• President Obama nominated Stephen Higginson to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Higginson currently teaches at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and works part-time in the United States Attorney’s Office, where he supervises the appellate section. Before that, Higginson served as assistant United States attorney chief of appeals in Louisiana’s eastern district, served as a law clerk to the Honorable Byron White of the Supreme Court and completed a six-month stint as the deputy director of special projects for the Presidential Rule of Law Initiative at the State Department. 

• The president intends to nominate Mark Wetjen to be a commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Wetjen currently works as counsel and senior policy adviser to Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies Republicans are headed for a disappointing end to their year in power Obama's HHS secretary could testify in Menendez trial MORE (D-Nev.). Prior to joining Reid’s office in 2004, he was private-practice lawyer in Nevada and California.

• The president nominated Barbara McQuiston to serve as assistant secretary of defense for acquisition within the Defense Department. McQuiston currently works as an independent technology management consultant. She was the president of Trex Technology Group and vice president of Trex Enterprises during 2010. She has worked as director of the Strategic Technologies Office and special assistant to the director of energy within the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. McQuiston has been awarded the Office of Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service.

• President Obama nominated Janice Eberly for the position of assistant secretary for economic policy within the Treasury Department. Eberly is the John L. and Helen Kellogg distinguished professor of finance at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She is also an advisory panelist for the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Congressional Budget Office and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Previously, she worked on the staff of the White House Council of Economic Advisers and was a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.