Obama Taps Shipper Lawyer as USDA Counsel

Obama Taps Shipper Lawyer as USDA Counsel

President Obama named a top lawyer at chemical shipper DuPont to be general counsel at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

His choice for that job, Ramona Emilia Romero, is currently corporate counsel for logistics and energy at E.I. du Pont de Nemours, where she advises on acquisition of transportation, distribution, supply-chain management, travel and energy resources, and manages related strategic litigation.

DuPont has been active in filing cases at the Surface Transportation Board against freight railroads. USDA recently unveiled an extensive study http://www.joc.com/government-regulation/thinking-outside-box of farm transportation needs that listed agriculture as the largest user of U.S. freight transport systems, urged Congress to revisit standing antitrust exemptions for railroads and ocean shipping lines, and called for a new system of integrated infrastructure planning that gets away from today’s mode-based federal programs.

The White House said since 2008 Romero has also been general counsel of Sentinel Transportation, a DuPont private truck fleet joint venture with ConocoPhillips.

Her other positions at DuPont included senior counsel and then corporate counsel for complex commercial and antitrust litigation during 1998-2005, and later corporate counsel and manager of operations and partnering for 2005-2007. Before 1998, she was a commercial, government contracts and white collar litigator at the Crowell & Moring firm in Washington, D.C.

-- Contact John D. Boyd at jboyd@joc.com.