White House hires lobbyist Malinowski

President Obama has nominated Tom Malinowski, the Washington director for Human Rights Watch, to be the administration’s point person on human rights.

Malinowski, who got the nod Monday for the job of assistant secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor at the State Department, had been the poster child for discontent over the Obama administration’s ban on hiring lobbyists. He’d been a lobbyist for Human Rights Watch for more than a decade, and those chafing at the White House’s no-K Streeters rule early on in the Obama administration thought it unfair not to distinguish between lobbyists for do-gooder causes and those who shilled for corporate America.

But that was then... and Malinowski’s last lobbying-disclosure form was filed in 2008, putting him well beyond the two-year “cooling off” period Obama prescribed.

The White House also made a few other appointments, including Evan Ryan to be assistant secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State. Ryan works for Vice President Biden and was on the staff of then-first lady Hillary Clinton.

Obama also tapped two more ambassadors: White House deputy chief of staff and former Senate staffer Mark Childress is heading to Tanzania, while attorney and former federal district judge Carlos Moreno was nominated for the Belize ambassadorship.

Elsewhere in White House moves, presidential personnel director Nancy Hogan is leaving, and will be replaced by her deputy, Jonathan McBride.

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.


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