WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to serve as Representatives of the United States to the 78th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations:
- Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Nominee for Representative of the United States to the 78th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
- Congressman French Hill, Nominee for Representative of the United States to the 78th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
- Janet Keller, Nominee for Representative of the United States to the 78th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
- Calvin Smyre, Nominee for Representative of the United States to the 78th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
- Jeffrey Worthe, Nominee for Representative of the United States to the 78th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Nominee for Representative of the United States to the 78th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
In 1998, Congresswoman Barbara Lee was elected to serve California’s 9th congressional district (now the 12th) in a special election. In 1990, Congresswoman Lee was elected to the California State Assembly, where she served until 1996 when she was elected to the State Senate. As a California legislator, Congresswoman Lee authored 67 bills and resolutions that were signed into law by Republican Governor Pete Wilson.
Congresswoman Lee is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Ranking Democratic Member on the subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. She serves as Co-Chair of the Steering & Policy Committee, former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Chair Emeritus of the Progressive Caucus, Co-Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Health Task Force, and Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus. She also serves as Chair of the Majority Leader’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity. She is the highest-ranking Black woman appointed to House Democratic Leadership in the U.S. Congress.
Congresswoman Lee was born in segregated El Paso, TX and attended St. Joseph’s Catholic School, where she was taught by the Sisters of Loretto, an order dedicated to promoting justice and peace. Her father was a veteran of two wars and her mother broke many glass ceilings and racial barriers. After grammar school, Congresswoman Lee moved to San Fernando, California and worked with the local NAACP to integrate her high school cheerleading squad. Congresswoman Lee received her Masters of Social Work from the University of California, Berkeley, specializing in psychiatric social work. During her graduate work, Congresswoman Lee founded the Community Health Alliance for Neighborhood Growth and Education (CHANGE, Inc.) which provided mental health services to many of the East Bay’s most vulnerable individuals.
Congressman French Hill, Nominee for Representative of the United States to the 78th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
A ninth-generation Arkansan, Congressman French Hill has represented Arkansas’s Second Congressional District since January 2015. He serves as the Vice Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and as Chairman of the new subcommittee tasked with overseeing all areas related to digital assets and financial technology. Additionally, he is a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He was also elected to the Republican Steering Committee for the 118th Congress, which determines committee assignments for Republican members of Congress.
Prior to his congressional service, Congressman Hill was founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Delta Trust & Banking Corporation. From 1989 to 1991, he also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Corporate Finance, where one of his key assignments was representing the U.S. as a negotiator in the historic bilateral talks with Japan known as the Structural Impediments Initiative (SII).
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Rep. Hill led the design of U.S. technical assistance to the emerging economies of eastern and central Europe in the areas of banking and securities. In 1991, at the age of 34, President Bush appointed Rep. Hill to be Executive Secretary to the President’s Economic Policy Council (EPC), where he coordinated all White House economic policy. For his leadership and service at the Treasury and the White House, Rep. Hill was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Nicholas Brady in January 1993. Prior to his Executive Branch Service, from 1982 until 1984, Rep. Hill served on the staff of then-U.S. Senator John Tower (R-TX), as well as on the staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs.
Throughout his career, Rep. Hill has been active in civic affairs. He is a past president of the Rotary Club of Little Rock and served as the 2013 chairman of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce. He has received numerous awards and recognition for his long-time support of the Boy Scouts of America, the arts and humanities, tourism, and historic preservation in Arkansas. He is an avid outdoorsman. Rep. Hill is a magna cum laude graduate in Economics from Vanderbilt University. He and his wife, Martha, have a daughter and a son. The Hill family resides in Little Rock.
Janet Keller, Nominee for Representative of the United States to the 78th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
Janet Keller has been involved in politics and public policy issues at the local, state, and federal level for more than 30 years. In 1990, she founded Keller Consultants, which provides strategic advice to candidates, campaigns, and private clients in support of their political and philanthropic interests.
In 2000, Keller was appointed by Governor Gray Davis to serve for six years as a member of the California Regional Water Quality Control Board which seeks to preserve, enhance, and restore California’s water resources. During the second term of the Obama-Biden Administration, she served as a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Keller also served as Secretary and a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the California Partners Project. Since 2017, Keller has been an advocate for many of the survivors of Larry Nassar, including United States National Team and Olympic team members. She prepared and accompanied survivors to meetings with members of the United States Senate, hearings of the Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committees, and other public events in support of the efforts to protect generations of athletes. In addition, Keller advocates for other survivors of institutional abuse. Keller graduated from the University of San Diego with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
Calvin Smyre, Nominee for Representative of the United States to the 78th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
Calvin Smyre served for 48 years as an elected State Representative in the Georgia General Assembly. He was the “Dean” of the House and served as Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. He is President Emeritus of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators and a former member of the National Conference of State Legislators. Smyre’s distinguished record includes legislation making Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday a state holiday, creating the Georgia Dome, establishing the GA HOPE Scholarship Program, creating a new Georgia state flag, the GA Hate Crime Act of 2020, and the repeal of the 1863 Citizens Arrest Law. In 1986 he was appointed the Governor’s Administrative Floor Leader and in 2001 he was appointed Chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia, becoming the first African American to hold both positions.
In May of 2022, Smyre was nominated by President Biden to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Congressional Black Caucus’ prestigious Phoenix Award, being named twice as “Citizen of the Year” in his hometown of Columbus, Georgia, and he has been inducted into Georgia Trend Magazine‘s Business Hall of Fame. Smyre served on the Boards of Columbus Museum, Columbus RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Fort Valley State University Foundation as its Chair. In the private sector, he retired in 2014 as Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs of Synovus Financial Corporation and President of Synovus Foundation. He earned a Bachelor of Science from Fort Valley State University and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Morehouse School of Medicine. Smyre is a lifelong native of Columbus, Georgia. He has one deceased daughter and two grandchildren.
Jeffrey Worthe, Nominee for Representative of the United States to the 78th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
Jeff Worthe is the President of Worthe Real Estate Group. The firm, with 125 employees, is based in Santa Monica and specializes in the development and refurbishment of office properties in Los Angeles. Recent projects include The Second Century, an 800,000 square foot office development designed by Frank Gehry that is leased to Warner Bros.; The Post in Beverly Hills, which was leased to Live Nation; and the Mission Logistics Project, a 1,000,000 square foot industrial development. The firm’s newest project is the development of The Ranch Lot in Burbank, a 926,000 square foot studio lot with 16 new sound stages.
Worthe and his wife Kristin support charities throughout Los Angeles. He is involved with numerous local organizations including Children’s Hospital Los Angeles where he is the most recent Chair of the Board of Directors. He is a trustee of both the University of California, Santa Barbara Foundation and Crossroads School in Santa Monica. Worthe is a Founding Board Member of the Ziman Center at the University of California, Los Angeles and a member of the Core Leadership Group with the LA Sports & Entertainment Commission. He and his wife Kristin have two daughters.