Governor announces several new appointments
By John McPhaul
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi on Monday announced new appointments for the Convention Center District Authority, the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions (OCIF by its Spanish initials), the Highways and Transportation Authority (ACT), the Mental Health and Anti-Addiction Services Administration (ASSMCA), the Roosevelt Roads Redevelopment Authority, the Tourism Co., the Division of Gaming and the Bureau of Special Investigations.
The governor appointed Mariela Vallines Fernández as executive director of the Convention Center District Authority. Vallines Fernández has served as director of the Legal Division of the Municipality of Guaynabo and is currently the deputy mayor of the metro area municipality.
She has worked in Legal Aid clinics and practiced as a trial lawyer in civil, criminal, administrative and appellate practice cases, and also has worked in the hospitality industry for the Westin and Wyndham hotel chains.
Vallines Fernández has a Juris Doctor degree and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Inter-American University of Puerto Rico, both cum laude.
Natalia Zequeira Díaz, who was appointed OCIF commissioner, has worked for numerous banking institutions on the island and had the opportunity to work as a legal adviser to resolve internal problems and controversies related to applicability, jurisdiction and regulations at Citibank International PLC in Madrid.
Zequeira Díaz holds a Juris Doctor from Inter-American University of Puerto Rico. She also completed a master’s degree in banking, corporations, and financial law. She earned a bachelor’s degree in international marketing from Saint Joseph University.
At the ACT, the governor appointed engineer Francisco Rodríguez Dosal as executive director. Rodríguez Dosal has 24 years of experience in public service and in the construction industry. He has also been part of and presided over various infrastructure and construction projects with different companies in the western region of Puerto Rico.
Rodríguez Dosal has worked as a professor of civil engineering at the University of Puerto Rico. He has a Master of Science in civil engineering, and completed two bachelor’s degrees, one in civil engineering sciences and the other in surveying and topography sciences, at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus.
Dr. Carlos Rodríguez Mateo, who was appointed director of ASSMCA, has vast experience in the areas of medicine and public policy. He was medical director of facilities in Guayama and Salinas, and served as a university professor while pursuing his medical career. He also stood out as mayor of Salinas, and as a senator and chairman of various committees of the Puerto Rico Senate.
Rodríguez Mateo holds four master’s degrees in public health, strategic governance and political communication, public administration, and management and political decision, from various prestigious universities. He studied medicine at the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra Santiago in the Dominican Republic, and graduated from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus with a bachelor’s degree in biology.
Nilda Marchan, who was nominated as executive director of the Roosevelt Roads Redevelopment Authority, has experience at Roosevelt Roads where she has served as a project manager and later as the director of development and operations. She also served in the Puerto Rico Land Administration, where she managed the government property portfolio.
Marchan was vice president of the American Institute of Architects for two years, representing Puerto Rico. She worked in various architecture firms in Puerto Rico and for more than 10 years she worked in San Francisco, California, where she dedicated herself to designing federal projects such as the Treasure Island Naval Station and two American embassies abroad, and the largest women’s university in the world, in Saudi Arabia.
She holds a master’s degree in architecture and a bachelor’s degree in environmental design from the University of Puerto Rico School of Architecture.
The governor also nominated Carlos Mercado Santiago as executive director of the Tourism Co. Mercado began his career directing marketing efforts for the International Institute of Tropical Forestry, where he was charged with creating and promoting educational campaigns on forest conservation in conjunction with multiple agencies and non-profit organizations.
He completed a master’s degree in strategic management and corporate finance from Metropolitan University, where he also earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration.