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A headshot photo of Julissa Reynoso. She is wearing a grey suit with a black shirt underneath. Her hair is down and she is looking directly into the camera. There is an American flag behind here, and a grey background.

Julissa Reynoso Pantaleón

Co-Chair Of The White House Gender Policy Council And Chief Of Staff To First Lady Dr. Jill Biden

SUMMARY: During the Obama Administration, Reynoso served in the Obama Administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Central America and the Caribbean at the State Department and the U.S. Ambassador to Uruguay. Prior to this, she worked as a lawyer with Winston & Strawn as well as Chadbourne & Stran where she participated in a number of transnational litigations with individual clients, as well as international organizations, mitigating conflicts that exceed borders. She has history in community organizing, academia, and immigration policy, all of which are bound by Reynoso’s unequivocal dedication to advancing human rights. Reynoso’s lifelong work in law and public service advancing human rights domestically and abroad, including the rights of and justice for women and other marginalized groups, has earned her a green categorization.

Reynoso Was Appointed Co-Chair For The Gender Policy Council In March 2021

After The Creation Of The Gender Policy Council By Executive Order On International Women’s Day In March 2021, Reynoso Was Officially Named The Position of Co-Chair Alongside Jennifer Klein. “In a separate executive order on Monday, Biden created a White House Gender Policy Council to combat bias and discrimination both in specific fields like education, the labor force and health care, and in more abstract terms like wage and wealth gaps. The council will be led by Jennifer Klein, who served as a senior adviser to Hillary Clinton, and Julissa Reynoso, chief of staff to first lady Jill Biden and ambassador to Uruguay during the Obama administration.” [Courthouse News Service, 3/8/21].  


The Formation Of The New Council Was First Announced in January 2021. “On January 19th, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris announced the formation of the White House Gender Policy Council, co-chaired by Jennifer Klein and Julissa Reynoso. President-elect Biden pledged to create a White House Council on Gender Equality, to guide and coordinate government policy that impacts women and girls, across a wide range of issues such as economic security, health care, racial justice, gender-based violence, and foreign policy, working in cooperation with the other White House policy councils.” [Philanthropy Women, accessed 10/7/21].

Reynoso Has Established Women’s Rights And Justice As Priorities For The White House Gender Policy Council

Reynoso Described Full Participation Of Women And Girls In Society As A Matter Of Human Rights, Justice, And Fairness. “The first executive order will formally establish the Gender Policy Council within the Executive Office of the President with an explicit role in both domestic and foreign policy development.  We know that the full participation of all people, including women and girls, across all aspects of our society is essential to the economic wellbeing, health, and security of our nation and of the world.  This is matter of human rights, justice, and fairness.” [The White House Briefing Room, 3/8/21].

Reynoso Highlighted Increasing Economic Security And Opportunity For Women As Areas Of Long-Term Focus For The Council. “Areas of long-term focus for the Council, Reynoso said, will include "increasing economic security and opportunity by addressing the structural barriers to women's participation in the labor force; decreasing wage and wealth gaps; and addressing the caregiving needs of American families and supporting care workers.” [NPR, 3/8/21].

Reynoso Has Advocated For Advancing Reproductive Rights And Gender Equity Domestically And Globally

Reynoso Discussed Developing A National Action Plan To Address Issues Of Gender Equality Domestically And Globally, Including Gender Based Violence. “We will strengthen efforts to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, and develop a National Action Plan that establishes a government-wide approach both domestically and globally.  We will promote equity and opportunity in education, leadership, and we’ll work to advance gender equality globally through diplomacy, development, trade, and defense. (Speaks in Spanish.)” [The White House Briefing Room, 3/8/21].

Reynoso Declared Sexual And Reproductive Rights And Health As Fundamental To Women’s Equality In The U.S. And Abroad During A Recap Of The Generation Equality Forum. “The last point in – within our three areas of focus, we committed to protect and advance sexual and reproductive health and rights, which are fundamental, as we all know, to women’s equality at home and abroad.  Among other actions we’ve taken, we have proposed resuming the funding of the UN Population Fund, which directly supports the provision of sexual and reproductive health services in fragile contexts.  We’ve also proposed an historic $3 billion investment to address the material [sic] health crisis in the United States , which has disproportionately impacted black and indigenous women.” [U.S. Department of State Briefing, 7/2/21].

Reynoso Also Committed To Investing And Advancing Equity In Countries With Emerging Markets. “We also announced that we would mobilize at least $12 billion, $12 billion, through the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, or DFC as it’s known, as part of a commitment, a new commitment to invest in businesses that advance gender equity in developing countries and emerging markets.  These funds, we expect, will support approximately 15 million women and girls, including from marginalized communities and fragile and post-conflict areas.” [U.S. Department of State Briefing, 7/2/21].

As Co-Chair Of The Gender Policy Council, Reynoso Held A Roundtable Discussion With Leaders In Reproductive Health And Women’s Rights To Discuss Restrictive Abortion Legislation In Texas. “Today, Gender Policy Council Co-Chairs Jennifer Klein and Julissa Reynoso, White House Counsel Dana Remus and Deputy White House Counsel Danielle Conley, Director of the Office of Political Strategy and Outreach Emmy Ruiz, and Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council Christen Linke Young hosted a roundtable with women’s rights and reproductive health leaders to discuss the Supreme Court’s ruling on Texas’ SB8.” [The White House Briefing Room, 9/3/21].

Reynoso Has Expressed Her Intention To Support People From Underserved Groups In Her Role As Co-Chair Of The Gender Policy Council

Reynoso Vowed To Uphold And Protect The Rights of Marginalized Communities, Including LGBTQIA+ Folks. “The White House Gender Policy Council will be an essential part of the Biden-Harris administration’s plan to ensure we build a more equal and just democracy by aggressively protecting the rights and unique needs of those who experience multiple forms of discrimination, including people of color and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people.” [The White House Briefing Room, 3/8/21].

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