Statement from the Press Secretary
February 7, 2020
President Donald J. Trump has named U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Peter J. Brown of Florida as his Special Representative for Puerto Rico's Disaster Recovery. In this capacity, Admiral Brown will coordinate United States Government efforts to build the infrastructure and resiliency of Puerto Rico. The island of Puerto Rico was devastated by Category 4 Hurricane Maria in September 2017, suffering significant loss of life and catastrophic damage to infrastructure. In January 2020, Puerto Rico was struck by a magnitude 6.4 earthquake and hundreds of additional aftershocks and tremors, damaging hundreds of homes and infrastructure. Multiple Federal agencies continue to respond to the needs of the people of Puerto Rico, and billions of dollars in Federal funding have been allocated responsibly to response and recovery work. Admiral Brown will be the White House coordinator for those ongoing efforts at the national level, in collaboration with other White House components, including the Office of Legislative Affairs, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, and Office of Management and Budget. In addition, he will work with senior officials in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Congress to ensure that their concerns are communicated to the appropriate departments and agencies and to ensure the resources of hardworking taxpayers are effectively used to help the people of Puerto Rico.
On Wednesday, February 5, Rear Admiral Brown met with Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vazquez Garced, along with Puerto Rico's Congressional Representative, Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon. Admiral Brown, Governor Vazquez, and Congresswoman Gonzalez-Colon discussed the Administration's commitment to the people of Puerto Rico and Admiral Brown's new role to help further Puerto Rico's ongoing recovery.
Before joining the White House in July 2019 as the Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor, Rear Admiral Brown was the Commander of the Seventh Coast Guard District headquartered in Miami, Florida, where he was responsible for all Coast Guard operations in the Southeast United States and the Caribbean Basin. A career Coast Guard officer with more than 34 years of service, Rear Admiral Brown's first duty station in the Coast Guard was in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and he has served more than half of his career in the Caribbean. Originally from Somers, New York, Rear Admiral Brown is a 1985 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with a Bachelor's degree in chemistry. He also earned a Master's degree in chemistry from the University of Miami and a law degree from the University of Connecticut.
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