U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela has been named deputy head of the U.S. Delegation to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Parliamentary Assembly (PA), which is made up of more than 250 delegates from 30 NATO countries who provide oversight of NATO operations and act as a conduit between the alliance and lawmakers of member countries.

Vela, a Brownsville native and resident, will work closely with the head of the bipartisan U.S. delegation to the assembly, U.S. Rep. Gerald Connolly, “to champion NATO’s values of democracy and alliance in a time when our world faces threats like the coronavirus pandemic and great power competition,” according to Vela’s office.

Vela said he is “deeply honored” to have been chosen for the role.

“With the NATO Alliance becoming an increasingly vital forum for discussions among Allied countries, NATO PA will be the conduit for those political discussions to take place and cultivate strong relationships,” he said. “With adversarial nations searching for opportunities to create contention within the Alliance, the strong relationships among political leaders are more important than ever. I look forward to working with my colleagues to find innovative ways that will strengthen our partnerships and bring NATO towards its 2030 vision.”