Rosselló Picks Resident Commissioner Pierluisi’s son to Head Consumer Affairs Department
SAN JUAN – Governor-elect Ricardo Rosselló Nevares announced Monday that he has designated Michael Pierluisi Rojo, the son of outgoing Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, as secretary of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DACO by its Spanish acronym).
Rosselló Nevares denied it was a “consolation prize” for the outgoing resident commissioner after he was defeated in the New Progressive Party (NPP) primaries. On the contrary, he assured that his son is “a great professional” who can meet the challenges of public service.
“I know it’s sometimes a bit difficult to look past…last names, but [Pierluisi Rojo] has extraordinary ability. He graduated with incredible results from law school; of the best scores in the bar exam [and] has worked successfully after that…,” Rosselló said.
For his part, Pierluisi Rojo recalled his work and academic achievements and said that, as DACO secretary, he intends to make the agency “agile and efficient,” and that it garner “the Puerto Rican consumer’s trust […;] fair but firm” before the businesses and open to dialogue with public employees.
To be approved by the Senate “would be a great honor for me to be part of a family legacy that has always [served] Puerto Rico, starting with my grandfather, who is here today, Jorge Pierluisi, who was the secretary of Housing…,” Pierluisi Rojo said, citing other family members who have served in government.
“And above all, the person who inspired me most and motivated me to serve Puerto Rico, my father, Pedro Pierluisi. And of course those steps will be difficult to follow, I admit, but I’m honored, it motivates and inspires me to give it my all for Puerto Rico,” the secretary-designate said.
In addition to his grandfather and father having been public servants, Pierluisi Rojo’s uncle, José Jaime Pierluisi, was an economic adviser to former Gov. Pedro Rosselló, while his aunt, Caridad, was in charge of former first lady Lucé Vela’s office.
“The steps to follow are difficult for this servant as well,” Rosselló Nevares said in reference to his father, former Gov. Pedro Rosselló. “It is now up to this generation to stand on the shoulders of these giants and further their efforts for a better Puerto Rico,” he added.
The outgoing resident commissioner, who was present during the announcement at the Government’s Reception Center, said he was proud of his son’s pick to public office because “he has his own merits” and “I know he’s going to do an excellent job.”
Pierluisi Rojo began campaigning for Rosselló Nevares when his father wasn’t elected the party’s gubernatorial candidate, at which point he “offered to help” during the process. Later, when Rosselló Nevares was elected, the governor-elect approached Pierluisi Rojo for the DACO position and asked the resident commissioner for his approval.
“After that [the talk with the DACO secretary-designate] came the little bit tougher conversation with the father because he [Pierluisi], like mine, knows how difficult public life is as well as its challenges. He, like my father, it was like déjà vu, he gave the due cautionary advice, but certainly concluded that if he had the passion and commitment, because we know he has the capacity, he would let his son make the decision,” the governor-elect recalled.
The new DACO designate earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance from Villanova University and received his Juris Doctor from the University of Puerto Rico’s School of Law.
He has served as legal officer in the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico, alongside Associate Judge Roberto Feliberti Cintrón, and currently works at the O’Neill & Borges law firm.