US President Joe Biden on Tuesday nominated Julissa Reynoso, first lady Jill Biden’s chief of staff, to be ambassador to Spain. Reynoso, born in the Dominican Republic, is a lawyer by training and was briefly an ambassador to Uruguay. Now, it must be approved by the Senate, which validates these types of appointments.
In addition to being the first lady’s chief of staff, Reynoso has also recently served as deputy chair of the White House Council on Gender Policy, a role in which she has coordinated initiatives to promote gender equality in the United States.
Reynoso is also a diplomat close to Hillary Clinton, who is the one who proposed her as ambassador to Uruguay. As a diplomat, Reynoso has been very familiar with Ibero-American politics and the continent’s corruption problems. As he said in an interview in 2018, “in the State Department I became familiar with all kinds of problems, from the earthquake in Haiti to the political crisis in Honduras and corruption issues throughout Latin America.”
Jill Biden said in a statement: “She has been an exceptional and incredible leader and friend. Given her experience and her heart, I can’t think of anyone better than Julissa to represent us in Spain and Andorra ».
Reynoso is a person of the highest confidence of the first lady of the United States and therefore has a direct communication channel with the White House and with his main tenant. In last year’s elections, he even published a joint forum with Jill Biden in which both denounced Donald Trump’s immigration policies and said that the US “deserves a president who understands that we are a nation of immigrants, united not by nationality. but for a shared dream. We are united by our desire to live up to our own highest aspirations and by a promise: E pluribus unum (Of many, one) ».
Reynoso, whose mother tongue is Spanish, immigrated to the United States at age seven and graduated from Harvard University, Cambridge University, and Columbia Law School. It has always had roots in the Bronx of New York, where there is a very large Dominican community.
During the Obama administration, Reynoso was also Deputy Under Secretary of State for Ibero-America in the State Department, and focused on security policies for Central America and the Caribbean.
Reynoso served in Uruguay as ambassador between 2012 and 2014. According to the then Uruguayan president, José Mujica, Hillary Clinton, who was then the US diplomatic chief, told him: “I am going to give you an ambassador as you need.” . According to the Uruguayan newspaper El País, Mujica had a very favorable impression of her: “She was a lawyer but she didn’t seem like it. He was able to fix a mess of the oranges. Twenty years making arrangements to sell oranges. He fixed it for personal reasons.
During the Trump years, Reynoso was deputy chair of the Democratic Party Finance committee and a volunteer on the Biden campaign. At that time, she gave interviews in which she was very critical of the previous administration. In a note published in Spanish by the Dominican media El Caribe, he said: «This president that we have today is a dangerous person, it is the word that I think is the most appropriate. Four more years of this president can damage the existence of this nation, they can break the nature of the United States and that not only affects us citizens, but the whole world, so it is a critical moment.