The Biden administration on Wednesday announced that it intends to nominate Xochitl Torres Small as deputy secretary for USDA, promoting the former New Mexico congresswoman and lawyer to the department’s second highest position. She has been serving as USDA’s undersecretary for rural development since she was confirmed by the Senate in October 2021.

Torres Small must now be confirmed by the Senate. If confirmed, she would replace Deputy Secretary Jewel Bronaugh, who announced in late January that she was leaving USDA to spend more time with her family.

Her legal work focused on water and natural resources law. She served as a field representative for then-Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and also clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Robert C. Brack. She served one term in the House. She is the granddaughter of farmworkers and grew up in the borderlands of southern New Mexico.