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Biography: Juan S. Gonzalez, Special Assistant to the President of the United States and National Security Council Senior for the Western Hemisphere
Juan S. Gonzalez was commissioned on January 20, 2021 as Special Assistant to the President of the United States and National Security Council Senior for the Western Hemisphere. Prior to joining the administration, Mr. Gonzalez worked on the Biden-Harris Presidential Transition as Deputy for National Security Appointments, as co-chair of the Biden-Harris 2020 Campaign Western Hemisphere Foreign Policy Working Group, and represented the Biden campaign on the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force on Immigration. From 2017 to 2020, he was a Senior Fellow at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement and in 2017 was appointed by Senator Chuck Schumer to serve as a commissioner on the bipartisan congressional Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission.
During the Obama-Biden administration, Mr. Gonzalez served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, where he led U.S. diplomatic engagement in Central America and the Caribbean. From 2013 to 2015, he served as Special Advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, during which he accompanied the Vice President on seven visits to Latin America and coordinated the launch of the U.S.-Mexico High-Level Economic Dialogue, the Caribbean Energy Security Initiative, and the Alliance for Prosperity in the Northern Triangle of Central America. Mr. Gonzalez also served as National Security Council Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs from 2011 to 2013. Prior to his service at the White House, Mr. Gonzalez served in a variety of positions at the State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, including Chief of Staff to Assistant Secretary of State Arturo Valenzuela. From 2001-2004, he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Huehuetenango, Guatemala.
Mr. Gonzalez has an M.A. from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. He is a native of Cartagena, Colombia and is married to Sarah Ashley Platts.
Biography: Katie Tobin, Special Assistant to the President of the United States and Senior Director for Transborder Security
Katie Tobin was appointed by President Biden in January 2021 to lead the Transborder Directorate at the National Security Council. In this role, she oversees all issues related to United States immigration and border security, as well as regional diplomacy on refugee and migration matters. Her portfolio also includes aviation and maritime security as well as watchlisting, screening and vetting. In her role, she spearheading the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection that President Biden adopted alongside 20 other leaders in the Western Hemisphere in June 2022. She also led the development of the President’s 2021 Collaborative Migration Management Strategy for Central America and the 2022 National Action Plan for Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems (drones).
Katie has over a decade of experience in immigration, refugee and homeland security policy. Prior to joining the Biden Administration, she served as a senior advisor to the U.S. Government on behalf of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). During her tenure at UNHCR, Katie strengthened the partnership between UNHCR and the U.S. Government to jointly address pressing refugee and migration challenges in the Western Hemisphere. In 2016, she worked with the Obama Administration to establish the Protection Transfer Arrangement in Central America, an innovative new resettlement program to expedite urgent cases.
Katie previously served at the Department of Homeland Security as a Refugee Officer, where she adjudicated U.S. resettlement claims in locations such as Turkey, Costa Rica and Cuba. Katie has also served as counsel for an immigration law firm in Chicago and clerked for Senator Edward Kennedy and Senator Richard Durbin on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Katie started her career working in a refugee shelter on the U.S. southern border. She earned her J.D. from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law and her B.A. from Villanova University.
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