The US Senate has confirmed Reta Jo Lewis as president and chair of the board of directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (US Exim).

A little over a year after the Joe Biden administration took power, and five months after Lewis was named as the preferred candidate for the role, this week the US Senate signed off on her appointment.

The vote was split 56 to 40, with just seven Republicans voting in favour.

The date for Lewis’ swearing in ceremony is yet to be decided but US Exim says her term will last until January 2025.

Lewis makes the move from the German Marshall Fund of the United States think tank, where she had been serving as senior fellow and director of congressional affairs for the past five years.

She has more than two decades of leadership experience in international affairs, legal, public policy and regulatory issues, as well as subnational diplomacy, including serving under the Obama-Biden administration.

Under then-secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, she was the first-ever special representative for global intergovernmental affairs.

Prior to joining the state department, Lewis worked as an of counsel at Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge and was a shareholder at international law firm Greenberg Traurig.

According to the White House, her legal practice “focused on providing strategic corporate, legal, and consulting counsel to the firms’ business, public finance, regulatory, and state and local clients”.

She also previously served as vice-president and counsellor to the president at the US Chamber of Commerce from 2001 to 2004.

Last year, James Burrows moved from his role as US Exim’s senior vice-president for small business to lead the agency on an interim basis. A spokesperson for the export credit agency tells GTR his new post is yet to be decided at the bank.

The appointment of Judith Pryor as first vice-president at US Exim is yet to be finalised in the Senate.