  • Old Joe is trying to act like everything is normal. Maybe it is for him. His dealings with Ukraine, China, Russia and every power broker in the world wanting to ‘deal’ with Obama, do not set a sterling example or precedent for a president. The ‘umpteen’ million dollars he and his fall guy, Hunter, grifted for the Obama connection, shouldn’t mean he is a crook, should it? Press 1 for yes, 2 for no. I’m a 1 guy myself. Presidential material? Press 2. I’m kind of glad no one calling themselves Alaskan is on that “transition” team for Old Joe and the Harris woman. Be a little embarrassing for me, calling myself an Alaskan.
    All the excitement about the left “winning” the election is nothing but a smokescreen. The real action is not in the public realm yet. It will be soon. Many changes are coming and they won’t be the leftist “New Anything Deal”.

  • So, are we going the Fox News, Mitt Zombie, George Jr. route here?


    Asking for a friend.

  • Mead Treadwell should be at the top of the list. When he was Lt. Governor there was zero voter fraud. Nobody could cheat the will of the people when Mead was running the show.

  • Welcome back Barack.

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