​​The U.S. Senate staffers visit the Spanish Congress
Congressional Staffers Visit Spain
11/29/2017

Four U.S. Senate staffers took part in a week-long visitors program aimed at forging new lines of communication between policymakers in the U.S. and Spain. The program facilitates networking opportunities while also providing U.S. policymakers with an in-depth understanding of Spain. Likewise, it strengthens economic ties between the United States and Spain by introducing U.S. officials to key players in the Spanish private sector. The program was organized jointly by the Fundación Carolina, the Spanish National Credit Institute and the Embassy of Spain in the United States.

Participants visited Spain's Parliament, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Office of the Presidency, and the Center for Intelligence against Terrorism and Organised Crime, among several other relevant institutions and companies.

Participants

Bianca Ortiz-Wertheim, Chief of Staff for New Mexico Senator Tom Udall

Senator Udall is an active member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Budget Committee, and the Committee on Science, Transportation, and Commerce. Ms. Ortiz-Wertheim handles all personnel and policy matters related to the day-to-day management of the Senator’s to office. Prior to being named Chief of Staff in 2015, Ortiz-Wertheim directed Senator Udall’s Field offices in New Mexico. Before joining the United States Senate, she worked for former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson as a liaison between the Governor and his cabinet. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Oklahoma and later earned a graduate degree in Business Administration from the Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico.

Virgilio Barrera, Legislative Director for New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich

Senator Heinrich is the ranking Democrat on the Joint Economic Committee. The Joint Economic Committee brings senators and members of the House of Representatives together to oversee the Federal Reserve. Senator Heinrich also serves as an integral member of the Armed Services Committee, The Intelligence Committee, and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. As Legislative Director, Mr. Barrera advices the Senator Heinrich on legislative proposals pending before the four committees mentioned above.

Jayben Castro, Outreach Director, Hispanic Task Force, Senate Finance Committee

Mr. Castro also participates in Senate Finance Committee efforts to prevent public mismanagement via his work on the Financial Supervision Committee. Prior to joining the Senate Finance Committee, Mr Castro was the Republican National Committee Director charged with devising and implementing the Republican party's Hispanic mobilization strategy. Mr Castro is a former U.S. Navy veteran who now participates in multiple Latino oriented civil society organizations such as the Latino Student Fund and Think Free Latino. Mr Castro is a graduate of George Mason University.

Ian Nicholson, Investigator for the Senate Finance Committee

Under the leadership of Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, Mr. Nicholson investigates the financial records of all executive nominations put forward by the United States Treasury. Nicholson also works on other policy areas such as taxes, commerce, healthcare and social services. Prior to joining the Financial Services Committee, Nicholson worked for Democratic senators Max Baucus of Montana and Mary Lou Andrews of Louisiana. Prior to working on Capitol Hill, he worked for retail giant Target and the left of centre think-tank Third Way. Nicholson holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Oregon and a Masters degree in Public Policy from George Mason University.


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