April 21, 2014
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Obama Nominates Latina To Lead General Counsel Office For USDA

WASHINGTON  --  President Obama announced the nomination of Ms. Ramona E. Romero to serve as General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  Ms. Romero is currently Corporate Counsel for E. I. Du Pont de Nemours & Company (DuPont).  

Once confirmed, Ms. Romero will assume control and management of the Office of the General Counsel for USDA.   The Office of the General Counsel is an independent legal agency that provides legal advice and services to the Secretary of Agriculture and all other USDA officials, and provides legal support for the numerous agencies of the Department.  The USDA is responsible for developing and executing U.S. policies on farming, agriculture, and food, and its mission includes meeting the needs of farmers and ranchers, promoting trade in agriculture, enhancing agriculture production, assuring food safety, protect natural resources, and working to end hunger in the United States and abroad.

Ms. Romero's nomination is particularly joyous for the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) because Ms. Romero has held a number of leadership positions within it, including service as its National President.  "Today, the HNBA family celebrates Ramona, our erstwhile leader and true and committed friend, for this great honor," said Roman D. Hernandez, HNBA National President.  "Through the years, Ramona has demonstrated leadership driven by extraordinary vision, a wealth of management and governance skills, and the rare ability of sound decisiveness, especially when under pressure. Our great nation stands to benefit significantly from these characteristics as Ramona takes the legal reigns of the Department of Agriculture."

Ms. Romero's personal record is one of overcoming stiff challenges and adversity, and the development of strong character, professional excellence, and national leadership.  When Ms. Romero immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic at the age of twelve, she spoke only Spanish.   She attended Barnard College, Columbia University where she was elected President of her freshman class and she served each year of college as a class officer, including her senior year as President of the Student Government.  She received an Associate Alumnae Fellowship and was awarded the Marian Churchill White Prize.  After receiving a B.A. degree from Columbia, Ms. Romero entered Harvard School of Law where, in addition to her legal studies, she served as an Associate Editor of the International Law Journal, and Director and Attorney of the Prison Legal Assistance Project.  She received her J.D. from Harvard Law in 1988.

Ms. Romero is a national leader who makes an indelible, positive impact on the legal profession.  Within the HNBA, her work is a hallmark of commitment, vision, and legacy building achievement.   She has served as a Regional President, Vice-President of External Affairs, President-Elect, National President, and Immediate Past President.  As HNBA President, she strengthened the organization's infrastructure by shepherding the adoption of new, modern bylaws.  She established the HNBA's Standing Commission on the Status of Latinas in the Profession, which issued a key investigative report on the status of the Latina lawyer, the first of its kind.  Prior to the election of President Obama, Ms. Romero created the HNBA Hispanic Appointments Project, and then followed through by devoting hundred of hours working to place Hispanic attorneys in key positions within the new Administration. When the HNBA was invited to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee at the confirmation hearing of Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Ms. Romero testified on behalf of the HNBA and delivered a strong, measured message that rode on the wings of three decades of HNBA efforts to place a Hispanic on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ms. Romero currently serves as Corporate Counsel, Logistics and Energy for DuPont, where she acts as General Counsel for business teams involved in transactional and logistical issues affecting domestic and international shipments valued in multimillion dollar terms.  She also develops policy positions and congressional testimony, and oversees litigation related to transportation.  Other positions that Ms. Romero has held at DuPont have included Corporate Counsel and Manager, Operations and Partnering; Corporate Counsel, Litigation; and Senior Counsel, Litigation.

Ms. Romero has been widely recognized for her professional achievements and her leadership in the Latino community.  She is a recipient of the Pro Bono Award, International Human Rights Law Group; a number of awards and recognitions from DuPont; listed among the 100 Most Influential Hispanics, Hispanic Business Magazine; recipient of LatinoJustice PRLDEF's Lucero Award; and most recently was a Woman of the Year Finalist (one of four), Hispanic Business Magazine.  

The HNBA is an incorporated, not-for-profit, national membership organization that represents the interests of the more than 100,000 attorneys, judges, law professors, legal professionals, and law students of Hispanic descent in the United States, its territories and Puerto Rico.  For more information about the HNBA, please visit www.hnba.com.



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