Enrique Fernández-Toledo, who passed away in October 2019, was a beloved member of the American Progress family. He was the director of the Puerto Rico Relief and Economic Policy Initiative at American Progress. The initiative was created in 2018 to focus on immediate-term response efforts in the wake of Hurricane Maria, with an eye toward long-term planning, economic recovery, and solvency. Through the initiative, Fernández-Toledo led American Progress’ efforts to contribute bold, progressive ideas to the ongoing dialogue on Puerto Rico’s recovery.
Prior to joining American Progress, Fernández-Toledo worked for Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) for 20 years. He met the congressman while working with Puerto Ricans in Hispanic communities in Chicago, where Gutiérrez was an alderman. He advised Gutiérrez on Puerto Rico and many other issues and served as his deputy chief of staff for 12 years.
Fernández-Toledo also worked for Kaplan Inc. as assistant vice president of government relations. In Chicago, he served as acting dean of students for St. Augustine College, deputy director for ASPIRA Inc. of Illinois, and director of promotions for Chicago’s Telemundo station.
Fernández-Toledo was born and raised in Puerto Rico and most of his family still resides there.