Josué E. Rivera is the State Director of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rural Development (RD) in Puerto Rico.
Appointed as State Director by the President of the United States in 2018, Mr. Rivera served as the Chairman of the State Food and Agriculture Council (SFAC). Among other initiatives, he co-organized the first Puerto Rico Rural Lending Investment Summit, achieved Puerto Rico’s selection as a state pilot program for the Single-Family Housing Repair program, and organized industry-leading roundtables in telecommunications and public health, respectively, with federal and state partners. Mr. Rivera also completed the largest public utility restructuring in Rural
Development’s portfolio, a $423 million transaction involving the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA).
Previously, Mr. Rivera was a policy advisor with the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA), an agency that represents the Governor of Puerto Rico in Washington, DC. His advocacy portfolio included issues such as agriculture, telecommunications, interstate commerce, air cargo deregulation, employee retention credit, Opportunity Zones, and federal tax reform. Consistent with his focus on good governance, his PRFAA peers elected Mr. Rivera as the chairman of the agency’s ethics committee.
In the aftermath of Hurricane María in 2017, Mr. Rivera was responsible for garnering resources and coordinating recovery efforts following the storm’s catastrophic path through Puerto Rico. He worked directly with FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center (NRCC) and the National Business Emergency Operations Center (NBEOC) to expedite recovery efforts. He also led advocacy sessions and delegations to Capitol Hill whose work ultimately resulted in the appropriation of $55 billion in disaster supplemental funds for Puerto Rico. The Association of University of the Puerto Rico Alumni and Friends Abroad (UPRAA) recognized Mr. Rivera with the Distinguished Alumni Award for his Hurricane María recovery efforts.
Mr. Rivera hails from the private sector, having served as an associate of the Assurance Practices division of the globally-renowned PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP. (PwC). He also practiced as an associate in Falcón Sánchez & Associates, one of Puerto Rico’s premier accounting firms, and launched his own consulting business for companies on accounting, business development, and government affairs. During this time, Mr. Rivera was the Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA), Puerto Rico Chapter.
Raised in Bayamón, Mr. Rivera enjoyed a productive career while a student at the University of Puerto Rico at Bayamón. In 2010, the World Affairs Council of America awarded him a full scholarship to represent Puerto Rico in Washington, DC at its annual conference “US Foreign Policy: Into the Next Decade.” Later, the Puerto Rico Department of State selected Mr.
Rivera as a member of the 2010 cohort of the Baltasar Corrada Del Río Internship program. His commitment to community service earned him awards by multiple non-profit organizations, such as the congressionally-chartered U.S. Civil Air Patrol and the National Exchange Club of San Juan. Mr. Rivera ultimately earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting in 2014.
Mr. Rivera has been happily married to his college sweetheart, Stephanie González, since 2016. They both live in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico.