Puerto Rico board names veteran of Ukraine restructuring as executive director

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The Puerto Rico Oversight Board has named a veteran of the Ukraine's 2014 to 2016 restructuring to be its executive director.

The board announced in a written statement Thursday that Natalie Jaresko will be the executive director. Jaresko will replace interim executive director Ramón Ruiz.

According to the board, "as Minister of Finance of Ukraine from 2014 to 2016 Chicago-born Jaresko served at one of the most critical times in Ukraine's history, when the post-revolutionary state was rocked by a foreign occupation and a deep recession. During her tenure she led the successful negotiation and implementation of the largest International Monetary Fund program in the institution's history, as well as a complex sovereign and sovereign guaranteed debt restructuring."

Board Chairman José Carrión III said, "Ukraine's situation three years ago – like Puerto Rico's today – was near catastrophic, but she worked with stakeholders to bring needed reforms that restored confidence, economic vitality, and reinvestment in the country and its citizens. That's exactly what Puerto Rico needs today. We are confident she will make an immediate, significant, and sustained contribution in our effort to keep Puerto Rico on the path to economic recovery."

As minister of finance Jaresko cut the government's spending and deficit, introduced tax reform, and improved the government's investment resources for infrastructure and social spending, the board said.

From 2006 to 2014 Jaresko was one of the co-founders and the chief executive officer of Horizon Capital, a private equity fund manager with over $600 million under management.

"Natalie Jaresko is well-known both for her strong financial ability and fiscal rectitude," said Robert Zoellick, former president of the World Bank. "She has demonstrated great integrity and also empathy for the public she has served while working on the policy frontlines. She has earned global respect and the people of Puerto Rico and the U.S. government are fortunate to have her on the job."

Jaresko holds a master's degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a bachelor's degree in accounting from DePaul University.

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