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On March 17, 2021, The WH announced President Biden’s intent to nominate Jose W. Fernandez to be Under Secretary of State (Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment):
Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Jose W. Fernandez to serve in the following positions: Under Secretary of State (Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment), United States Alternate Governor of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, United States Alternate Governor to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and United States Alternate Governor to the Inter-American Development Bank.
Jose W. Fernandez
Jose Fernandez is a partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, in New York. A former Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs, his accomplishments in the private sector have been recognized in several legal and business publications. Fernandez is Director of the Partnership for Inner City Education in New York and WBGO-FM, a former Commissioner of the New York City Latin Media and Entertainment Commission, and co-founder and former chairman of the board of the Latino International Theater Festival of New York, among many civic activities. He received a Bachelor’s Degree magna cum laude from Dartmouth College, where he later served as trustee, and earned a J.D. and the Parker School Certificate of International Law from Columbia University. He speaks Spanish, Portuguese and French.
According to history.state.gov, Congress first authorized an Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs on Aug 1, 1946, for a 2-year period as the third-ranking officer in the Department (P.L. 79-590; 60 Stat. 789). The position was not renewed, however, and between 1947 and 1958 the ranking officer in the Department handling foreign economic matters was either a Deputy Under Secretary or an Assistant Secretary of State. Changes were made to this position in the intervening years. On May 12, 1994, the title was changed to “Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs.” On December 8, 2011, the title was changed to “Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment.” See more here.
Only two career diplomats were appointed to this position since it was created: Alan Philip Larson who served from 1999–2005 and Thomas Clifton Mann who served from 1965–1966. The last four appointees to this position were all political appointees:
- Josette Sheeran Shiner (2005–2007)
- Reuben Jeffery III (2007–2009)
- Robert David Hormats (2009–2013)
- Catherine Novelli (2014–2017)
- Keith Krach (2019-2021)
"Biden conoce muy bien América Latina, desde el momento en que EE.UU. otorgó ayuda a esta área del continente. Un intento de EE.UU. de trabajar con sus aliados para buscar puntos en comunes", José W. Fernández, exsecretario de Estado adjunto. #RadarTVN pic.twitter.com/Uj36QeKzzO
— TVN Noticias (@tvnnoticias) November 1, 2020
- July 24, 2009: Officially In: Jose W. Fernandez to be A/S at EEB
- Aug 2009: Pending Nominations Update – August 2009
- Nov 2009: SFRC Clears 14 State Dept Nominations
- Sept 2009: SFRC Hearings: Solomont, Feinstein, White, Fernandez
- Nov 2009: Confirmed: Fernandez, Barton, Kennard, Lomellin, King