Obama Administration Sets Record For Top Latino Officials

With President-elect Obama's recent selection of Rep. Ken Salazar (D-CO) for Secretary of the Interior, the incoming Presidential office will employ the highest number of Latino in prominent roles ever in the history of the United States.

While many in the community were bemoaning Obama's choice of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State over Bill Richardson as an affront to Latinos, his staff was quietly vetting the best and the brightest to fill other important positions.

“Diversity wasn’t the driving force here," White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel insisted in an interview with Politico.com, "I’m proud of the fact that it is a diverse staff," he continued, "But most importantly, the quality is of a single standard. We wanted to make sure that we got a great staff of seasoned people — both on the policy front and on the political front — who know their stuff.”

Previous to the Obama administration, the most Latino assistants hired for any past President was 2 for President Bill Clinton's team.

The list of Latino's who have been appointed to top government positions includes:

  • New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Secretary of Commerce
  • Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality
  • Moises "Mo" Vela, Director of Administration, Office of the Vice President
  • Louis Caldera to run the White House Military Office
  • Cecelia Munoz, Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs

Obama is also rumored to be considering Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion as his choice to head the new White House Office of Urban Policy.