Washington, DC-Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR (National Council of La Raza), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, today praised the confirmation of María Otero, President Obama's nominee for Under Secretary of Global Affairs, Department of State.
"With her confirmation, María Otero becomes the highest-ranking Hispanic ever to serve at the State Department," said Murguía. "She joins a growing group of exceptionally well-qualified Hispanics serving in the administration. With her experience and background, she will be a valuable asset to President Obama and the country."
Prior to her confirmation at the State Department, Ms. Otero was President and CEO of ACCION International, a pioneer and leader in microfinance working in 25 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and in the United States. Under Otero's tenure as CEO, ACCION's network expanded its reach from serving 460,000 people to over 3.7 million through a combined portfolio that has grown from $274 million to nearly $3.6 billion. In June 2006, Otero was appointed by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to the United Nations Advisors Group on Inclusive Financial Sectors, and in 2007 she was named to the Advisory Councils of the Inter-American Foundation and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
"Her record of service is exemplary and provides her with the knowledge and capacity to help lead the State Department at a critically important time," added Murguía.
"We also applaud Secretary Hillary Clinton's significant efforts to make this State Department the most diverse in American history. To that end, NCLR urges the swift confirmation of Dr. Arturo Valenzuela as Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Department of State. Dr. Valenzuela is both a respected scholar and proven diplomat, and it's not surprising that his nomination to this critical position is highly popular, both in the U.S. and abroad," Murguía concluded.
For more information, visit www.nclr.org.