Biden Picks California Official Isabel Guzman to Head SBA

President-elect Joe Biden announced Thursday that he picked California official Isabel Guzman to lead the Small Business Administration.

Guzman served as a deputy chief of staff and senior adviser to the administrator at the SBA during the Obama administration, and has run her own small businesses.

Since April 2019, she’s been director of California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate, part of that state’s Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.

Guzman was among a slate of selections announced Thursday evening, including Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo as commerce secretary, Mayor Marty Walsh of Boston as labor secretary and Don Graves as deputy secretary of commerce.

Earlier, Biden announced that he had chosen Merrick Garland as attorney general, Lisa Monaco as deputy attorney general and Vanita Gupta as associate attorney general.

Before working at the SBA Guzman was a director of strategic initiatives at ProAmerica Bank, a commercial bank that serviced small and mid-sized businesses, according to her LinkedIn biography. ProAmerica was acquired by Pacific Commerce Bancorp in 2018.

Guzman is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

She’s the first Latina named to a cabinet-level post by Biden, adding to the diversity of a team he’s pledged would “look like America.” Her nomination will require Senate confirmation.

The president-elect has already chosen three Hispanic men: Alejandro Mayorkas as secretary of homeland security, Xavier Becerra as secretary of health and human services, and Miguel Cardona as secretary of education.

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