Part of the Bay Area News Group

More White House interns with Bay Area ties

The White House today announced its Fall 2013 interns, including several who either hail from or attended school in the Bay Area.

This crop of interns, along with their hometowns and the universities they most recently attended, includes:

    Joanna Chen of Anaheim (University of California, Berkeley)
    Caitlin Etienne of Richfield, Minn. (Monterey Institute of International Studies)
    Elva Linares of Oakland (University of California Hastings College of the Law)

Interns work in one White House departments including the Domestic Policy Council, the National Economic Council, the Office of Cabinet Affairs, the Office of Chief of Staff, the Office of Communications, the Office of Digital Strategy, the Office of the First Lady, the Office of Legislative Affairs, the Office of Management and Administration, the Office of Presidential Correspondence, the Office of Presidential Personnel, the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, the Office of Scheduling and Advance, the Office of the Vice President, the Office of the White House Counsel, and the Office of White House Fellows.

Posted on Monday, October 21st, 2013
Under: Obama presidency | No Comments »

Three locals to advise Obama on manufacturing

Several Bay Area people will serve on the new steering committee for President Barack Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, the White House announced Thursday.

The president created the partnership in 2011 to bring industry, academia and government together to revitalize the manufacturing sector and boost the nation’s global competitiveness.

Among those on the new committee are University of California, Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks; Ajit Manocha, CEO of Milpitas-based semiconductor manufacturer GLOBALFOUNDRIES; and Mike Splinter, executive board chairman of Santa Clara-based Applied Materials Inc.

The original steering committee issued a report last year, “Capturing Domestic Competitive Advantage in Advanced Manufacturing,” that called for sustaining U.S. investments in science, technology, and innovation; establishing a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation Institutes, a set of public-private partnerships to build shared high-tech facilities and advance U.S. leadership in emerging technologies; upgrading community-college workforce training programs and deploying the talent of returning veterans to meet critical manufacturing skills needs; and improving the business climate for manufacturing investment through tax, regulatory, energy, and trade reform.

The new steering committee will build on that work, functioning as a working group of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and in partnership with the National Economic Council, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Commerce Department. It’s also going to hold regional working sessions and forums designed to find examples of innovative strategies to build manufacturing competitiveness.

Posted on Thursday, September 26th, 2013
Under: economy, Obama presidency | 4 Comments »

SF man to be force-fed outside White House

ConterisA San Francisco man will subject himself to nasogastric force-feeding outside the White House tomorrow in solidarity with Guantanamo Bay inmates who’ve been similarly force-fed.

That is exactly what it sounds like: A nasogastric tube carries food and medicine to the stomach through the nose.

Andres Conteris, who turned 52 Thursday, since July 8 has been fasting in solidarity with the Guantanamo Bay detainees, too, and says he has lost 50 pounds.

nasogastric feeding - AP photo“Force-feeding is torture,” he said in a news release. “I wish to make visible what the U.S. government is perpetrating against prisoners in Guantánamo and what the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is threatening for hunger strikers in Pelican Bay. The only way to end the hunger strikes and force-feeding is to shutter the Gitmo prison and respond favorably to the demands of the prisoners in California.”

The California inmates ended their hunger strike Thursday.

Conteris’ force-feeding, administered by a medical professional, will be webcast live at 9 a.m. Pacific on Friday.

Posted on Thursday, September 5th, 2013
Under: War on Terror | 3 Comments »

Oakland & Sac mayors met with Obama today

Oakland’s Jean Quan and Sacramento’s Kevin Johnson were among 18 U.S. mayors who met with President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today at the White House to discuss strategies to reduce youth violence.

According to the White House’s readout of the meeting, Obama “reiterated that government alone can never fill the void that causes a child to turn to violence, but that we all have a responsibility to do our part to create safe communities and save lives.”

“The President applauded the mayors for their local efforts to combat violence, solicited their input about proven methods, and pledged his Administration’s partnership,” the White House reported. “He also vowed to continue doing everything in his power to combat gun violence through executive action and to press Congress to pass common-sense reforms like expanding the background check system and cracking down on gun trafficking.”

For the complete list of mayors at today’s meeting, follow after the jump.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, August 27th, 2013
Under: Jean Quan, Oakland, Obama presidency, Public safety | 3 Comments »

Senate to probe state-federal marijuana conflicts

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy said Monday he’ll hold a hearing Sept. 10 on the conflict between federal and state marijuana laws.

That’s big news for 20 states including California that have legalized medical marijuana, as well as for Colorado and Washington, which have legalized it for recreational use.

Leahy, D-Vt., has invited Attorney General Eric Holder and Deputy Attorney General James Cole to testify. Perhaps someone will ask them why President Obama’s rhetoric and action haven’t matched up on this issue: Though he has said that federal law enforcement resources are better targeted toward violent elements of the drug trade, federal agents and prosecutors have continued to pursue dispensaries that are in compliance with California law.

