A Northeast Pennsylvania native who previously served the Carter and Clinton administrations was one of two people appointed Thursday to a position in President Barack Obama’s administration.

Sondra Myers, a Scranton resident and staff member at the University of Scranton, was appointed to the Commission on Presidential Scholars. Members are chosen by the president and are in charge of selecting about 140 presidential scholars from a pool of about 3,000 high school candidates.

“I’m very excited,” said Ms. Myers. “First of all, I am a great fan of our president, and from the beginning, I was hoping that I might do something for him in his administration.”

Ms. Myers, who was born in Old Forge, is the senior fellow for international, civic and cultural projects at the University of Scranton and the director of its Schemel Forum, a not-for-credit continuing-education program. In addition, she has written numerous books, including “The New Rwanda: Prosperity and the Public Good.”

“I think she’ll be a spectacular contribution to what President Obama is trying to accomplish,” said Harold Baillie, Ph.D., vice president of academic affairs at the University of Scranton.

In a White House news release, Mr. Obama said, “I am pleased to announce that these experienced and committed individuals have agreed to join this administration, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”

In her new position, Ms. Myers said she hopes to keep the program at least as good as it is now, or make it even better.

“What I hope I’m going to bring in is helpful, good judgment with whom to select,” she said.

MEGHAN DAVIS, The Times-Tribune
Publication Date: November 5, 2011 

Obama picks Scranton woman for commission
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