On May 12, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals for key administration posts in the State Department: María Otero for Global Affairs, Philip L. Verveer as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Communications and Information Policy in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs and U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy, and Arturo Valenzuela for Western Hemisphere Affairs (see separate post).
María Otero, Nominee for Under Secretary of Global Affairs (G)
María Otero, born and raised in La Paz, Bolivia, is 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 has 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. She has become a leading voice on sustainable microfinance, publishing extensively on the subject and speaking throughout the world on microfinance, women’s issues and poverty alleviation. Prior to her work with ACCION, Otero served for five years at the Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA). Otero was also the Economist for Latin America for the Women in Development office of USAID. Otero chairs the board of ACCION Investments, a $50 million microfinance investment company and serves on the boards of BancoSol; the Calvert Foundation; BRAC of Bangladesh, one of the world’s largest NGOs; and the Public Welfare Foundation.
In June 2006, Otero was appointed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to the UN Advisors Group on Inclusive Financial Sectors, and in 2007 was named to the Advisory Councils of the Inter-American Foundation and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Otero holds an M.A. in literature from the University of Maryland and an M.A. in international relations from Johns Hopkins’ Nitze School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS), in Washington, D.C. Since 1997, she has also served as an adjunct professor at SAIS.
Philip L. Verveer, Nominee for the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Communications and Information Policy in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EEB) and U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy
Philip L. Verveer is Of Counsel to the law firm of Jenner & Block LLP. He has practiced communications and antitrust law in the government and in private law practice for more than thirty-five years. From 1969 to 1981, Verveer practiced as a trial attorney in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, as a supervisory attorney in the Bureau of Competition of the Federal Trade Commission, and as the chief of the Cable Television Bureau, the Broadcast Bureau, and the Common Carrier Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission. Between 1973 and 1977, he served as the Antitrust Division’s first lead counsel in the investigation and prosecution of United States v. American Tel. & Tel. Co., the case that eventuated in the divestiture of the Bell System. As a Bureau Chief at the FCC, Verveer participated in a series of decisions that enabled increased competition in video and telephone services and limited regulation of information services. In 1979, Verveer became a charter member of the Senior Executive Service and in 1980 received the Distinguished Presidential Rank award. Since 1981, Verveer has engaged in private law practice in Washington, DC. In 1995 and 1996 he chaired the Federal Advisory Committee that identified the spectrum requirements necessary to afford public safety organizations efficient and interoperable wireless communications. He has served on the Visiting Committee of the University of Chicago Law School and the Executive Committee of the Alumni Board of Governors of Georgetown University.