Leahy wrote to White House “drug czar” Gil Kerlikowske last December, asking how the federal government intended to deal with states like Colorado and Washington. In that letter, Leahy also suggested that federal legislation could be introduced to legalize up to an ounce of marijuana, at least in states that have legalized it; he also sought assurances that state employees would not be prosecuted for implementing state laws.

Congress’ efforts to address this haven’t advanced. H.R. 1523, the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Huntington Beach, would protect those operating under medical-marijuana laws in 18 states including California plus the District of Columbia, or under the recreational legalization laws enacted last year in Colorado and Washington state. Introduced in April, the bill has 18 cosponsors from both sides of the aisle yet has never had a hearing.

“Ending marijuana prohibition not just in the states but also nationally is going to require the sort of leadership that Senator Leahy is now providing,” Drug Policy Alliance executive director Ethan Nadelmann said Monday. “Now is the time for his colleagues to stand up as well in defense of responsible state regulation of marijuana.”

Posted on Monday, August 26th, 2013
Under: marijuana, Obama presidency, U.S. Senate | No Comments »

President Obama welcomes & praises SF Giants

President Barack Obama today welcomed the San Francisco Giants to the White House to honor their 2012 World Series win.

Mayor Ed Lee and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi were on hand for the event, too. No mention was made of the Giants’ current position at the bottom of the NL West division.

Read the president’s full remarks, after the jump…
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, July 29th, 2013
Under: Obama presidency | 2 Comments »

New White House interns have Bay Area ties

The White House today announced its Summer 2013 interns, and as usual, several either hail from the Bay Area or have attended school here:

Interns work in one of several White House departments, including the Domestic Policy Council, the National Economic Council, the Office of Cabinet Affairs, the Office of Chief of Staff, the Office of Communications, the Office of Digital Strategy, the Office of the First Lady, the Office of Legislative Affairs, the Office of Management and Administration, the Office of Presidential Correspondence, the Office of Presidential Personnel, the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, the Office of Scheduling and Advance, the Office of the Vice President, the Office of the White House Counsel, and the Office of White House Fellows.

Posted on Tuesday, July 9th, 2013
Under: Obama presidency | 1 Comment »

White House honors local immigrant innovators

Four Bay Area residents are among 11 Americans being honored by the White House today as Immigrant Innovator “Champions of Change,” described as “the best and brightest from around the world who are helping create American jobs, grow our economy, and make our nation more competitive.”

“Immigrants have long made America more prosperous and innovative, and the Champions we are celebrating today represent the very best in leadership, entrepreneurship, and public service,” U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park said in a news release. “We are proud to recognize these leaders who work every day to grow our economy, advance science and technology, and support their home communities.”

The Champions of Change program is the White House’s effort to feature groups of Americans – individuals, businesses and organizations – who are doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.

Here are the four Bay Area honorees, as described in the White House’s news releases today:

Victoria Ransom, Menlo Park
Victoria RansomVictoria Ransom has been an entrepreneur since her early twenties and has developed three companies, the most recent of which, Wildfire, was acquired by Google in 2012. As founder and CEO of Wildfire, Victoria led the company to profitability in just one year and built the company to tens of thousands of customers, over 400 employees, and eight offices worldwide. Victoria is #19 on Fortune Magazine’s 40 under 40 list and she was named one of Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs in 2012. She has been featured in several publications including The New York Times’ Corner Office, Bloomberg TV, Entrepreneur Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. In her spare time she is an avid snowboarder and surfer and a passionate adventure traveler who once spent six weeks living with a remote Amazonian tribe and five months living in a favela in Brazil.

Anna Mongayt, Palo Alto
Anna MongaytAnna Mongayt is a Co-Founder at Upstart — a crowdfunding platform that lets people raise money in exchange for a portion of their future income. Upstart is enabling young people to alleviate financial burdens such as student loans or living expenses by monetizing their future potential. It helps recent graduates pursue their dreams—to start a business, learn to code, or begin a career in a field they’re passionate about—by matching them with backers who believe in their aspirations. Investors can opt-in to become mentors and earn a return based on a regression model that predicts an individual’s income over ten years.

Jonas Korlach, Newark
Jonas KorlachJonas Korlach is Chief Scientific Officer at Pacific Biosciences. He co-invented the company’s SMRT technology with Stephen Turner, Ph.D., Pacific Biosciences Founder and Chief Technology Officer, when the two were graduate students at Cornell University. SMRT technology dramatically improves the accuracy and speed of DNA sequencing. Dr. Korlach joined Pacific Biosciences as the company’s eighth employee in 2004. Dr. Korlach is the recipient of multiple grants, an inventor on 33 issued U.S. patents, and an author of numerous scientific studies on the principles and applications of SMRT technology, including publications in Nature, Science, and PNAS. He received both his Ph.D. and his M.S. degrees in Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology from Cornell, and received M.S. and B.A. degrees in Biological Sciences from Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany.

