Jose W. Fernandez to be Under Secretary of State/E (Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment)

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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:

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Former DocuSign CEO Keith Krach to be Under Secretary of State  for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment (E)

Posted: 4:04 am EST

On January 18, the WH announced the president’s intent to nominate former CEO of DocuSign Keith Krach to be the State Department’s Under Secretary of State  for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment (E), to be the U.S. Alternate Governor for six international banks, and as Board of Director Member for OPIC. Below via the WH:

Keith Krach of California, to be:

  • Under Secretary of State  for 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
  • United States Alternate Governor to the Inter-American Development Bank
  • United States Alternate Governor of the African Development Bank
  • United States Alternate Governor of the African Development Fund
  • United States Alternate Governor of the Asian Development Bank
  • A Member of the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation
    Mr. Krach is Chairman and former CEO of DocuSign, and was also the co-founder, Chairman, and CEO of Ariba.  Prior to that, Mr. Krach was Chief Operating Officer of Rasna Corporation and served as the first Entrepreneur and CEO-in-Residence for Benchmark Capital.  Mr. Krach began his career at General Motors.  Mr. Krach served as Chairman of Purdue University’s Board of Trustees, Chairman of Angie’s List, and is Chairman of the DocuSign Impact Foundation.  He received his B.S. and Honorary Doctorate in Engineering from Purdue University and an M.B.A. from Harvard University.

The Under Secretary of State  for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment oversees the following functional bureaus at the State Department.

Per history.state.gov, on Jul 13, 1972, Congress established separate and permanent positions at the Under Secretary of State level for Economic Affairs and for Political Affairs, in the Foreign Relations Authorization Act (P.L. 92-352; 86 Stat. 490). On Aug 16, 1985, Congress changed the title to include Agricultural Affairs (P.L. 99-93; 99 Stat. 405). The Under Secretary for Economic and Agricultural Affairs serves as the principal adviser to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary (previously Under Secretary) on matters relating to foreign economic and commercial policy. Specified duties, responsibilities, and assignments have varied over time. Each incumbent is commissioned with a functional designation as part of his title. 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.”

Going back to 1946, out of the 18 previous appointees, only two career diplomats have ever been appointed as “E” under secretary  (Mann and Larson).  This non-career nomination for the “E” bureau is not surprising. If confirmed, Mr. Krach would succeed Catherine A. Novelli who was Vice-President of Worldwide Government Affairs at Apple prior to her 2013 nomination.

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Confirmations: Smith, Sherman, Novelli, Kaidanow, Gardner

— Domani Spero

 

On February 12, 2014, the U.S. Senate confirmed the following executive nominations for the State Department:

  • Anthony Luzzatto Gardner, of New York, to be Representative of the United States  of America to the European Union, with the rank and status of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.
  • Tina S. Kaidanow, of the District of Columbia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Coordinator for Counterterrorism, with the rank and status of Ambassador at Large (State/CT)
  • Catherine Ann Novelli, of Virginia, to be an Under Secretary of State (Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment) State/E
  • Robert A. Sherman, of Massachusetts, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Portuguese Republic.
  • Daniel Bennett Smith, of Virginia, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Intelligence and Research) State/INR

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