What does the DUSD/ATL have to do with Healthcare Reform or Amnesty International?

I must admit that I started this diary not intending to “go down this road” whereas I was interested in determining the Deputy Under Sec of Defense for Acquisitions, Technology, and Logistics (DUSD/ATL) nominee’s views regarding Earned Value Management (I am a DoD Contractor, specializing in EVM and Program Management). However, the inquiry lead me to Healthcare, Gitmo, and Feminism (of all places!)

All that, and I still do not know his views on EVM or Cost-Reimbursable contracts….

Via the Corner today and Daniel Foster:

Mr. Shelby still has holds on three nominees whose jobs would be related to the tanker project. They are Terry A. Yonkers, nominated for assistant secretary of the Air Force; Frank Kendall III, for principal deputy under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics; and Erin C. Conaton, for under secretary of the Air Force.

So, I Googled Mr. Kendall and amongst all the noise I found a short Wiki entry and an entry in LinkedIn.

The first thing that jumped out at me was his odd specialties in LinkedIn: Aerospace and Defense Industry Consultant (expected) and Human Rights Attorney (WHAT?)
In Wiki, it notes that Mr. Kendall is a lawyer whose credentials include “…serving on the board of directors of Amnesty International, Human Rights First and the Tahirih Justice Center. Kendall has traveled to the Guantanamo Bay detention camps, as a human rights observer.” There is no mention of his consultancy in Defense or Aerospace. Odd credentials for someone who is to be the DUSD/ATL.

So I dug a little further into the LinkedIn entry, and found that Mr. Kendall is the Managing Partner at Renaissance Strategic Advisors, a Defense Industry Consultancy group based in DC. Nothing spectacular here.

I then looked him up on Sourcewatch to see what other information I could find. Here is where it got REAL interesting.

According to the article, Mr. Kendall:
– Is a graduate of West Point and has over 30 years experience in Engineering, Management, and Defense Acquisition. “Okay”, I say to me.
– Masters in Engineering and MBA from LIU. “Cool”, says me again.
– Recent Juris Doctoris from Georgetown (2004). Licensed in VA and NY. “Ummm, okay?” Kinda odd….
– At the top of the article, first line (that I skipped over somehow, at first…!) states:

[Mr. Kendall] “is an activist in the human rights field with a number of organizations including the Tahirih Justice Center, where he is currently chair of the Board of Directors and a volunteer pro bono attorney. He is also actively involved with Human Rights First and Amnesty International on human rights issues, particularly those related to combating terrorism. Mr. Kendall also serves as a senior advisor to the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC in human rights related policy and national security policy.”

So, let me get this right. BHO’s pick for the DUSD/ATL is an active “Activist” and Terrorist Lawyer?

I have never heard of the Tahirih Justice Center, so I sourced it also. Here is what the page says:

The Tahirih Justice Center “is a nationally recognized Washington, DC area-based organization that enables women and girls fleeing gender-based violence to access justice in the United States through high-quality pro bono legal services and bridge building public policy advocacy.”

He is the Chair of the Board. As genial as it is made out to be, how are these credentials for an USD?

His Vice-Chair, Leah Rampy

“has over 20 years of study and practical experience in leadership, having been responsible for leadership training at …Fannie Mae. [snip] She is also a founding member of the McLean Connections Steering Committee, a grass roots organization that has helped to bring multicultural dialogues to the community in an effort to increase understanding and resilience post 9/11.”

Great. Wonderful. Another community organizer and “leadership provider” for Fannie Mae. Lovely organizational leadership they have there.

Now, back to Mr. Kendall. He is married to E. Elizabeth (Beth) Halpern, an associate attorney with Hogan & Hartson in the DC Metro Area. Her practice focuses on, get this,

“health care law, with an emphasis on coverage and reimbursement for drugs, devices, and health care services. She advises pharmaceutical companies, device manufacturers, providers, and related trade associations on compliance with current regulations and responding to proposed changes in the law.”

She has co-authored two publications released by H&H: An implementation timeline for Medicare Secondary Payer and “‘Game Changers’: Moving Health Care Reform Beyond Coverage and Payment.” Reforming U.S. Health Care Issue Brief; the latter being of importance here. The summary reads:

For many years, discussions of health care reform in the United States basically came down to two issues: expanding access to health care services (coverage) and changing who, how, and how much we pay for it (payment). The current debate is built on additional dimensions: improving the quality and coordination of health care, as well as measures that over the long term should improve both the effectiveness and efficiency of health care delivery and decision-making. The Obama administration has proposed that in this round, building on a set of “game changers” will result in a different kind of debate as policymakers, providers, and patients come to think differently about health and how health care is provided and consumed in America. This update will begin to discuss efforts to provide a foundation for most of these game changers already are under way.

So, in short, the pick for our DUSD/ATL is a human rights activist and terrorist lawyer who is the board of Directors Chair of a Human Rights Policy advisory organization with Feminist Majority Foundation ties, and is married to a lawyer who is focused on Health Care Reform and has issued a brief on shaping public opinion on “Health and how Health Care is provided and consumed.”

Right. Nothing to see here. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

Here is hoping Senator Shelby keeps this appointment held up FOREVER.