United States Department of Agriculture
State Director, Rural Development
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 April 2018, Josué served as the Chairman of the State Food and Agriculture Council (SFAC) rotation during his first year in office. 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. Under his leadership, the agency completed the largest public utility restructuring in Rural Development’s portfolio, over $400 million transaction involving the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA). During his first year in office, Josué received a Gears of Government Award from the U.S. Office of Management and Budget in 2018 for hurricane recovery efforts. Previously, he served as 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 finance, 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 Josué as the chairman of the agency’s ethics committee.
In the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and María in 2017, he 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 historic appropriation of disaster supplemental funds for Puerto Rico. The Association of the University of the Puerto Rico Alumni and Friends Abroad (UPRAA) recognized Josué with the Distinguished Alumni Award for his Hurricane María recovery efforts. Josué previously practiced audit in an associate-level role in the globally-known PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP. (PwC). He also practiced as an associate in the locally prestigious Falcón Sánchez & Associates. During this time, he was the Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA), Puerto Rico Professional Chapter.