Ramona Romero
Ramona Romero

Princeton University has named Ramona Romero, general counsel of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), effective Dec. 1.

Nominated by President Barack Obama to her role at the USDA and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Romero directs a staff of about 275 people and serves as chief legal adviser to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. As the USDA’s chief legal officer she collaborates with the White House, the Department of Justice and other federal agencies. She also interacts with Congress and leads the USDA Office of Ethics.

“I am delighted that Ramona Romero has agreed to become Princeton’s next general counsel,” Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber said in a statement. “She is a nationally recognized attorney with a spectacular record of achievement, and she brings to this university a remarkable combination of talent and experience, as well as deep personal commitment to the values of higher education, diversity and public service.”

“To paraphrase President Lincoln, the philosophy of the classroom today is the philosophy of government tomorrow,” Romero said in a statement. “After nearly four years in government, I am thrilled to be joining an iconic institution that has for centuries been dedicated to training leaders in the nation’s service. I strongly believe in Princeton’s mission and look forward to joining President Eisgruber and his talented team.”

Before joining the USDA, Romero served from 1998 to 2011 in a series of roles of increasing responsibility as a lawyer at E.I. duPont de Nemours & Co. based in Wilmington, Del. When she left DuPont, she was corporate counsel for logistics and energy, and general counsel for Sentinel Transportation, a DuPont joint venture. From 1988 to 1996, she was a litigator for the Crowell and Moring law firm in Washington, D.C.

Romero immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic at age 10. She earned a BA in political science from Barnard College at Columbia University and a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School.