I would like to welcome everyone, especially Mr. Hayes, who is joined by his wife, Mary Howard Hayes, and daughter Amy Hayes; Mr. Rappoport, who is joined by his wife, Suzi Rappoport, and son Sloan Rappoport; and Ms. Espinosa, whose daughter was unable to attend because tonight is opening night of her high school play. Before we proceed, Senator Frist is here, and he would like to make a brief statement on behalf of Mr. Hayes. Also, I understand that Senator Bingaman would like to introduce Ms. Espinosa. All of our witnesses were nominated by the President on January 9 of this year, and we have received their paperwork in the interim. It is my intention that the Committee act expeditiously on these nominations.
Understandably, General Flowers, the President's nominee for President and Member of the Mississippi River Commission, cannot join us today. In his current post as the Army Corps of Engineers District Commander of the Lower Mississippi Valley, he is having to make critical decisions with respect to the terrible flooding in that area. The record will be left open for one week ending March 21 to accommodate written questions from members, which will in turn, be answered by General Flowers within the following two weeks ending April 4 before any action is taken on his nomination.
I am pleased to report that all of the nominees have impressive and diverse backgrounds and are well-suited to the positions before them. Johnny Hayes has served as a TVA Director since 1993. Some of you may recall when Mr. Hayes appeared before this Committee in 1993, as the President's nominee to fill the term of outgoing Director Marvin Runyon. Over the last three and a half years, Mr. Hayes has used his extensive experience in economic development to help modernize and streamline TVA's programs. TVA is undergoing some major changes right now, with the phase out of its appropriated programs, as well as the larger restructuring of the electric utility industry. It is my hope that TVA will make a successful transition from a federal agency to a power business. Mr. Hayes, the demands before you are great, but I am confident in your ability to face the challenges ahead.
The President's nominees to be trustees of the Mo Udall Foundation also have impressive backgrounds. The Foundation was established by Congress in 1992 to honor Congressman Mo Udall for his service to the nation as an environmental leader and a defender of Native American rights. The Foundation operates scholarship and fellowship programs for outstanding U.S. students who are interested in pursuing careers in environmental policy, conflict resolution, health care, and Native American public policy.
Judith Espinosa is the current President of the "Alliance for Transportation Research Institute" at the University of New Mexico. She has served as both Secretary of Transportation and Secretary of the Environment for the state of New Mexico. She has also given a substantial amount of her limited free time as a mentor to students living within disadvantaged communities in New Mexico and California.
Mr. Rappoport, who has served on the Udall Board for the past two years, has a great deal of experience with water and other natural resource issues. For the past 23 years, he has served in a variety of leadership capacities for the Salt River Project, a mammoth water and electricity utility in Phoenix. I might add that Mr. Rappoport is a veteran of Capitol Hill, having worked as a House legislative assistant in the early seventies.
I look forward to hearing what today's witnesses have to say about their backgrounds and what they hope to accomplish. Thank you.