President Biden Announces 10 Key Nominations

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WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate the following ten individuals to serve in key roles:

  • Rostin Behnam, Nominee for Chair and Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
  • Kristin Johnson, Nominee for Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
  • Christy Goldsmith Romero, Nominee for Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
  • Alvaro Bedoya, Nominee for Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission
  • Reta Jo Lewis, Nominee for President and Chair of the Export-Import Bank of the United States
  • Jed Kolko, Nominee for Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs at the Department of Commerce
  • Maria ‘Marisa’ Lago, Nominee for Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade at the Department of Commerce
  • Arthur Jemison, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing at the Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Alanna McCargo, Nominee for President of the Government National Mortgage Association at the Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Elaine Trevino, Nominee for Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the United States Trade Representative

Rostin Behnam, Nominee for Chair and Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Rostin Behnam joined the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in 2017 as a Commissioner, and since January 2021 has served as the Acting Chairman. During his tenure, Behnam has fostered public and private partnerships to ensure that the derivatives markets operate transparently and fairly and innovate responsibly while addressing new and emergent risks. Behnam prioritizes safeguarding customer protections, examining potential systemic market risk, and engaging in public dialog on globally significant issues such as climate-related financial market risk, interest rate benchmark reform, diversity, equity, and inclusion in the financial markets, and the rise of retail participation in emerging markets.

In 2019, Behnam spearheaded the establishment of the CFTC’s Market Risk Advisory Committee’s Climate Related Market Risk Subcommittee. He requested the September 2020 report Managing Climate Risk in the U.S. Financial System, the first of-its-kind effort from a U.S. government entity. Behnam previously served as senior counsel to U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, practiced law in New York City, and worked at the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General within the Bureau of Securities. Behnam earned an A.B. from Georgetown University and a J.D. from the Syracuse University College of Law.

Kristin Johnson, Nominee for Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Kristin N. Johnson is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law at Emory University School of Law. She works on financial markets risk management law and policy with specialization in the regulation of complex financial products including the origination, distribution, and secondary market trading, clearing, and settlement of securities and derivatives.  She has lectured at law schools throughout the United States and published on financial markets regulation. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute, an American Bar Foundation Fellow, and Chair-Elect of the Securities Regulation Section of the Association of American Law Schools. Before joining Emory, Kristin served as an Associate Dean and McGlinchey Stafford Professor of Law at Tulane University Law School.

Prior to her academic appointments, Kristin practiced law firm in New York City advising domestic and international clients on diverse financial transactions. After attending the University of Michigan Law School where she served as an editor of the Michigan Law Review, she clerked for the Honorable Joseph A. Greenaway, Jr. of the District Court of New Jersey, elevated to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. She is a graduate of the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. 

Christy Goldsmith Romero, Nominee for Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Christy Goldsmith Romero is the Special Inspector General for the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP).  Ms. Goldsmith Romero was nominated as Special Inspector General by President Barack Obama on February 1, 2012 and confirmed by the United States Senate on March 29, 2012.  In that role, she leads an independent office conducting investigations and audits of federal programs created in response to the financial crisis.  Since 2019, Ms. Goldsmith Romero has also served as an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center and University of Virginia Law School, teaching courses in securities regulation, cryptocurrency regulation, and federal oversight.

Ms. Goldsmith Romero previously served in various roles at SIGTARP, and at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  She served as counsel to SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro and Chairman Christopher Cox, and as an attorney in the SEC Division of Enforcement.  Prior to joining the SEC, Ms. Goldsmith Romero was a litigator at the law firms of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld; Snell & Wilmer; and Jenner & Block. She also served a federal judicial clerkship. Ms. Goldsmith Romero earned a B.S. in business from Old Dominion University and a J.D. from Brigham Young University Law School.

