Joe Biden appoints his wife's chief of staff as ambassador to Spain

Julissa Reynoso.
Julissa Reynoso. / SUR
  • Dominican Julissa Reynoso studied philosophy at Cambridge, in England, and is particularly interested in international trade, equality policies and immigration issues

The US president Joe Biden has appointed Julissa Reynoso as the country’s new ambassador to Spain, a position that must be still be confirmed by the Senate.

The president was not expected to put a political heavyweight in Madrid, but neither was he expected to steal the head of the Office of the First Lady from his wife.

Julissa Reynoso was born in January 1975 in the Dominican Republic. She immigrated to the United States in 1982.

Educated at Catholic schools and a Bronx High School her brilliant grades allowed her to study law at Harvard (1997) and Columbia, and philosophy at Cambridge in England.

"She is an incredible friend and leader," Jill Biden told the Associated Press when the White House announced her appointment on Wednesday.

The rising star of the Democratic Party participated in Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2008 and moved with her to the State Department as her assistant for the Western Hemisphere. She has an activist heart that she uses to seek justice for immigrants.

The West Wing of the White House also relied on Reynoso for gender equality policies.

No matter what degrees she has from Harvard and Columbia, or what positions she has held in the State Department and the White House, she will always be a 'Latina' from the Bronx. “When I came to Harvard in 1993, I was not a Latina, I was just 'Julissa', and sometimes 'the Dominican'.

After all these years amongst the political elite, she still confesses to hankering for rice with pigeon peas from her homeland, especially if the music of Juan Luis Guerra is playing in the background.