President Obama on Wednesday plans to nominate Maria Contreras-Sweet, the founder and board chairman of a Latino-owned community bank in Los Angeles, as the head of the Small Business Administration , according to a White House official.
The president will announce the nomination formally at a public event in Washington, said the official, who asked not to be identified because the event had not taken place.
The selection of Contreras-Sweet, 58, fills the final slot in the president’s second-term Cabinet. The post of SBA administrator has been vacant since August, when Karen Mills accepted joint posts at Harvard Business School and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
The nomination also serves to address diversity concerns raised by some Democratic supporters of the president. If Contreras-Sweet is confirmed, eight women and two Latinos will have Cabinet or Cabinet-level posts this term, which is the same number as in Obama’s first term in office.
Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Contreras-Sweet immigrated to the United States at age 5. Her mother worked at a chicken packaging plant in El Monte, Calif., to support Contreras-Sweet and her three brothers and two sisters.
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