Senate Confirms Chief Counsel for Advocacy

November 29, 2011

Last week, on Nov. 21, Dr. Winslow Sargeant was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Chief Counsel for Advocacy the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy. His nomination was approved back in October by the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Dr. Sargeant was initially was nominated for the position in May of 2009, but his nomination had stalled in the Senate. Then in August 2010, President Barack Obama made a recess appointment of Dr. Sargeant as Chief Counsel. That appointment was set to expire at the end of this year had the Senate not acted to formally approve Dr. Sargeant for the head of Advocacy.

Dr. Sargeant is a former small-business owner, having started his own semiconductor chip company in 1997. He also previously served as a program manager for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program at the National Science Foundation.

His nomination was supported by every living former chief counsel, including Jere Glover, who served for eight years in the position under former President Bill Clinton; Tom Sullivan, who served for the full tenure of former President George W. Bush; Thomas Kerester, who served from 1992-1993; and Frank Swain, who held the position during the administration of former President Ronald Regan.

NSBA and a number of other small-business organizations also supported his candidacy, arguing that it would be detrimental to interests of America’s small businesses for the Office of Advocacy to lack a presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed head.

Since Dr. Sargeant has been serving as Chief Counsel, the Office of Advocacy has held more than 40 small business roundtables, and Dr. Sargeant has traveled to all ten federal regions, with visits to 23 states to meet with entrepreneurs and small business owners. He also has been a frequent guest at NSBA events and meetings.

NSBA applauds the Senate for approving Dr. Sargeant’s nomination and looks forward to continuing our work with him and his office.