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Sila María Calderón: 1942—: Governor of Puerto Rico Biography

Elected Mayor Of San Juan, Fought Government Corruption As Governor, Faced Off Against United States

Sila María Calderón: 1942—: Governor of Puerto Rico.

As the former mayor of San Juan, and as Puerto Rico's first woman governor, Sila María Calderón has set goals to ally Puerto Rico with other Latin American nations and to establish national autonomy. To reduce poverty among 3.8 million mostly Hispanic citizens, she sought tax breaks for investors and fuller employment throughout the country. A fierce opponent of U.S. naval ordnance training on Vieques Island, she enlarged protests by enlisting political leaders from districts with large Latino constituencies.

Born in San Juan on September 23, 1942, Calderón enjoyed the comfort and affluence provided by her father, César A. Calderón, a hotelier and ice cream manufacturer. An honor student educated in island history at Sacred Heart Academy in Santurce, she traveled Europe with her father and mother, homemaker Sila Serra Calderón. Calderón studied government at Manhattanville College in New York City, and public administration at the University of Puerto Rico.

In 1973 Calderón became the executive assistant to her former labor relations professor, Luis Strong Silva, when he was appointed Puerto Rico's secretary of labor. She then served as special assistant for economic development to Governor Rafael Hernández Colón. In 1985 she was appointed chief of staff in the governor's office—the first woman in Puerto Rico to hold that position. Over the next few years she held several different offices, including secretary of state and lieutenant governor. In 1989 she entered the private sector to become president of Commonwealth Investment Company and also serve as a vice president at Citibank. But in the early 1990s she returned to the political arena to begin a career in progressive politics.

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