New faces join the EPA, Triple-S Foundation, Jackson Lewis
This edition of Climbing the Corporate Ladder includes new executive appointments in a cross-section of industries in Puerto Rico.
EPA appoints Lisa García as regional administrator for Region 2
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan announced that President Biden will appoint Lisa García to become EPA’s Regional Administrator for Region 2. García will lead the implementation of the Biden-Harris environmental agenda in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and eight Indian Nations.
“Lisa’s leadership will be instrumental to EPA’s work addressing the complicated intersection of environmental and economic challenges in Region 2. She brings a wealth of experience in fighting for climate justice and equity that will be invaluable as we deliver on our mission to protect communities from Puerto Rico to the U.S. Virgin Islands, and in New Jersey and New York, from pollution,” said Regan.
“I am honored to be appointed as Regional Administrator for EPA Region 2, and to help advance President Biden’s and Administrator Regan’s priorities to integrate environmental justice in all we do to tackle climate change, ensure all communities have clean drinking water and reduce toxic pollution in our air, water, and soil,” García said.
“With the passage of the historic infrastructure deal in Congress, I stand ready to serve with the amazing EPA staff and take action toward a more just and resilient planet,” she said.
García is a lawyer that has been using the power of law and policy over the past 20 years to advocate for environmental and climate justice. García was appointed to EPA in 2009, serving as associate administrator and advisor to EPA Administrators Jackson and McCarthy. She helped to lead the team responsible for the creation and implementation of Plan EJ 2014 —EPA’s first EJ strategic plan — and the design of EJSCREEN. García then worked as Vice President for Litigation at Earthjustice, and in 2019 joined GRIST magazine to lead a new program called Fix, Grist’s climate solutions lab focused on amplifying the voices of climate justice leaders.
Earlier in her career, García served as the Director of EJ and Indian Affairs at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and as Assistant Attorney General at the NYS Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Bureau. She was also an Associate Professor at Rutgers Law School, staff attorney at NYPIRG, and a legislative fellow for Senator Robert Torricelli and NJ State Senator Byron Baer.
New executive director for Fundación Triple-S
Lydia Figueroa, who joined Triple-S in 2020 as community outreach director, has been recently appointed as executive director for Fundación Triple-S.
“With Fundación Triple-S expanding its reach, we understood we needed a person fully dedicated to working with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and who had extensive experience in working with this sector to ensure that Fundación Triple-S may fulfill its role of becoming an effective agent of change,” said Ivelisse Fernández, chief growth and experience officer of Triple-S Management.
“Lydia’s professional trajectory as well as her work at Triple-S assure us that Fundación Triple-S will continue to grow at a time of great need in Puerto Rico,” she said.
Fundación de Triple-S was created in 2017 just after Hurricane María, initially to channel aid to those in need and then broadened is mission as Triple-S celebrated its 60th anniversary to improve health outcomes by addressing social drivers of health.
“We’re addressing social determinants of health such as food insecurity and emotional wellbeing among the population with a particular focus on social isolation and loneliness. We address these factors in collaboration with nonprofit organizations, providers and other key social groups,” said Figueroa.
Figueroa joined Triple-S in June of 2020 after working as executive director for YMCS for two years. Prior to that position, she was vice-president of development and educational services at Sistema TV of the University Ana G. Méndez.
In 2005 she worked as executive director of Episcopal Social Services. Lydia completed her bachelor’s at the University of Puerto Rico with a major in Social Work. She has a MA in nonprofit organizations from the Sacred Heart University and an MBA from Columbia University with a major in management of organizations and health systems
Jackson Lewis expands San Juan office
Nationwide employment law firm Jackson Lewis P.C. announced that Carlos J. Saavedra-Gutiérrez and Rosangela Sanfilippo-Resumil have joined the firm’s San Juan office.
“We’re thrilled to announce Carlos and Rosangela as the newest members of the San Juan team,” said Office Managing Principal and Litigation Manager Juan Felipe Santos.
“Both attorneys are well known in the region for managing high-profile litigation and other legal matters. Their knowledge and experience in their respective practice areas will continue to enhance the depth and breadth of our San Juan team,” he said.
Saavedra joins the firm as of counsel in the San Juan office. He focuses his practice on labor relations and has more than 10 years of experience in both the private and public sectors. From 2017 to 2019, Saavedra was the youngest Puerto Rico Secretary of Labor and Human Resources.
As secretary, he oversaw the implementation of a private sector labor reform that amended and modernized most employment laws and workplace regulations in Puerto Rico. During 2019, Saavedra served as general counsel to the governor of Puerto Rico, advising the governor on all legal matters, including analyzing legislation, drafting executive orders, and supervising all public policy-related litigation in state and federal court.
Later, Saavedra was chief legal officer of the Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (AAFAF, in Spanish), managing and supervising the legal strategy of the Puerto Rico Title III bankruptcy-like proceedings under the PROMESA Act. As chief legal officer, he also supervised and led the restructuring negotiations of more than $70 billion in debt across 17 different issuers in Puerto Rico.
Saavedra earned his J.D. from the University of Puerto Rico Law School and his B.A. from the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras.
Sanfilippo also joins the firm as of counsel. She focuses her practice on workplace safety and health matters. Before joining Jackson Lewis, Sanfilippo led the legal operation of one of the largest healthcare plans in Puerto Rico and has experience providing advice in all matters regarding employment, physician engagement and compensation, physician group structure and operation, risk adjustment as well as regulatory compliance in Medicare Advantage matters. Prior to that work experience, Sanfilippo was the chair of the labor and employment law department at another firm in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
In addition, Sanfilippo served for two terms as president of the Insurance Company Association of Puerto Rico, working directly as a liaison between the insurance companies and related governmental entities such as the Office of the Insurance Commissioner and the Health Department, creating key relationships with stakeholders in both agencies. Additionally, Sanfilippo served as a pro bono attorney for the Ricky Martin Foundation. She currently serves as director for the Legal Coalition for Puerto Rico, a nonprofit organization providing free legal services to other nonprofit organizations.
Sanfilippo earned her J.D. from the University of Puerto Rico Law School and her B.A from University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras.