As the General Counsel of the United States Department of Agriculture, Ramona Emilia Romero is the principal legal advisor to Secretary Tom Vilsack and other Department officials. President Obama nominated her on June 28, 2010 and she was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate on December 22, 2010. Ms. Romero serves as the Chief Legal Officer of the USDA and oversees the work of about 300 legal professionals who provide legal advice and support to all components of the Department. Ms. Romero reports directly to the Secretary.
Before joining the Administration, Ms. Romero was a Corporate Counsel at E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont), where she provided legal oversight for the acquisition of transportation, distribution, supply-chain management, travel and energy resources, and managed related strategic litigation. From 2008 through 2010, Ms. Romero also served as General Counsel of Sentinel Transportation LLC, a DuPont joint venture. She also held other key positions at DuPont, including Corporate Counsel for complex commercial and antitrust litigation, and Corporate Counsel and Manager of Operations and Partnering. While at DuPont, Ms. Romero led various initiatives aimed at promoting diversity in the legal profession and was a frequent public speaker on that subject. During the first ten years of her legal career, Ms. Romero was a litigator at Crowell and Moring in Washington, DC where she handled a broad range of commercial, government contract and white collar matters.
Ms. Romero has served on multiple boards and been affiliated with several professional organizations, including the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, both the House of Delegates and the Presidential Commission on Diversity of the American Bar Association, the Advisory Committee of The O'Connor Judicial Selection Initiative at the University of Denver, The Justice at Stake Campaign, the American Red Cross in the Delmarva Peninsula, and Delaware Futures. She also served as National President of the Hispanic National Bar Association (2008-2009), and was a founding member and officer of the Dominican American National Roundtable. Ms. Romero is the recipient of many honors, including the Lucero ("guiding star") Award from Latino Justice PRLDEF (formerly known as the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund) and Hispanic Business Magazine's recognition in 2010 and 2007 as one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the United States.
Ms. Romero, who immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic at age 10, holds a B.A. from Barnard College and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. She and her husband and two daughters live in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.