President Barack Obama plans to nominate Maria Contreras-Sweet, founder of a Latino-owned community bank in Los Angeles, as the next head of the Small Business Administration, according to multiple news reports.
Obama will announce Contreras-Sweet as his nominee at an event on Wednesday afternoon, according to the Associated Press.
Contreras-Sweet, who was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, founded ProAmerica Bank (PMRA) in 2006. She currently serves as chairwoman of the $147 million-asset bank, which offers bilingual financial services to small- to mid-size businesses in the Latino community.
Before launching ProAmerica, Contreras-Sweet was president and co-founder of Fortius Holdings, a private equity firm that specialized in providing capital to small businesses in California. She also served as secretary of the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency from 1999 to 2003, according to the Washington Post.
If Contreras-Sweet is confirmed by the Senate, she will fill the spot left vacant by former SBA administrator Karen Mills.
Mills stepped down in August after four years on the job. Jeanne A. Hulit, the head of the agency's loan programs, has served as acting administrator since September.