Maria Otero was sworn in on August 10, 2009 as the Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs. She oversees and coordinates the work of the Bureaus of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor; Oceans, Environment and Science; and Population, Refugees and Migration; and the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
“I am proud to have Maria Otero join my team as Under Secretary of Democracy and Global Affairs in order to advance issues crucial to America’s foreign policy,” stated Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. “I look forward to working with her to address crucial challenges that face our nation and the international community.”
Born and raised in Bolivia, Ms. Otero has extensive management and international development experience. As the former CEO of the major microfinance organization, ACCION International, Ms. Otero will bring a wealth of experience to implement the Obama Administration’s agenda on a range of issues under the Democracy and Global Affairs umbrella. Ms. Otero’s appointment makes her the highest-ranking Hispanic official at the State Department.
“It is a privilege to serve the Obama Administration as the Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, and I am deeply honored by the historic nature of this appointment,” stated Ms. Otero. “I look forward to working closely with Secretary Clinton and my colleagues at the State Department to ensure that these issues are elevated and integrated into all facets of our foreign policy and diplomacy.”