Cannon, Martin Named to Obama Transition Team

November 18, 2008

Law School Professors Jonathan Z. Cannon and David A. Martin have been named members of President-elect Barack Obama's transition team.

Cannon, Martin
Jonathan Cannon, left, and David Martin.

Martin will serve on the Agency Review Team for the Department of Homeland Security, while Cannon will join a team on the Environmental Protection Agency.

Martin will bring a special focus on immigration issues to the Homeland Security Team. He is the co-author of a leading casebook on immigration and citizenship, and served as general counsel of the Immigration and Naturalization Service from 1995 to 1998 under President Bill Clinton.

Responsibilities formerly handled by the INS were transferred to the Department of Homeland Security when DHS was created in 2003, and are now assigned to three separate bureaus.

"I am honored and excited to be involved in this transition work," Martin said. "Immigration will be a significant issue for the new administration to consider, and I welcome the opportunity to contribute toward making the immigration pieces of Homeland Security work as effectively as possible."

Martin is the Warner-Booker Distinguished Professor of International Law. Before joining the Virginia faculty he was special assistant to the assistant secretary for human rights and humanitarian affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

He has twice served as a consultant to the Administrative Conference of the United States, preparing studies and recommendations on federal migrant worker assistance programs and on reforms to political asylum adjudication procedures. In 1993 he undertook a consultancy for the U.S. Department of Justice that led to major reforms of the U.S. political asylum adjudication system. In 2003-04 he was asked by the State Department to provide a comprehensive study of the U.S. overseas refugee admissions program, leading to recommendations for reform of that system.

Cannon, the Blaine T. Phillips Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law and director of the Law School's Environmental and Land Use Law Program, served as general counsel for the Environmental Protection Agency from 1995 to 1998 and as assistant administrator for administration and resources management from 1992 to 1995. He also held senior management positions at the agency from 1986 to 2000.

"It's a privilege to serve and help the new administration get established and begin to operate effectively," he said.

Cannon was in the private practice of environmental law before joining the EPA and also served as an adjunct professor at Washington and Lee Law School, where he taught environmental law. He has authored numerous articles on environmental law and policy, including several on relationships among the EPA and the White House, Congress and the courts. He has also written on the Supreme Court's decision in Massachusetts v. EPA , a 2006 ruling that affirmed the EPA's right to regulate greenhouse gasses, which is likely to figure importantly in early efforts to address climate change.

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

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