Melba Acosta Resigns as GDB President
SAN JUAN — On Thursday, La Fortaleza announced the resignation of Government Development Bank (GDB) President & Chairwoman Melba Acosta, effective July 31.
In her resignation letter dated July 6, she says it is time to refocus her professional career, after 12 years of public service, three of which took place under the Alejandro García Padilla administration.
Although warning there is still work to be done, Acosta said that with the enactment of Promesa, the approval of the fiscal 2017 budget, the release of fiscal 2014 audited financial statements, and advanced debt-restructuring negotiations with the island’s creditors, she believes to have fulfilled her commitment with the governor and the Puerto Rico people.
With Acosta’s exit, the GDB would have four of its seven director posts vacant. Although it didn’t publicly announce it, La Fortaleza filled on May 17 two vacancies with the appointment of Rafael Vélez Pérez and Carlos Bonilla Agosto. Economic Development Secretary Alberto Bacó Bagué is the other member of the bank’s board.
For months, La Fortaleza has been seeking candidates for these vacancies, yet it has struggled to find individuals willing to accept the responsibility amid the GDB’s financial woes.
The governor thanked Acosta — who has been running point in the commonwealth’s debt-restructuring efforts — for her work during the past three and half years, first as Secretary of Treasury and then as chief of the GDB.
“Puerto Rico needs more public servants like her. I know that the road has not been easy for Acosta, and on behalf of all Puerto Ricans, I reiterate my thanks and wish her every success in her professional future,” stated the governor.
For her part, Acosta said she remains hopeful Puerto Rico will successfully achieve the restructuring of its debt, “now even more with the tools provided by the federal law Promesa, and gradually recover financial stability and economic growth,” reads the statement released by La Fortaleza.
“Melba came at a critical time for the public finances of Puerto Rico. Her vision to modernize the [Puerto Rico] Treasury [Department], the KPMG study to achieve a better tax system for Puerto Ricans, measures to stabilize the liquidity of the GDB, her collaboration in the fiscal adjustment plan, the task of the Krueger Plan, the Moratorium Law and her perseverance in achieving a voluntary agreement with our creditors, are only examples of the deep commitment she has had to get Puerto Rico out of its fiscal crisis,” the governor further stated.
Story updated with information about the governor’s most recent appointments to the bank’s board.