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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release November 15, 1994
     President Clinton today announced his intention to nominate

Shirley S. Chater, Ph.D., the current Commissioner of Social Security, to head the Social Security Administration when it becomes an independent agency next year.

"In the year since she was sworn in as the current Commissioner, Dr. Chater has taken decisive steps to improve service to Americans with disabilities, to streamline the agency and make it more efficient, and to enact high customer service standards for the more than 49 million Americans who receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits," the President said. "I can think of no better person to protect and maintain the Administration's commitment to Social Security."

Dr. Chater was sworn in as Commissioner of Social Security on October 8, 1993. In her first year, she has initiated measures to reengineer the agency's processes for handling disability claims, to streamline the agency and shift a greater proportion of personnel and resources to SSA field offices, and to improve service delivery processes and systems.

Prior to taking the position as Commissioner of Social Security, Dr. Chater was President of Texas Woman's University. She holds a B.S. degree from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.S. from the University of California-San Francisco, and a Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley. She also holds a certificate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Program for Senior Executives.

Dr. Chater is a member of the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Nursing, the National Academy of Public Administration, and the National Academy of Social Insurance.

She has held various positions in public universities and academic settings and has been heavily involved in a number of public service efforts, particularly relating to health care.

The Social Security Independence and Program Improvements Act of 1994, passed this year by Congress, will establish SSA as an independent agency on March 31, 1995. Under the law, the Commissioner of Social Security will serve for a six-year term.