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LaToya Cantrell elected first female Mayor of New Orleans

Nov. 21, 2017: New Orleans City Councilman LaToya Cantrell, Democrat, was elected as the first female Mayor of New Orleans in a municipal election held on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. Cantrell, 45, defeated fellow Democrat and former Judge Desiree Charbonnet, with Cantrell receiving 60 percent of the votes cast, in a two-candidate runoff election, after a monthlong campaign. Cantrell is scheduled to take office as New Orleans’ 51st Mayor on May 7, 2018, as New Orleans celebrates its 300th anniversary. After her victory on Nov. 18, Cantrell said that she congratulated Charbonnet on her campaign and for making history with Cantrell, because both runoff election candidates were women. Also on Nov. 18, Charbonnet delivered a concession speech.

Cantrell was born in Los Angeles, and she moved to New Orleans to attend Xavier University of Louisiana, where she received a BA degree in sociology. She subsequently completed executive management training at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Cantrell moved to the Broadmoor section of New Orleans in 1999. In 2003, she joined the board of the Broadmoor Improvement Association. She was named the group’s president in 2004. Cantrell worked on an improvement and recovery program for the Broadmoor neighborhood from 2006 to 2012. She and fellow residents formed the Broadmoor School Board, which oversaw the re-opening and renovation of the Andrew H. Wilson School. She was a founding board member of the Broadmoor Development Corporation, a community development corporation. In 2012, Cantrell declared her candidacy for the New Orleans City Council seat vacated when former District B Councilman Stacy Head was elected to an At-Large seat. After the November, 2012, election, candidate Dana Kaplan and Cantrell advanced to a December, 2012, runoff, which Cantrell won with 54 percent of the vote. Cantrell was in office for the rest of Head's fourteen-month term, and Cantrell was re-elected to a four-year term in 2014, running unopposed. As Mayor, Cantrell succeeds current Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who is leaving office after eight years as Mayor due to term limits.

Joseph Otting confirmed as Treasury Department Comptroller of the Currency

Nov. 21, 2017: Joseph Otting was confirmed for a five-year term as the Comptroller of the Currency at the U.S. Department of the Treasury by the U.S. Senate on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Otting succeeds Keith A. Noreika. Otting, born in 1962, was previously the president, chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors at OneWest Bank from 2010 to 2015. Otting started his career at Bank of America, where he held positions in branch management, private banking, and commercial lending. From 1986 to 2001, Otting worked at Union Bank, where he held several posts, including deputy regional vice president, senior vice president, executive vice president, and group head of commercial banking. Between 2001 and 2010, Otting worked at U.S. Bank, a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp. Otting worked as the market president of U.S. Bank in Oregon from December, 2001, to June, 2003 and as the executive vice president and manager of the East Region Commercial Banking Group from June, 2003, to April, 2005. Until he left in 2010, he was one of eight vice chairman, and he worked as the head of commercial banking, and the head of Wholesale Middle Market Business. During his tenure, he led U.S. Bank's efforts in California as the senior executive responsible for expansion in the region. Otting received a bachelor of arts degree in management from the University of Northern Iowa in 1981.

Jeff Clemens resigns as Florida State Senator

Nov. 21, 2017: Jeff Clemens resigned as a Florida State Senator and as the Florida Senate’s Democratic Leader on October 27, 2017. Clemens represented the Lake Worth area. “Please consider this email as my resignation from the Florida Senate,” Clemens wrote in a message to Florida State Senate President Joe Negron, Stuart Republican. Clemens, 47, spent two years in the Florida State House before he was elected to the State Senate in 2012.

Justo Gonzalez appointed Acting Executive Director, Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority

Nov. 21, 2017: Justo Gonzalez was appointed as the Acting Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017. Gonzalez succeeds Ricardo Ramos, who resigned on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017. Gonzalez has worked at PREPA for twenty-eight years. His appointment as Acting Executive Director was recommended by Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello.

Cyndi Nguyen elected as first Vietnamese-American New Orleans City Councilman

Nov. 21, 2017: Cyndi Nguyen was elected as the first Vietnamese-American Member of the New Orleans City Council in a municipal election held on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. Nguyen defeated incumbent James Gray to represent an eastern New Orleans district. Nguyen is an immigrant who fled Vietnam with her family when she was five years old in 1975. Nguyen is the organizer of a non-profit organization.

Brenda Burman confirmed as Commissioner, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Nov. 21, 2017: Brenda Burman was confirmed as the Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation at the U.S. Department of the Interior by the U.S. Senate on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Burman, of Arizona, is currently the Director of Water Strategy at the Salt River project. Burman was previously the Deputy Commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and a Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science during the administration of former President George W. Bush. She also previously held posts at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, The Nature Conservancy, and U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl’s office. Burman received her law degree from the University of Arizona School of Law in 1996. After law school, Burman worked for four years in private practice, where she worked on natural resources issues. She was Kyl’s Legislative Counsel for Energy and Water. Burman left the federal government at the end of the George W. Bush administration, joining The Nature Conservancy as a senior water policy administrator. In 2011, she took a post with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California as the Special Projects Manager. In 2015, Burman was named as the Executive Water Policy Adviser and as the Director of Water Strategy at the Salt River Project.

Joseph Kernan confirmed as Defense Under Secretary for Intelligence

Nov. 21, 2017: Joseph Kernan was confirmed as the Under Secretary for Intelligence at the U.S. Department of Defense by the U.S. Senate on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Kernan is a retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral. His last military assignment was as the Military Deputy Commander of the U.S. Southern Command in Miami from May 23, 2011, to September, 2013. Kernan was previously the Senior Military Assistant to the Defense Secretary from August, 2009, to May, 2011. Before that, he was the Commander of the U.S. Fourth Fleet and the U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command from July 1, 2008, to June 12, 2009, and the Commander of the Naval Special Warfare Command from June, 2007, to June 30, 2008.