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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 15, 1993


President Clinton announced his intention today to appoint five members to the Board of Directors of the Federal National Mortgage Association: William M. Daley, John R. Sasso, Russell G. Barakat, Jose Villarreal, and Thomas A. Leonard.

"These five people have consistently proven themselves among the most capable in the country," said the President. "I welcome their commitment to the work of ensuring sound and fair management at Fannie Mae."

William M. Daley, currently serving as President Clinton's Special Counsellor for the North American Free Trade Agreement, is a partner in the Chicago law firm of Mayer, Brown, & Platt. From 1989 until earlier this year, Daley served as President and Chief Operating Officer of the Amalgamated Bank of Chicago. He also serves as Vice Chairman of the Amalgamated Investments Company, and on the boards of the Federal National Mortgage Association, and the Wheelabrator Technologies, Inc. In addition, Daley is the chief advisor to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, and has been active in numerous civic activities and national and local political campaigns. Daley holds a B.S. from Loyola University and J.D. from the John Marshall Law School, and served in the Army National Guard and Air National Guard from 1970-76. He resides in Chicago with his wife Loretta, and three children, Lauren, Maura and William.

John R. Sasso is the President of Advanced Strategies, Inc., a corporate communications and public affairs consulting firm. Before taking that position in 1990, he spent two years as Senior Vice President of Hill, Holiday, Connors and Cosmopulos, Inc., New England's largest advertising agency. From 1981-88, Sasso worked for former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, as his gubernatorial campaign manager, transition director, and chief of staff, and as campaign manager and vice chairman of his 1988 presidential campaign. In 1984, Sasso managed the vice presidential campaign of New York Congresswoman Geraldine Ferarro. He has also worked in senior positions for Massachusetts Congressman Gerry Studds and for Senator Ted Kennedy's 1980 presidential campaign. Sasso holds his B.A. from Boston University. He lives in Wayland, MA.

Russell G. Barakat is the Executive Director of the Broward County, Florida Housing Authority, a position he has held since 1972. In that capacity, he manages an annual budget of close to $20 million and a staff of 67 full-time employees. The Authority oversees in excess of $53 million in new construction and rehab developments, and $115 million in rent subsidies. Barakat has also been active in a number of national housing organizations, including the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association, the Urban Land Institute, and the National Leased Housing Association, which he served as a director from 1978-83. Barakat is 53 years old.

Jose Villarreal, a partner in the law firm of McGinnis, Lochridge & Kilgore, served as deputy campaign manager of the Clinton/Gore campaign, and was deputy director of political affairs for the presidential transition team. He was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the U.S. Hispanic Congressional Caucus. Villarreal previously served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Public Finance Section of the Texas Attorney General's office. He has long been active in civic affairs and has served on the governing boards of numerous public interest organizations and public bodies including his work as Voting Rights Attorney and Political Director for the Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project. He also serves as General Counsel to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. He is a graduate of Purdue University and the Indiana University School of Law.

Thomas A. Leonard is a partner in the Philadelphia law firm of Obermayer, Rebmann, Maxwell & Hippel, where he is chairman of the litigation department and serves on the management committee. From 1979-83, he was the Comptroller of the City of Philadelphia. In addition to his legal work, Leonard has been extensively involved in a variety of civic and political activities. He was President of the Sierra Club in 1984-85, and has also been president of the Korean-American Friendship Society and Pennsylvania Chapter of the Irish-American Partnership. He has served on the boards of directors of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, the Philadelphia Orchestra Council, and the Academy of Sciences, Philadelphia, and is a managing trustee of the Democratic National Committee. He was a delegate to the 1976, 1980, and 1992 Democratic National conventions.

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