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Rosselló appoints Treasury, AAFAF, Ag., DNER heads

CPA Raúl Maldonado has been designated to head the Puerto Rico Treasury Department.

Governor-elect Ricardo Rosselló announced Thursday his nominees to head the Treasury, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Resources (DNER) departments, as well as the executive director of the Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority, or AAFAF.

For the Treasury Department, Rosselló named Raúl Maldonado, a certified public accountant who graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a BA in accounting, as well as a Juris Doctor degree. Maldonado worked in the international accounting firms Ernst & Young and Price Waterhouse.

The nominee has more than 35 years of professional experience in the private and public sectors. He has served as deputy secretary of Treasury’s Internal Revenue division, responsible for coordinating the drafting of the Internal Revenue Code of 1994. He also worked on the development of tax reforms in Puerto Rico and other

Maldonado has participated in technical tax programs and forums on the tax administration in the United States, France, Ecuador, Venezuela, Mexico, Panama, Dominican Republic and Peru, among other countries.

“[Maldonado’s] professional background enables him to successfully perform the complex responsibility of transforming the Treasury Department into a modern and efficient one for the benefit of the people of Puerto Rico,” Rosselló said during a news conference Thursday.

To head AAFAF, Rosselló named Gerardo José Portela-Franco, who comes from the financial sector, where he worked for brokerage firms, including Santander Securities, focusing on the areas of public finance and municipal markets.

Portela-Franco studied at the UPR, Río Piedras Campus, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration majoring in Finance. In 2006, he won a Darden Foundation Scholarship to pursue post-graduate studies at the University of Virginia. In 2008, he obtained a Master in Business Administration from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration.

The designated head of AAFAF has professional experiences in financing of public-private partnerships, renewable energy projects, as well as complex corporate financial and commercial transactions.

“The rehabilitation of public finances require our administration’s primary attention. To this end, our economic team is strengthened by the appointment of Gerardo Franco-Portela as new executive director of AAFAF,” said the governor-elect.

During the news conference, he also announced the appointment of Agronomist Carlos Alberto Flores-Ortega as the new Agriculture Secretary. He is a graduate of the UPR-Mayagüez campus, where he completed a BA in Horticulture and a Masters in Plant Physiology.

He has served as executive director of the Agriculture Committees at both the Puerto Rico House and Senate, aside from having held the position of deputy-secretary of the Agriculture Department.

“We welcome the new Secretary of Agriculture, assigning him the responsibility of making a reality an ambitious government program to benefit farmers and the people of Puerto Rico,” said Rosselló.

Finally, Rosselló announced the appointment of Attorney Tania Vázquez-Rivera as the new Secretary of the DNER. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts and Labor relations from the UPR and a Juris Doctor degree from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico.

From 2009 to 2010, Vázquez-Rivera served as Deputy Secretary of the DNER. She also served as deputy executive director of the Infrastructure Financing Authority.

“I want to thank each of the designees for their availability serve Puerto Rico. In times of difficulty, the optimism, capacity and commitment of these excellent professionals stands out as they demonstrate that a better Puerto Rico is possible,” Rosselló said.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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