Zack Rinat, Redwood Shores
Zack RinatZack Rinat is Model N’s Founder and has served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors and as Chief Executive Officer since its inception in December 1999. Previously, Mr. Rinat co-founded and ultimately served as President and Chief Executive Officer of NetDynamics, Inc., an application server software company, before its acquisition by Sun Microsystems in 1998, where he served as the Vice President and General Manager of the NetDynamics business unit. From 1998 to 1999, Mr. Rinat served as a founding member of the Board of Directors of TradingDynamics, and from 2005 to 2012 he served on the Board of Directors of Conduit Ltd., serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors from 2005 to 2011. Previously, Mr. Rinat held senior management positions in operations, marketing, and engineering at Silicon Graphics, Inc., and at Advanced Technology Israel. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in computer science from the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology).

Posted on Wednesday, May 29th, 2013
Under: Obama presidency | 5 Comments »

Silicon Valley lawyer getting White House post?

CNET is reporting that prominent Silicon Valley attorney Nicole Wong, 44, of Berkeley, will join the Obama administration as the White House’s first chief privacy officer.

Nicole WongWong since November has been San Francisco-based Twitter’s legal director; earlier, she was deputy general counsel at Mountain View-based Google for almost eight years, where she was responsible for the company’s product and regulatory matters. As the New York Times noted in 2008, her colleagues there called her “the Decider” for her role in dealing with international online censorship.

Earlier still, Wong was a partner at Perkins Coie LLP; co-edited the Electronic Media and Privacy Law Handbook; and taught media and Internet law courses as an adjunct professor at UC-Berkeley, Stanford University and the University of San Francisco. She earned a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Georgetown University, and a law degree and a master’s degree in journalism from UC-Berkeley.

Posted on Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
Under: Obama presidency | No Comments »

White House names 4 local ‘Champions of Change’

Four Bay Area residents are among 15 Asian-American and Pacific Islander women nationwide who’ll be honored by the White House next week as “Champions of Change.”

The Champions of Change program is the White House’s effort to feature groups of Americans – individuals, businesses and organizations – who are doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities. This batch was chosen in honor of AAPI Heritage Month.

“These fifteen women represent the strength and diversity of the AAPI community. These leaders – in business, advocacy, philanthropy, sports, the arts, and academia – are wonderful examples for young women across the country,” Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama and chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls, said in a news release.

The 15 honorees will attend a White House ceremony at 10 a.m. Pacific Time on Monday, May 6, streamed live at www.whitehouse.gov/live. Here are the four Bay Area honorees, as described in the White House’s news releases today:

Minh DangMinh Dang, Berkeley
Minh Dang currently serves as the Executive Director for Don’t Sell Bodies, which advocates on behalf of survivors of modern day slavery. By sharing her own story of child abuse and slavery worldwide, Minh has worked to combat child abuse and human trafficking in the United States through direct service, community organizing, and political advocacy. Minh also provides technical assistance and organizational consulting to local, state, and national service providers and government agencies. Recently, Minh helped launch the U.S. Senate Caucus to End Human Trafficking.

Catherine EusebioCatherine Eusebio, Fremont
Catherine Eusebio is a Social Justice Fellow at Asian American/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, where she manages API Dream Summer, a component of a national internship program that engages partners in community and philanthropy to support the leadership development of immigrant youth. Catherine also serves on the Board of Directors of United We Dream, the largest network of immigrant youth-led organizations. In her words, she “she strives to promote change that starts with empowering the most impacted people to lead.”

Mia MingusMia Mingus, Oakland
Mia Mingus is a writer and organizer working for disability justice and transformative justice to end child sexual abuse. She describes herself as a queer physically disabled Korean woman transracial and transnational adoptee who is dedicated to communities and movements working for social justice. She travels nationally, giving talks and trainings, and is a member of the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collaborative, a local collective working to build and support community responses to end child sexual abuse. In Mia’s words, she “longs for a world where disabled children can live free of violence, with dignity and love.”

Van Ton-QuinlivanVan Ton-Quinlivan, Burlingame
As vice chancellor of workforce and economic development of California’s system of 112 community colleges, Van Ton-Quinlivan is working to transform the country’s largest higher education system through Doing What MATTERS for Jobs and Economy™. Van previously worked in the energy and utility industry, where she architected the best-practice model PowerPathway™, which demonstrated the type of collaboration between industry, the public workforce system, education, and organized labor that effectively transitions military veterans and members of underserved communities into energy sector jobs.

Posted on Monday, April 29th, 2013
Under: Obama presidency | 11 Comments »