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President Bush delivers remarks to Cabinet and Sub-Cabinet Members in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 16, 2002.  White House photo by Paul Morse.
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Joel Szabat -- Small Business Administration
Chief of Staff

Joel Szabat has been appointed Chief of Staff for the U.S. Small Business Administration by SBA Administrator Steven C. Preston. In his role as Chief of Staff, Szabat will play a critical role in ensuring that the Administrator's initiatives are carried out, and will serve as one of the primary advisors to Administrator Preston and the agency's senior managers. "Joel brings strong hands-on management experience to our team, which will be critical in partnering with me to address many of the operational opportunities and challenges we face at the SBA," said SBA Administrator Steven C. Preston. "We will build upon the many valuable programs at the SBA by emphasizing the importance of a customer-centric culture, operational responsiveness, and sophisticated financial management." Prior to joining SBA, Szabat served the Department of Transportation as Counselor for Transportation Infrastructure. There, he led department-wide initiatives such as the President's Management Agenda, Pandemic Flu planning, Hurricane Katrina Lessons Learned, and interagency research coordination. In 2005, Szabat served the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, as the Transportation Counselor to the Ambassador directing the U.S. government's $544 million transportation reconstruction program in Iraq. Joel originally joined DOT in 2002 as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy. Before joining DOT, Szabat served as the Principal Consultant for Transportation for Republicans in the California State Assembly, served as a management and budget aide to the Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and worked in a management consulting firm in the private sector. Szabat received a B.A. in economics and government from Georgetown University in 1981, and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1988. Between Georgetown and Harvard, Joel was in the United States Army during the Cold War, commanding tank units patrolling the East-West German border. Szabat is from Sacramento, California. He is the founder of the International Leadership Foundation, a non-profit organization providing public service scholarships for Asian American college students. His wife, Chiling Tong, also serves President Bush in the Commerce Department.

Joel Szabat
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