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Speaker Bio

Xochitl Torres Small was confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture on July 11, 2023. She is the first Latina to hold this position.

Prior to her confirmation as Deputy Secretary, Torres Small served as Under Secretary for Rural Development. In this role, she oversaw loans and grants to provide infrastructure improvements; business development; affordable housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal, and high-poverty areas. During her leadership, USDA Rural Development secured $2 billion to support rural broadband through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Prior to joining USDA, Torres Small was a United States Representative for the fifth largest district in the country. As Representative, Torres Small served as a member of the House Agriculture Committee, the House Armed Services Committee and as chairwoman of the Oversight, Management, and Accountability subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee. Torres Small was the first woman and first person of color to represent New Mexico’s second congressional district.

The granddaughter of farmworkers, Torres Small grew up in the borderlands of New Mexico. She has worked as a field representative for Senator Tom Udall, a clerk for United States District Court Judge Robert C. Brack, and an attorney practicing water and natural resources law. Torres Small has a law degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law, an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and an international baccalaureate from Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa. She’s married to New Mexico State Representative Nathan Small.