Updated: Dec 5, 2020
By Troy Torres
Congressman Michael San Nicolas has recommended Guam native Jennifer M. Romero to President-elect Joseph Biden for appointment as Secretary of the Interior. The Interior Department is the federal agency assigned by Congress to have federal jurisdiction over Guam.
As one of his duties as the senior elected federal official for Guam, Congressman San Nicolas may make formal recommendations to the Biden-Harris transition team for presidentially appointed positions.
"We are proud to recommend for nomination Jennifer M. Romero for an Assistant Secretary position in the Department of the Interior," opened Congressman San Nicolas. "Romero's deep Senate, House, and Executive Branch experience coupled with her Guam upbringing and territory perspective is an invaluable resource for the country and our region," Congressman San Nicolas continued. "It is an honor to recommend this accomplished daughter of Guam to serve her people and country," Congressman San Nicolas added.
Jennifer Romero was raised on Guam, growing up in the village of Tamuning with her parents, Dr. Francisco and Mrs. Regina Romero, and older brother, Darrell, who attended Father Duenas Memorial School and raised his two children on the island. Jennifer’s father was the first pediatric dentist to practice full time on Guam, and her family continues to have strong ties to the community as residents of Tamuning and Tumon. She is a proud graduate of Cathedral Grade School in Hagatna and St. John’s School in Upper Tumon.
If appointed, Ms. Romero, an attorney, will be returning to the Interior Department, where she served as Senior Advisor for Native Hawaiian Affairs to the Secretary of the Interior from 2014 to 2017. She has extensive experience in native American policy work, serving as counsel for the Office of Indian Affairs then the Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs under the House Committee on Natural Resources's former chairman and ranking member, respectively, prior to her service in the Interior Department. Since 2017 she has been chief counsel and Democratic Staff Director for the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs under its vice chairman, Sen. Tom Udall.
Prior to her public service, Ms. Romero spent 10 years in private practice as an associate attorney in the firms of Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker LLP, and Kilpatrick Stockton LLP.
She is alumnae of Cathedral Grade School in Hagatna and St. John's High School in Tumon. She went on to graduate from Princeton University with a degree in East Asian Studies before earning her law degree at Washington College of Law, American University in 2002.
"We will continue to evaluate appointment opportunities and candidate viability in the days ahead, and make respective recommendations to ensure that the incoming administration has diverse options to consider with unique and exceptional attributes," Congressman San Nicolas concludes.
Ms. Romero helped to lead the Biden-Harris campaign's Native American Policy Group as co-chairwoman of the campaign's Tribal Homelands Subcommittee.