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Home > About GDB > Gallery of Presidents

Gallery of Past Presidents

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Josť M. Berrocal (1991-1992)

Josť M. Berrocal, a young professional with a solid preparation in Economics and Law, was appointed President of the GDB on July 11, 1991, and took office on August 1. At the time of his designation, Berrocal worked alongside Governor Rafael Hernández Colón in crucial matters for Puerto Rico, such as, the tax reform and the defense of Section 936.

Berrocal, born in San Juan in 1957, graduated from the Academia del Perpetuo Socorro in 1975. He received a bachelor's degree Magna Cum Laude from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He was selected Marshall Scholar to study at Nuffield College, University of Oxford in England, where he obtained a master's degree in Economics. He completed a Ph.D. in Law at Yale University, where he was editor of the law review. Berrocal began his career as Law Clerk at the Circuit Court of Appeals of New York. He returned to Puerto Rico during Governor Rafael Hernández Colón's second term and was appointed economic advisor and advisor to the Governor in Puerto Rico status-related matters. He was appointed President of the Government Development Bank in August 1991 and served until December 1992.

While at the helm of the GDB, Berrocal established the Corporation for the Computation of Arbitration and Public Debt Control as a GDB subsidiary to help the government of the Commonwealth, its corporation and municipalities register their investments in bonds and notes that are subject to the rules of arbitration under federal law.  In 1992, a $123 million issue was placed to finance the first private toll bridge in Puerto Rico and the United States. That same year the GDB allocated $5 million for the Puerto Rico Development Fund in order to provide financing, capital investments or loan guarantees to supplementary projects qualifying under the Caribbean Basin Initiative. In addition, during this period Berrocal began expressing his interest in creating a mechanism through the GDB that would help outstanding students of Economics and Finance complement their college preparation while encouraging them to enter public service and contribute their talents.

At the end of his term, in 1992, Berrocal moved to New York, where he worked with the firm of Wolfensohn, alongside professionals such as Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve. He was in charge of the private investments of, and providing advice on acquisitions to a select group of clients. He was a member of the Puerto Rico Bar Association and was also admitted to practice law in the cities of New York and Washington. His premature demise took place at the height of his career, in October 2000, when he was only 43 years of age.

 
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