WASHINGTON – As the Senate works to fill key positions within the Biden administration, sailors across the country could soon be looking to a Virginian to steer the nation’s naval forces, including those based out of Naval Station Norfolk in Hampton Roads. Today, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) joined a Senate Armed Services Committee nomination hearing to introduce Carlos Del Toro, a former Navy Commander, Mount Vernon resident, and President Joe Biden’s nominee to serve as Secretary of the Navy. A longtime friend of the nominee, Sen. Warner introduced Del Toro in remarks that highlighted his extensive leadership and public service experience. 

“As we think about the challenges our Navy faces from, a geopolitical standpoint – I see these Mr. Chairman, as you know, more from the intel side, this distinguished committee sees it directly from the military side – we need someone who brings Carlos’ depth and breadth of understanding to be Secretary of the Navy at this critical time,” said Sen. Warner. This is a man of enormous, enormous character. He is a proud American, he loves our Navy, he loves this country, and that character I think will be incredibly important for a Secretary of the Navy at this moment in time. He will be an incredible leader of, but also advocate for, the most important asset our Navy has – and that is not our ships or technology, but the men and women who serve.”

“At this moment in time, with all the challenges our country faces here and abroad, on a whole host of fronts, I can think of no one better suited to take on this critically important role,” concluded Sen. Warner. “I speak with unquestionable conviction that he brings the character, the intellect, and the experience to be a great Secretary of the Navy and I urge this committee’s favorable consideration of his nomination.” 

Norfolk is home to the largest naval base in the world. Naval Station Norfolk also serves as a chief economic engine, with the Navy exceeding$15.4 billion in spending throughout the region. This spending accounts for 15 percent of the regional economy, which means that 15 cents of every dollar spent in Hampton Roads is spent by the Navy. 

Carlos Del Toro is a retired Commander in the U.S. Navy with nearly 40 years’ experience in national security and naval operations, budgeting, and acquisition. Over the course of his career in the U.S. Navy, Del Toro held a series of critical appointments – including Senior Executive Assistant to the Director for Program Analysis and Evaluation in the Office of the Secretary of Defense; First Commanding Officer of the guided missile destroyer USS Bulkeley; and Special Assistant to the Director and Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget – before founding SBG Technology Solutions, Inc. He has served as CEO and President of SBG Technology Solutions for the last 17 years. As CEO and President of SBG Technology Solutions, Del Toro has supported defense programs across a host of immediate and long-term Navy issue areas, including shipbuilding, AI, cybersecurity, acquisition programs, space systems, health, and training. Having earned a Masters in National Security Studies from the Naval War College and a Masters in Legislative Affairs from George Washington University, Del Toro has also supported military programs addressing policy and strategic studies.

Born in Havana, Cuba, Carlos Del Toro immigrated to the U.S. with his family as refugees in 1962. Raised in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City, he attended public schools and received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering. He was the first Hispanic President of the White House Fellows Foundation and Alumni association and serves on the Board of Directors of the Stimson Center. He was recently appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association’s Special Commission on Culture, Diversity, and Inclusion. Del Toro is married to Betty Del Toro, with whom they have four children and a granddaughter. 

If approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee, Del Toro’s nomination will head to the Senate floor, where it will be taken up for consideration by the entire Senate.

Sen. Warner’s introductory remarks as prepared for delivery are available below.

Good morning everyone. Mr. Chairman…Ranking Member…members of the Committee – thank you all for having me this morning.

I’m incredibly proud and honored to join you all today for this hearing, and to introduce someone close to me…someone who is a longtime friend and trusted voice…someone who is an excellent choice to be our nation’s next Secretary of the Navy…Carlos Del Toro.

I’ve known Carlos for more than 20 years now, having first met him through my wife and their work in connection to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. In the decades that followed, I’ve often leaned on Carlos’ expertise and experience in the Navy and the private sector when I’ve faced tough policy questions as Senator and as Governor of Virginia.  

Carlos’s story is uniquely American – after having immigrated to the United States with his family from Cuba, he went on to attend the Naval Academy and serve multiple tours of duty across the globe, which included assignments as an Executive Officer of a Naval Cruiser, and as the Pre-Commissioning and Commanding Officer of the USS Bulkeley destroyer.

From his 26 years of military service to our nation, in which he led sailors through times of conflict and peace, Carlos knows the demands of service and how to lead and support our servicemembers. 

And as husband to Betty, and father of four children, Carlos has seen firsthand the experiences and challenges of our military families, and the sacrifices that they too are asked to make on behalf of our nation.

For his military service, Carlos was honored with the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, whose other recipients include eight U.S. presidents, notable business leaders, and Nobel Prize winners.

Following Carlos’s retirement from the Navy in 2004, he founded a small business doing engineering and IT services work in Virginia. Over the past 17 years he’s grown his company, all the while navigating the challenges that any small business owner faces – making payroll, strategically investing in the future of the company and in your employees, and supporting and leading the men and women of the company. 

His company has received numerous awards under his leadership, being named a top Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business, and a 2020 Small Business Success Story by the SBA.

At a time when there are growing and incredibly complex threats facing our nation and our military…when there are exceedingly tough demands being placed upon our brave men and women in uniform and their families…when we find ourselves at a strategic crossroads requiring tough decisions and smart investments for the future…I can’t think of someone better positioned for this role and this moment, than Carlos Del Toro.

His nearly three decades of military service and leadership imbues him with a firsthand knowledge, understanding, and respect for the Navy’s capabilities…where its strengths and competitive advantages lie…and the challenges it faces. He’s seen the importance and complexities of shipbuilding to the Navy, and the need to provide support and stability to the industrial base.

Combined with his private sector career and experience, this knowledge will be particularly valuable as the Navy invests and makes tough, strategic, fiscally sound decisions about the future of the force, and best positions itself to confront the challenges coming over the horizon in the coming decades. 

Most importantly, however, is the kind of leader that Carlos is…the character that he has…and how the entirety of his career can be defined by supporting those he serves alongside. Carlos will be an incredible leader of, and advocate for, the most important asset our Navy has – the men and women who have put forth themselves in service to our nation.

It’s my privilege to be here today in support of an incredibly impressive man, and a good friend. I know that Carlos has the required experience and character to serve as Secretary of the Navy, and I look forward to you getting a sense of that firsthand here today.