Alvaro Bedoya, Nominee for Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission

Alvaro Bedoya is the founding director of the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law, where he is a visiting professor of law. His research and advocacy focus on the idea that privacy is for everyone. His exposés on the harms of face recognition technology have helped usher the passage of face recognition restrictions across the country, led the National Institute of Standards & Technology to conduct the first comprehensive bias audit of face recognition algorithms, and paved the way for a federal law requiring bias testing in airport face recognition systems, section 1919 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. He also co-led a coalition that successfully pressed an Internet giant to drop ads for online payday loans, which were often served in response to searches like “I need money to pay rent” or “I need money for groceries.” Previously, Bedoya served as the first chief counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law upon the subcommittee’s creation in 2011. As a Senate staffer, Bedoya drafted bipartisan legislation to protect victims of sexual assault, conducted oversight hearings of technology companies, and helped negotiate and draft bipartisan legislation to rein in the National Security Agency. 

A naturalized citizen born in Peru, Bedoya co-founded the Esperanza Education Fund, a status-blind college scholarship that has awarded over $1 million to immigrant and first-generation students in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of CASA and CASA in Action. A graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School, Bedoya lives in Rockville, Maryland with his wife, Dr. Sima Zadeh Bedoya, a pediatric psychologist at the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute. They have two toddlers. 

Reta Jo Lewis, Nominee for President and Chair of the Export-Import Bank of the United States

Reta Jo Lewis has over 25 years of leadership experience in international affairs, legal, public policy, business and regulatory affairs, and subnational diplomacy. She is a Senior Fellow and Director of Congressional Affairs at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF).At GMF, Lewis leads and oversees initiatives, programs, and bipartisan exchanges for members of the U.S. Congress and their European counterparts. She joined GMF in 2015 as a Senior Resident Fellow with the Transatlantic Leadership Program, where she focused on leadership development and subnational diplomacy efforts.  She established and leads GMF’s Women of Color in Transatlantic Leadership Program.  Prior to joining GMF, she served as the first-ever Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs under Secretary Hillary Clinton at the U.S. Department of State during the Obama-Biden Administration. As Special Representative, Lewis was the chief diplomat in charge of the international efforts tobuild and support strategic relationships between the U.S. Department of State, state and local leaders, and their foreign counterparts. In 2013, she was awarded the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award.

Prior to joining the State Department, Ms. Lewis was Of Counsel at Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP.  Previous legal experience includes serving as a Shareholder at one of the largest international law firms, Greenberg Traurig LLP. Her legal practice focused on providing strategic corporate, legal, and consulting counsel to the firms’ business, public finance, regulatory, and state and local clients. Ms. Lewis was the first African-American woman to serve as Vice President and Counselor to the President at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She led the Chamber’s initiatives focused on fostering strategic alliances between small businesses, especially women- and minority-owned businesses, entrepreneurs, and executives. Prior to her tenure at the Chamber, she was Special Assistant for Political Affairs to President Bill Clinton. She is a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Member of the Board of the Leadership Council for Women in National Security. Ms. Lewis received a J.D. from Emory University School of Law, an M.S.A.J. from American University, and a B.A. from the University of Georgia. She is a native of Statesboro, Georgia.

Jed Kolko, Nominee for Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs at the Department of Commerce

Jed Kolko has been Chief Economist at Indeed.com since 2016. He was Chief Economist and VP of Analytics at Trulia from 2011 to 2015. He is on the board of directors of the National Association for Business Economics and the California Budget and Policy Center.
He has also held research positions at the Public Policy Institute of California, Forrester Research, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (now FHFA), the World Bank, and the Progressive Policy Institute. He incorporates proprietary and public data into research that is accessible and actionable for a wide range of audiences. His research spans employment, housing, local economic development, and technology issues. He earned his A.B. in social studies and his Ph.D. in economics at Harvard University.

Maria ‘Marisa’ Lago, Nominee for Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade at the Department of Commerce

Marisa Lago serves as the Director of the NYC Department of City Planning and Chair of the City Planning Commission. Lago previously served in the Obama Administration as the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for International Markets and Development. In this capacity, she oversaw the U.S. government’s overseas development activities with the World Bank and its regional counterparts. In addition, she directed Treasury’s portfolio on international financial services regulation, climate finance, trade in financial services, and technical assistance to developing countries on public financial management.  

