Hon. Luis G. Fortuño
Governor (2009 - 2003), Resident Commissioner (2005 - 2009) and current GOP Committeeman
Former Governor of Puerto Rico Luis G. Fortuño is a partner in the Washington office of Steptoe, where he is a member of the Corporate, Securities & Finance Group and the Government Affairs and Public Policy Group. He is also involved in Steptoe’s Latin American practice. In private practice, Mr. Fortuño has represented Fortune 500 companies in regulatory, financial, real estate, mergers and acquisitions, and other corporate matters throughout Latin America.
Under Mr. Fortuño’s leadership as governor, between 2008 and 2012, Puerto Rico implemented the largest tax cut in the territory’s history, right-sized its government, reined in deficit spending, and developed new sources of government revenue. As a result, in the last year of his term, Puerto Rico experienced economic growth for the first time in six years. Additionally, Mr. Fortuño’s signature public-private partnerships law paved the way for two of the largest recent infrastructure investments in the US, one in Puerto Rico’s highway system and the island’s main international airport.
Following law school graduation, Mr. Fortuño joined the corporate practice of a leading Puerto Rico law firm. In 1993, he was appointed executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company and president of Puerto Rico’s Hotel Development Corporation. In 1994, Mr. Fortuño was appointed Puerto Rico’s Secretary of Economic Development and Commerce, a position he held until 1997, when he returned to private practice for another eight years.
Since 2001, Mr. Fortuño has served as Puerto Rico’s National Committeeman at the Republican National Committee. In the 2004 general elections, Mr. Fortuño was elected as Puerto Rico’s sole representative in the US House of Representatives. His peers in Congress then elected him vice-president of the House Republican freshman class. He also served as vice-chair of the Congressional Hispanic Conference during the 109th Congress and as chair during the 110th Congress. Additionally, he served as co-chair of the Congressional Friends of Spain Caucus. In 2007, he was appointed as the Republican minority’s Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs for the 110th Congress. He also served as a member of the following House committees: Transportation and Infrastructure, Natural Resources, International Relations, and Education and Workforce.
Mr. Fortuño is a member of the American Law Institute. He served as President of the Council of State Governments (2011-2012) and as Chairman of the Southern Governors Association (2011-2012). He also served on the Board of Directors of the Center for Best Practices of the National Governors Association (2010-2012) and was appointed by President Obama to be one of ten governors serving in the Council of Governors (2010-2012).
Hon. Zoraida Fonalledas
GOP National Committeewoman for Puerto Rico
Zoraida Fonalledas was elected to the Republican National Committee as National Committeewoman for Puerto Rico in 1995. Throughout all these years, Zori has been the backbone of the Republican Party of Puerto Rico, dedicating her energy and enthusiasm to increasing its grassroots activity by coordinating fundraising events and actively participating as a Republican in local and stateside activities.
Her political career began as the grandchild of one of Puerto Rico’s foremost leaders in the Republican Party, Rafael Martinez Nadal. She inherited his fierce and determined spirit to promote statehood, equal rights and republican values to both the residents of Puerto Rico, and the Puerto Ricans in the Mainland.
Previously Fonalledas served as the Chairwoman of the Mitt Romney campaign in Puerto Rico. She has been a member of the Budget Committee, Rules Committee, and the Committee on Arrangements of the Republican National Committee. She was the Chairwoman of the Committee on Permanent Organization in the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL. After the 2012 National election cycle she was appointed as one of the five Co-Chairs of the Growth & Opportunity Project Commission of the Republican National Committee.
She was a member of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities and is currently a member of the Board of Trustees Ana G. Méndez University System in Puerto Rico and member of the International Institute for People with Disabilities of Puerto Rico.
Hon. Alfonso Aguilar
Former Chief of the U.S. Office of Citizenship
Alfonso Aguilar is the President of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, a Washington, DC based advocacy group, which promotes conservative values and ideals within the Latino community and works to integrate Latinos into fuller and more active participation and leadership in the conservative movement. He is also the President of the International Human Rights Group, a non-profit legal foundation accredited before the Organization of American States (OAS), which seeks to defend and protect political rights, religious freedom, and the dignity of the human person through the Inter-American System of Human Rights. He also serves as an advisor to the Holy See’s Mission to the OAS and has been a member of the Vatican’s delegation to the most recent General Assemblies of the OAS.
Mr. Aguilar is the first and former Chief of the U.S. Office of Citizenship. Appointed by President George W. Bush, Mr. Aguilar was responsible for developing and promoting public initiatives and programs to educate immigrants about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and encourage their integration into American civic culture. He led the effort to develop the new naturalization test of the United States, which took effect on October 1, 2008.
Before joining the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2003, Mr. Aguilar served in numerous high-level government positions in the Bush Administration and the government of Puerto Rico, including Deputy Director of Public Affairs at U.S. Department of Energy, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration and Press Secretary to former Governor Pedro Rossello of Puerto Rico.
Mr. Aguilar is also a well known policy and political analyst. He writes a column for the daily La Opinion of Los Angeles, California, the largest Spanish language newspaper in the country, and is regularly quoted in major national newspapers and digital media outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Washington Post, Politico and the Huffington Post. He appears frequently in national radio and TV shows, including the Laura Ingraham Show, FOX News’s The O’Reilly Factor and The Kelly File, NBC Meet the Press, CBS Face the Nation, CNN Newsroom, Telemundo’s Enfoque, Univision’s Despierta America and Al Punto and CNN en Espanol’s Directo USA and Choque de Opiniones.