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Name: Sánchez, Frank
Current Position: Former Under Secretary

An early Florida supporter and major fundraiser for President Barack Obama, Francisco “Frank” J. Sánchez received a recess appointment in order to assume the post of Under Secretary for International Trade, becoming the No. 3 person in the Department of Commerce, while taking over the International Trade Administration, which is tasked with promoting and protecting U.S. companies involved in exporting. He received his confirmation hearing on May 13, 2009, but questions were raised about a federal grant for a steel company he headed, and his confirmation vote was put on hold. Finally, Obama gave Sánchez the recess appointment on March 27, 2010.

Born June 16, 1969, in Tampa, Florida, Sánchez was the son of candy factory owner Francisco Sánchez, Sr. and Delia Sánchez, Sánchez obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Business and Spanish in 1982 and his Juris Doctor degree in 1986, both from Florida State University. He also received a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1993.
In 1984 Sánchez began working for the Florida Department of Commerce as director of its Caribbean Basin Initiative. Three years later, after earning his law degree,  he joined the law firm of Steel, Hector, and Davis in Miami, Florida, specializing in corporate and administrative law.
In 1992, he moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, and took a position as consultant for Conflict Management Inc. (CMI). His work centered on negotiation strategy, labor-management regotiations and litigation settlement, and developing Latin American clients for company.
In September 1997, he and two partners created the CMI International Group, where his expertise was finding clients.
Twenty months later, Sánchez joined the Clinton White House as a special assistant to the president and chief of staff to the Special Envoy to the Americas Kenneth MacKay, focusing on economic integration and democracy issues in the Western Hemisphere. After fifteen months in that position, he spent the last five months of Clinton’s presidency as the Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs in the Department of Transportation, where he developed aviation policy and oversaw international trade negotiations.
In 2001, Sánchez settled in back in Tampa as founder and managing director of Cambridge Negotiation Strategies, He also ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Tampa in 2003, in a campaign that included an awkward moment when it was revealed that most of the 74 companies he claimed as clients of Cambridge Negotiation Strategies weren’t.
In May 2006, Sánchez was hired on as CEO of Tampa-based Renaissance Steel, a position he held until it went bankrupt in November 2007. While he was heading Renaissance, it acquired a $500,000 federally-funded grant from the Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa…of which he was member. Although Sánchez claimed that he was not personally involved in the deal, it was this incident that stalled his confirmation as head of the International Trade Association.
In April 2008, Sánchez joined the Tampa law firm of Akerman Senterfitt. Accodring to the financial disclosure statement he filed upon his nomination, Sánchez owned about 50 residential mortgages which brought him annual interest income of somewhere between $156,000 and $445,000, while drawing a salary of $52,000 from Akerman Senterfitt and $45,000 from Cambridge Negotiation Strategies.
Sánchez served as senior policy advisor to President Obama during the 2008 campaign, and was chairman of the National Hispanic Leadership Council, providing policy support on issues pertaining to Latin America. He also bundled more than $500,000 in contributions for the campaign.
He has served on the boards of numerous civic and community organizations including the Tampa Chamber of Commerce (2004-2007), the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay (2004-present) and Bay Area Legal Services (2006-present). From 2005 to 2007, he was chairman of the board of the Patel Foundation for Global Understanding and its president and CEO from June 2006 until December 2007. The Foundation provides support for health, education and cultural programs non-governmental in Tampa, India and Africa. Sánchez has been a member of Leadership Florida, a creation of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, since 1989 and a member of The Tampa Club, a private social club, since 2001.
Among other political contributions, Sánchez donated $2,000 to Al Gore’s presidential campaign in 2000, $2,500 to the Democratic National Committee in 2004, $500 to Hilary Clinton in 2008 and $4,600 to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.
Francisco Sanchez (International Trade Administration)
Francisco "Frank" J. Sanchez (WhoRunsGov, Washington Post)
Political Patronage Pays Off (Manufacturing & Technology News, pages 1, 9-11) (pdf)
Confirmation Hearing Details (pages 40-48) (pdf)
Sanchez's Experience as Business Owner Brief (by David Karp, St. Petersburg Times)
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