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Home > About GDB > Gallery of Presidents

Gallery of Past Presidents


Rafael Buscaglia Rivera (1942-48, 1949-53)

Rafael Buscaglia Rivera was born in Ponce on January 4, 1902. He graduated from the Ponce High School and later attended the University of Puerto Rico's College of Law in Río Piedras. In 1927, he received his law degree and began his career as a private practice attorney. Fourteen years later, he was appointed Puerto Rico Treasurer by Governor Guy J. Swope.

From the beginning of his career as public servant, Buscaglia Rivera promoted the creation of a development bank whose mission would be to serve as a catalyst for economic development in the island. In 1942, after convincing bankers, businesspeople and politicians about the virtues of his plan, the Puerto Rico Development Bank was founded as part of the Puerto Rico Treasury Department. However, Buscalia Rivera believed that, more than a new commercial bank, Puerto Rico needed a Bank with bigger tools to promote, together with the Government of the island, a sustained economic development. Thanks to his efforts, in 1945, the Development Bank was given the responsibility of acting as Fiscal Agent of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

In 1948, the Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico was created as a public corporation, replacing the Development Bank. That year, Buscaglia Rivera was appointed by Governor Jesús T. Piñero as the first President and Chairman of the Board of the Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico, two positions he held until he retired in 1953.  Buscaglia Rivera's accomplishments while at the helm of the Development Bank and the GDB for more than 11 years include: the granting financing for the construction of the Caribe Hilton Hotel, million dollarn loans granted to the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company, and bond issues for more than 70 million dollars for the Puerto Rico Water Resources Authority for core projects for the Puerto Rica industrial development.

After his retirement, Buscaglia Rivera moved to Madrid where he lived for several years. Susbsequently, he returned to Puerto Rico where he lived until his demise on April 16, 1984.

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