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U.S. Department of State

The President's Interagency Council on Women


Small Business Administration


Aida Alvarez was sworn in on March 7, 1997 as the 20th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Ms. Alvarez is the first Hispanic woman and the first person of Puerto Rican heritage to serve as a member of the President's Cabinet.

As Administrator, Ms. Alvarez directs the delivery of a comprehensive set of financial and business development programs for America's entrepreneurs. With a portfolio of direct and guaranteed business loans and disaster loans worth more than $45 billion, the Small Business Administration is the nation's largest single financial backer of small business. In her term as Administrator, Ms. Alvarez works to improve access to capital and credit for an increasingly diverse entrepreneurial population. She uses technology and the highest financial safety and soundness standards to transform the Small Business Administration into a leading-edge financial institution.

Ms. Alvarez' career includes experience in financial regulation, investment banking and journalism. She was nominated by President Clinton in 1993 to be the first Director of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight where she established regulatory oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the nation's two largest housing finance companies. The operations of these two government-chartered corporations form the core of the trillion-dollar secondary mortgage market.

Ms. Alvarez is a cum laude graduate of Harvard College. She holds honorary Doctor of Law degrees from Iona College, Bethany College in Kansas, and the Inter-American University in Puerto Rico.

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