President Biden Appoints Leopoldo Martínez as Senior Advisor to the U.S. Department of Commerce

Venezuelan-American Leopoldo Martínez Nucete has been appointed by President Biden as Senior Advisor to the U.S. Department of Commerce, with responsibilities in leading the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA).

With this appointment, Martínez Nucete, who was a prominent opposition congressman against Hugo Chávez in Venezuela two decades ago, became the second Venezuelan-American to join the Biden-Harris administration’s high-ranking officials, alongside Ambassador to Croatia Nathalie Rayes.

Leopoldo Martínez is an international lawyer, a graduate of UCAB in Venezuela, with master’s degrees from Harvard, Princeton, and the University of Miami. He has a recognized track record in finance and international economic development.

Martínez Nucete has distinguished himself for his leadership in the political and economic empowerment of the Latino population in the United States. He has served as a board member of the University of Mary Washington, the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia, and was the Small and Medium Enterprise Commissioner for Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. He was also a member of the transition team between Governors McAuliffe and Ralph Northam in 2017.

Politically, he has been a member of the National Executive Committee of the Democratic Party and a director of the influential political action committee Latino Victory Project. Martínez Nucete is also the founder of the Center for Democracy and Development in the Americas and Co-Chair of the Venezuela initiative at the prestigious Atlantic Council.

Various Hispanic organizations welcomed the appointment. Luis Miranda, Jr., Chairman of the Latino Victory Project Board, stated: “This appointment by President Biden is a great decision. Leopoldo Martínez has been one of our most committed founding directors, a great connoisseur of the global economy with clear ideas for the empowerment of the Hispanic community.”

Adelys Ferro, Executive Director of the Venezuelan American Caucus, noted: “This news fills us with pride and gratitude. Leopoldo Martínez represents the best talent of the Venezuelan diaspora, and knowing him in this high government responsibility demonstrates President Biden’s commitment to elevating our leaders’ voices and promoting policies of inclusion and economic equity.”

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce is the only federal agency dedicated exclusively to the growth and global competitiveness of minority-owned businesses. It has come to our attention that Martínez Nucete, as Senior Advisor, will be responsible for designing and implementing strategies and policies to fulfill this governmental mission with a focus on international markets.