WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Ramona E. Romero as General Counsel of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Once sworn-in, Ms. Romero will become the first Latina attorney to serve in this role. She is currently a Corporate Counsel at E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company (DuPont). During the 2008-2009 bar year, Ms. Romero served as National President of the HNBA.
In her new role, Ms. Romero will manage the Office of General Counsel and supervise the team of over 300 legal professionals which provides legal advice to the Secretary of Agriculture, other USDA officials and agencies. Diana S. Sen, HNBA National President, noted that "we are delighted that the Senate confirmed Ms. Romero to such a prestigious position. The HNBA has seen first-hand that Ms. Romero possesses the vision, extraordinary legal skills, integrity and commitment to serve as the top legal advisor to the United States Secretary of Agriculture and the leaders of the USDA's broad-ranging and diverse mission areas." The USDA's mission includes: meeting the needs of farmers and ranchers through credit, crop insurance, commodity, conservation and disaster assistance programs; facilitating domestic and international trade in agriculture; ensuring that the Nation's supply of meat, poultry and egg products is safe; administering our national forests and grasslands; protecting natural resources and the environment through sustainable land management; working to end hunger and improve health in the United States and abroad; protecting animal and plant health; conducting agricultural and economic research; and enhancing life in rural communities through financial programs that support access to public services and facilities such as electricity, telephone, broadband, health clinics, housing, water, and sewer systems.
Ms. Romero is a distinguished lawyer who is a leader, pioneer, and mentor. She has served on multiple boards and advisory committees. Within the HNBA, she has served as National President, President-Elect, National Vice President of External Affairs, and Regional President. Under her leadership, HNBA established the Standing Commission on the Status of Latinas in the Legal Profession, which issued a groundbreaking investigative report on the status of Latina lawyers. In addition, Ms. Romero testified in her role as HNBA National President before the Senate Judiciary Committee at the confirmation hearing of Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. She has also been a champion in promoting and advancing diversity within the legal profession and mentors many attorneys.
In both 2007 and 2010, Ms. Romero was identified as one of the United States' 100 most influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business Magazine, which also selected her as one of four finalists for its Woman of the Year Award in 2009. Ms. Romero has received numerous awards and honors, including the LatinoJustice PRLDEF Lucero ("guiding star ") Award.
Ms. Romero received her B.A. from Barnard College, Columbia University and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.