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President Obama taps Indianapolis attorney

July 7, 2009

An Indianapolis attorney is President Barack Obama's newest nomination for a key administration post within the Department of Commerce.

The president Monday nominated John R. Fernandez to be assistant secretary of commerce for economic development and Economic Development Administration administrator for the nation's commerce department. The position requires Senate confirmation.

Fernandez is of counsel for Krieg DeVault and advises both private businesses and governmental organizations on economic development, public finance, and public-policy issues. A 1992 graduate of what is now the Indiana University Maurer School of Law - Bloomington, he'd previously served as Bloomington's mayor between 1996 and 2003. He ran unsuccessfully against Todd Rokita for Secretary of State in 2002.

Fernandez also serves as senior vice president of Bloomington-based First Capital Group, leading the real estate investment firm's new development and acquisition team.

A White House release details his background and says Fernandez joined Obama's campaign team for Indiana last year and served as a senior advisor and fundraiser.

This is Obama's second Bloomington-based nomination for his administration. He nominated Bloomington law professor Dawn Johnsen in March to be an assistant attorney general heading the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel; her nomination has been pending before the U.S. Senate since then.

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