Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources Secretary Tapped to Head EPA’s Caribbean Environmental Protection Division

(New York, N.Y. – May 19, 2016) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that Carmen Guerrero Pérez has been selected to lead the EPA’s Caribbean Environmental Protection Division, covering Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The division serves as the primary liaison on environmental issues and problems with the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and Territory of the Virgin Islands governments, as well as with the press, community groups, and regulated industries and authorities. The Caribbean Environmental Protection Division is comprised of about 60 people who conduct inspections, identify violations and develop enforcement actions, and implement clean water, drinking water, air, Superfund, hazardous waste, toxics and other EPA programs in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Ms. Guerrero will join EPA on July 11, 2016.

“I am so pleased to select Carmen Guerrero Pérez for this extremely important post. Her dedication to the people of Puerto Rico and the environment is unmatched and she will be an amazing asset to EPA’s senior leadership team,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator.  “Carmen is a consummate professional and her skills and environmental ethic will help lead our already strong team of dedicated staff and managers in our Caribbean Environmental Protection Division to do great things for the people of Puerto Rico.”

Carmen Guerrero Pérez has served as Secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources since 2013.  In this capacity, she led the expansion of the island’s natural protected areas network and the implementation of a number of Executive Orders regarding climate change resiliency and adaptation at an island and municipal scale level. Carmen has also spearheaded initiatives to protect Puerto Rico’s coastlines and diverse ecosystems.

Carmen has had a long and fruitful career in environmental conservation and community engagement in the management of protected areas and ecosystems.  Carmen started her career at the Office of Policy and Planning of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, D.C.  She returned to Puerto Rico to join the San Juan Bay Estuary Program as a Project Coordinator.  For more than 15 years, she served as environmental and conservation planner and consultant to numerous organizations and government entities, among them: Puerto Rico Conservation Trust, El Yunque National Forest, Corporación ENLACE del Caño Martín Peña, University of Puerto Rico, Banco Popular Foundation, and The Nature Conservancy. Carmen also founded an environmental non-government organization that provides volunteer advisory services on environmental and sustainable development issues to local communities across Puerto Rico.

Carmen has a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Public Policy from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She has a Masters’ Degree in Environmental Planning from the Graduate School of Planning at the University of Puerto Rico and a Masters’ Degree in Environmental Management from the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University in Connecticut. She also participated in sustainable development study programs at Costa Rica and at the University of California in Berkeley.  She is a licensed professional planner in Puerto Rico.