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David Trachtenberg confirmed as Defense Department Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Policy

October 19, 2017: David J. Trachtenberg was confirmed as the Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Defense by the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, October 17, 2017. Trachtenberg, of Virginia, is the president and chief executive officer of Shortwaver Consulting, LLC, a company that consults about national security issues. Before that post, Trachtenberg was the Vice Presrident and Director of the Strategic Analysis Division at CACI—National Security Research. Trachtenberg previously worked in several posts at the Defense Department, including the position of Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, where he was responsible for issues relating to NATO, Europe, Russia and Eurasia, technology security, counter-proliferation, missile defense, nuclear forces, and arms control. Additionally, Trachtenberg worked as a Professional Staff Member at the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee. Trachtenberg received a bachelor of arts degree in international relations from the University of Southern California and a master of science degree in foreign service from Georgetown University.

Ron Vicari named Sacramento County, Calif., Transportation Director

October 19, 2017: Ron E. Vicari was hired as the Director of the Sacramento County, Calif., Department of Transportation on Sunday, October 15, 2017. The Transportation Director position became vacant in May, 2017, when Michael Penrose was named as the Deputy County Executive for the Public Works and Infrastructure Agency. Vicari has worked for the county government since 2003, and he has worked in the civil engineering field for twenty years. He started his county career as an Associate Civil Engineer and Design Engineer. He was promoted to Senior Civil Engineer in 2006, and he was named Principal Civil Engineer in 2008. Vicari received his bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from California State University, and he also has a certification of registration as a professional civil engineer from the California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists.

Rachel Levine appointed Pennsylvania Secretary of Health

October 19, 2017: Rachel Levine was appointed as the full-time Pennsylvania Secretary of Health by Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday, October 12, 2017. Levine was most recently the state government’s Acting Secretary of Health since June, 2017. She is also the state’s Physician General and a pediatrics and psychiatry professor at the Penn State College of Medicine. Her previous posts included vice chairman for clinical affairs at the Department of Pediatrics and he chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Eating Disorders at the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital-Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Levine graduated from Harvard College and the Tulane University School of Medicine. She completed her training in pediatrics at the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City, followed by a fellowship in adolescent medicine there. She then practiced pediatrics and adolescent medicine in New York City and was on the faculty of the Mt Sinai School of Medicine. She came to central Pennsylvania in 1993 as the director of Ambulatory Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at the Polyclinic Medical Center. She joined the staff at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center in 1996 as the director of Pediatric Ambulatory Services and Adolescent Medicine.

Teresa Miller appointed Pennsylvania Human Services Secretary

October 19, 2017: Teresa Miller was appointed as the full-time Pennsylvania Human Services Secretary by Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday, October 12, 2017. Miller was the state’s Acting Human Services Secretary since August, 2017. She was previously the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner, and she was appointed to that post in January, 2015. In 2017, Miller was named the chairman of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Senior Issues Task Force. Before she arrived in Pennsylvania, Miller was the Acting Director of the State Exchanges Group, the Oversight Group, and the Insurance Programs Group at the federal government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in Washington, D.C. CMS is a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Before her work with the federal government, Miller worked in Oregon, where she fought for state adoption of mental health parity legislation, representing drug and alcohol treatment providers, social workers, the Arc of Oregon and other advocates for people with disabilities. Then, as the Insurance Regulator in Oregon, she worked to ensure consumers received the benefits of that law. Miller received her law degree from the Willamette University College of Law.

David Lapan resigns as Press Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

October 19, 2017: David Lapan has announced that he plans to resign soon as the Press Secretary at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Lapan is resigning from DHS to take a job at the non-governmental, private-sector Bipartisan Policy Center as the organization’s senior director of communications and public affairs, effective at the end of October, 2017. Lapan previously worked for current White House Chief of Staff John Kelly for more than ten years at the U.S. Marine Corps, where Kelly was a General. Lapan came to work at DHS at the request of Kelly, who was the DHS Secretary before he moved to the post of White House Chief of Staff. Lapan previously worked at the Defense Department’s communications and press office, but he had retired from government and the Marines to work in the non-profit sector, before Kelly recruited him to work at DHS.

Eric Chewning appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary, Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy, Defense Department

October 19, 2017: Eric Chewning was appointed as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy at the U.S. Department of Defense on Tuesday, October 17, 2017. Chewning was most recently a partner at McKinsey and Co., where he worked on aerospace and defense industry issues. Chewning is a U.S. Army veteran, and he was deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Jennifer Smith appointed Secretary, Pennsylvania Drug and Alcohol Programs Office

October 19, 2017: Jennifer Smith was appointed as the full-time Pennsylvania Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs by Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday, October 12, 2017. Smith was most recently the Acting Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs. Smith started her career with the Pennsylvania state government in 2004 at the Office of the Budget, beginning as an accountant and eventually becoming the office’s Director of Planning and Management in 2012. She was appointed as the Drug and Alcohol Programs Office’s Deputy Secretary in 2015.