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Distingushed Lecturer at Hostos Community College (CUNY). Served as the Governor’s Chief of Staff for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, where he was responsible for managerial, policy and operational oversight of over 120 agencies of the Commonwealth, with 195,000 public employees, a $9.48 billion general fund operating budget and a $25 billion consolidated budget. Among his most noteworthy achievements as Chief of Staff: *Conceptualized and implemented the Construction & Housing Economic Stimulus Package to revive Puerto Rico’s sluggish housing/construction sector with a multipronged approach including: legislation granting $220 million in new housing tax credits, that has already benefitted over 11,500 families; FHA Boricua, an innovative low- and middle-income lending guarantee program, that has already guaranteed over $50 million in mortgages; and, increased flexibility to allow lending guarantees for affordable housing development. *Led the executive branch team to develop and approve Puerto Rico’s New Economic Incentives Law, the most comprehensive transformation of our principal economic development tool, which provides unprecedented tax credits for renewable energy and other strategic industries, such as life-sciences and aerospace, and has already attracted or retained over 5,000 highly-skilled, well-paying jobs to PR. *Developed an on-going comprehensive six-strategy Economic Development & Government Transformation Plan to: drive the tourism industry with over 5,000 new hotel rooms, including several five-star hotels currently under construction; drive renewable and other energy projects, such as the recently approved Southeast wind farm, to reduce our oil dependency; overhaul the regulatory processes to drive entrepreneurial activity, with over 1,000 new small businesses already established; increase government infrastructure projects via public-private partnerships, with potential to invest over $3 billion in public works; make Puerto Rico a center of excellence in life sciences by promoting R&D; and, transform government processes, reducing over 16,500 positions (around 8%) via hiring freezes and early retirement programs. Mr. Silva Puras also served as Puerto Rico’s Secretary of Economic Development & Commerce, where he was responsible for developing and executing the economic development policies for the Commonwealth in areas of Tourism, Commerce & Trade, and Industrial Development, including: *Focus on transforming our industrial sector to a growing life sciences center of excellence, recognized by BIO in 2006 with the selection of Governor Acevedo Vila as Bio-Governor of the Year, and attracting over $250 million in capital investment in the growing biotech and aerospace engineering fields. *Inaugurating a state of the art Puerto Rico Convention Center and District, that has already attracted over 25 conventions, 20,000 visitors, and generated over $35 million in economic activity. During his tenure as Secretary, he also served as Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO), where he spearheaded, led and managed the most dramatic transformation in the history of this 50-year-old state-owned corporation that manages over 24 million sq. ft. of Industrial Real Estate, and has an operational budget and revenues of over $150 million. He led the transformation of PRIDCO from a state-subsidized company of over 700 employees, with a stiffened structure, and a declining promotional record, into a much more effective, self-sufficient company, with only 325 employees, and a new multidisciplinary promotional system that has significantly grown the promotional success rate, particularly in the competitive biotechnology and aerospace engineering sectors. Among his private sector experiences, he worked at Citigroup, Inc, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, as Vice President, Citicards credit card portfolio manager, managing Puerto Rico’s second biggest credit card portfolio. He also worked for almost nine years at The Procter & Gamble Company, in Cincinnati, OH and San Juan, PR, as Brand Manager in charge of the Caribbean Region for all P&G Brands. Previously in charge of Hispanic Marketing of the Paper Division for entire US and PR. He started with P&G in Cincinnati as an Assistant Brand Manager, achieving the fastest promotion to Brand Manager among all peers in the division. Mr. Silva Puras is also a licensed attorney, who worked in the Litigation Division of Oneill & Borges, one of the top corporate law firms in San Juan, concentrating in commercial, bankruptcy and civil litigation. Mr. Silva Puras received his BA in Political Science from Yale University in 1988. He also holds a Juris Doctor degree with honors from the University of Puerto Rico, and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, including studies in International Management at the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. During his four years in Government, Mr. Silva Puras served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the following: Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company, Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Puerto Rico Commerce and Trade Company, Puerto Rico Science and Technology Trust, Convention Center District Authority, Roosevelt Roads Naval Base Redevelopment Authority, Port of the Americas Authority, and the Puerto Rico Land Administration. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of: Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico, Economic Development Bank for Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico Ports Authority, Puerto Rico Infrastructure Financing Authority He is admitted to the Bars of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
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