During her career in public service, Lago headed the Office of International Affairs for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of NYS Empire State Development; and was Boston’s Chief Economic Development Officer.  In the private sector, Lago spent five years as the Global Head of Compliance for Citigroup’s corporate and investment bank.  Lago earned a J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School, and a B.S. in physics from Cooper Union.

Arthur Jemison, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing at the Department of Housing and Urban Development

James Arthur Jemison II (Arthur) is currently the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Community Planning and Development at HUD. Mr. Jemison joined HUD in January 2021 from the City of Detroit, where he was Group Executive for Planning, Housing & Development, leading the City’s development agenda, working in partnership with Directors of the Housing & Revitalization Department, the Planning & Development Department, the Detroit Land Bank Authority, Detroit Housing Commission (Public Housing Authority). In early 2014, he served as Director of the new Housing & Revitalization Department for the City of Detroit  as the City recovered from bankruptcy.  Before coming to Detroit, Mr. Jemison served as Deputy Undersecretary and Deputy Director for the Department of Housing and Community Development( for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts under Governor Deval Patrick. Prior to that, Mr. Jemison held a variety of public- and private-sector leadership positions in planning, development and public housing, primarily in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.

Mr. Jemison has a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude in Social Thought and Political Economy from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He also holds a Master of City Planning degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellow. Jemison lives in Michigan with his wife, two sons and a daughter.

Alanna McCargo, Nominee for President of the Government National Mortgage Association at the Department of Housing and Urban Development

Alanna McCargo currently serves as Senior Advisor for housing finance in the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). Her career in housing spans decades and has centered on how America’s housing finance system can equitably provide credit and capital to households and affordable housing stakeholders. She joined the Biden-Harris Administration after serving as Vice President of the Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute, a social and economic policy research firm where she led and developed research programming in collaboration with key housing industry, nonprofit, and government agencies to support housing policy research. She developed a body of work focused on reducing racial homeownership gaps, increasing housing affordability, and reducing barriers to accessing credit and capital. McCargo also served as Executive Director of the Mortgage Servicing Collaborative, a cross-sector initiative that identified and developed policy recommendations for mortgage servicing and securitization reforms to enable a more stable housing finance system.

Before joining the Urban Institute, McCargo held roles as Vice President and Head of Government Solutions with CoreLogic, a property and mortgage data analytics firm, and as Vice President with JP Morgan Chase’s Home Lending division. Previously, McCargo spent a decade at Fannie Mae, where she led policy development and secondary mortgage market programs and had leadership roles on key corporate initiatives. From 2008 through 2012 she served as Senior Director of Servicing Portfolio Management and played a central role in the partnership with the US Department of Treasury in executing the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. She was instrumental in foreclosure prevention efforts, loan restructuring, and distressed asset management programs. She was a leader in the work with the Federal Housing Finance Agency on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage servicing alignment efforts. She has a BA from the University of Houston and an MBA from the University of Maryland. She currently resides in Virginia with her husband.

Elaine Trevino, Nominee for Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the United States Trade Representative

Elaine Trevino is the President of the Almond Alliance of California (AAC), a member-based trade association that advocates on regulatory and legislative issues in areas of international trade, food safety, water quality and availability, crop protection, air quality, worker safety, supply chain and feed quality. As the leader of an organization that advocates for California’s leading agricultural export, Elaine understands tariff and nontariff barriers to trade and the importance of maintaining America’s strong trade agreements and global positioning. Elaine has worked on advocating for funding for COVID-19 relief, addressing retaliatory tariffs, climate smart farming, public private partnerships for opening new markets and strengthening existing markets and addressing technical sanitary and phytosanitary barriers. Elaine works at the local and federal levels on addressing port congestion, supply chain disruptions and excessive costs.

Elaine served as a Deputy Secretary at the California Department of Food and Agriculture for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Governor Gray Davis.  She was responsible for the oversight of the international export and trade programs, specialty crop block grant funding, division of marketing services, plant health and pest prevention and the statewide county fair network. Elaine serves on USDA’s Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC).  Born and raised in the Central Valley of California, Elaine has a long history of community service and has a great respect for agriculture and the value of the industry to the overall economy. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California Berkeley and attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Elaine and her family currently reside in Sacramento, California.

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