Leonor Tomero, Counsel

Courtney McBride

Leonor Tomero, counsel for the panel, has a portfolio that includes strategic forces, missile defense, military space, nuclear weapons, and nuclear cleanup.

Tomero, 37, became interested in the issue of nuclear waste while working for then-Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., when a permanent repository for nuclear material was slated to be built in Nevada.

Some of the issues in Tomero’s portfolio are bipartisan, but others, such as arms control and nuclear weapons, can be subject to fundamental philosophical disagreements. As the lone Democratic staffer focusing on strategic forces and nonproliferation, Tomero juggles a host of issues that are handled by several staffers on the majority side.

Her workday can include meetings with defense-industry lobbyists and arms-control groups, as well as members of the administration and the armed forces. She also travels to nuclear sites. Tomero must often distill arcane information for consumption by the committee members.

Tomero has 15 years of experience in the fields of nuclear weapons and nonproliferation, including work at the Lawyers Alliance for World Security and the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. She has a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Cornell University, a master’s degree in national security studies from Georgetown, and a law degree from American University Washington College of Law.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story listed the incorrect law school for Tomero. She graduated, cum laude, from American University Washington College of Law.