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PR Newswire (U.S.)

The Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF) Elects New Board Chair; Adopts $2.2 Million Budget

June 29, 2004
Copyright © 2004 PR Newswire Association LLC. All rights reserved.

NEW YORK, June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- At its June 25, 2004 Annual Meeting, the Board of Directors of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF), one of the leading Latino civil rights organizations in the United States, unanimously elected former ambassador Gabriel Guerra-Mondragon as its Chair. Ambassador Guerra-Mondragon follows Carlos Ortiz, General Counsel of Goya Foods, in this leadership position in the 32-year-old institution.

The 61-year-old San Juan, Puerto Rico-born Guerra-Mondragon is an attorney and former Foreign Service officer. He served as US Ambassador to Chile under the Clinton Administration in 1994-8 and in 1979 had the distinction of being the first Hispanic career Foreign Service officer to work in the office of the Secretary of State. He is currently a consultant whose clients include the Government of Puerto Rico. He resides in New York City where he serves as a Trustee of the Museo del Barrio and is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and the Puerto Rican Bar Association.

Ambassador Guerra-Mondragon has a long and distinguished career in public service. He began his professional career as a staff attorney with US Commission on Civil Rights (1969-72); deputy administrator of the Office of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in Washington, DC (1973-5); executive director of the US National Commission for UNESCO (1977-9); president of TKC International (1987-94); and of counsel to Shepardson Stein and Kaminsky in 1998. He attended Fordham University, the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Puerto Rico Law School.

The PRLDEF Board elected the following other officers:

* Vice Chair: Diana Correa, attorney and higher education development consultant (Florida)

* Secretary: Linda Willett, Vice President, BristolMyers-Squibb (New York)

* Treasurer: Robert F. Rosario, CPA, Rosario & Co. (New Jersey)

* At-Large Member: Martin Zuckerman, retired banker and PRLDEF Board member for 21 years (New York)

* At-Large Member: William A. Brewer III, Esq., Partner, Bickel & Brewer (New York and Texas)

The Board had recently added a number of new directors, who include:

* Jorge Suarez-Velez, Esq., Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd (New York)

* Ronald Tabak, Esq., Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP (New York)

* Juan R. Zalduondo Viera, Esq. (Puerto Rico)

The PRLDEF Board of Directors also approved a budget for fiscal year 2005 of $2.2 Million. They announced, as well, the date of their Annual Awards Banquet -- November 9, 2004 -- to be held at the Sheraton New York Hotel.

The Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund was established in 1972 in New York City to protect the civil rights of Latinos in the United States. Cesar A. Perales, one of the organization's founders, currently serves as its President and General Counsel.

Web site:

CONTACT: Cesar Perales, +1-212-739-7494 or +1-917-674-5585,

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