From Pomona to presidential appointment: Biden nominates two alums

An old man smiles.
Two Pomona College alumni were nominated for key positions by President Joe Biden last week. (Courtesy: Gage Skidmore via Flickr)

Two Pomona College alumni are among the nominees for top diplomatic and legal positions announced by President Joe Biden last week. The White House is putting forward Alexander M.M. Uballez PO ’08 for U.S. attorney for the district of New Mexico and Michael Adler PO ’86 for ambassador to South Sudan, according to statements released Jan. 26. 

Uballez graduated from Pomona with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, after which he went on to Columbia Law School. From there, he took up assistant district attorney positions in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. 

Since 2016, Uballez has served as federal prosecutor in the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of New Mexico. If confirmed, Uballez will be responsible for running the entire U.S. attorney’s office in New Mexico. 

Uballez is one of six nominees for U.S. attorney announced by Biden last Wednesday. The president has now appointed 43 new nominees to the role of U.S. attorney, with a total of 93 U.S. attorneys that he can elect either to keep or replace.

“I’m honored to be nominated and I look forward to the confirmation process,” Uballez said in an email to TSL. 

He has received widespread support from a variety of figures, including current New Mexico Senators Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján.

“[Uballez has] pursued innovative ways to address our public safety challenges, recognizing that the answers rarely start and stop in the courtroom,” Heinrich and Luján said in a joint statement. “We are confident that Mr. Uballez is the lead federal prosecutor [that] we need to uphold the law and take on our public safety challenges.”

Adler studied a special concentration at Pomona, according to the college’s alumni directory, and received his masters degree from Stanford University. 

He has more than three decades of experience in the Foreign Service, serving in Lebanon, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France and Qatar. Most recently, he served on the National Security Council staff as the deputy senior director for South Asia and the director for Afghanistan. 

He also held posts in the State Department as director of the Office of Afghanistan Affairs and director of the Office of Near Eastern Affairs in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. He previously worked in the bureaus of Political Military Affairs and Near Eastern Affairs. 

Adler is among five other diplomatic nominees that Biden announced on Jan. 26, all of whom are waiting to be confirmed by the Senate, including John Godfrey, the nominee for ambassador to Sudan. Both nominees come with experience in wealthy Middle Eastern and Gulf countries, reflecting the countries’ growing influence in East African affairs, according to journalist Robbie Gramer of Foreign Policy.  

The nominees have already been vetted by the White House and will soon be privately and publicly assessed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. After receiving a go-ahead from the committee, Adler’s nomination will be voted on by the entire Senate. 

Adler could not be reached for comment.

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