CNE Staff


Miguel A. Soto-Class

Mike Soto founded the Center for a New Economy (CNE) in 1998, and since then, has steered CNE into becoming one of the most credible and influential voices in Puerto Rico. Since 2014, CNE has been recognized as one of the Top Think-Tanks to Watch by the Global Think Tank Report of the University of Pennsylvania. Mike has served as member of the Community Innovator's Lab at MIT in Boston, Massachusetts, and the YouthSave Advisory Board at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C. In 2008, he was selected as an Aspen Institute Ideas Fellow. Mike was an editor of The Economy of Puerto Rico: Restoring Growth, published by the Brookings Institution in 2006 and selected that same year as a Notable Book by the American Library Association. He has been a columnist for El Nuevo Día, Puerto Rico’s largest circulation daily, since 2003, and was the host of a weekly news radio program on economics for several years. He is currently the Yale Alumni Schools Director for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the Baldwin School of Puerto Rico, of the Advisory Council for the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico, and the Chairman of Espacios Abiertos, an organization dedicated to growing civic capacity and promoting transparency in Puerto Rico. Mike has a B.A. from Yale University and a Juris Doctor from Vanderbilt University.  

Deepak Lamba-Nieves

Research Director
Churchill G. Carey, Jr. Chair in Economic Development Research
 Lamba-Nieves Deepak Lamba-Nieves is the Research Director & Churchill G. Carey, Jr. Chair in Economic Development Research at the Center for a New Economy. He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at Brown University' s Watson Institute for International Studies. He completed his Ph.D. in Urban Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) while affiliated to the department's International Development Group (IDG). His current research interests focus on: the migration-development nexus, transnational migrant organizations, hometown associations (HTAs) and state-society dynamics. Before joining MIT, he spent close to seven years as Research Director in CNE. While at the Center, he also taught Geography and Planning courses at the University of Puerto Rico's Río Piedras Campus, and also at the Polytechnic University's School of Architecture. He completed a Masters in City Planning (MCP) at UC Berkeley's Department of City and Regional Planning (DCRP) prior to joining CNE. His Masters work looked at high-technology policy in Puerto Rico and the contemporary economic development challenges in the island. He spent his college days at the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras Campus, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Economics and Geography.  

Sergio M. Marxuach

Public Policy Director and General Counsel
Sergio M. Marxuach is Public Policy Director & General Counsel at the Center for a New Economy. Prior to joining the Center, Mr. Marxuach served as Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Economic Development for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, under the direction of Milton Segarra. Previous to his service as Deputy Secretary, Mr. Marxuach worked as Special Assistant to Ms. Melba Acosta, former executive director of the Commonwealth’s Office of Management and Budget. Before joining the Commonwealth government, he was an associate for five years in the New York City law firm of Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, where he worked mostly in Latin American and international corporate matters, structuring cross-border capital market transactions, and arranging vendor financing and syndicated credit facilities for U.S. multinational firms. Mr. Marxuach has a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Yale University, where he was awarded the Henry Edwards Ellsworth Prize for his Senior Essay. He also has a Juris Doctor degree from the Georgetown University Law Center and a Master of Science in Foreign Service from the Graduate School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.  

Gustavo J. Bobonis

Chief Economist and Director of the Economic Analysis Unit
Gustavo J. BobonisGustavo J. Bobonis is Chief Economist and Director of the Economic Analysis Unit at the Center for a New Economy (CNE) in San Juan, Puerto Rico. An expert in development economics, Bobonis’ recent research has focused on government accountability and the effects of social policies on human and economic development. His areas of interest include development economics, political economy, and labor economics. He has been published in distinguished academic journals including the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, and the Review of Economics and Statistics. Bobonis is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the John Charles Polanyi Prize for Economics in 2009. He is also Associate Professor in the Department of Economics and the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto, where he holds a Canada Research Chair in the Political Economy of Development. Professor Bobonis received his B.A. from the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras, and his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.  

Carmen A. Vargas Nin

Finance & Administration Director
Carmen A. Vargas Nin is the Finance & Administration Director at the Center for a New Economy. Prior to joining CNE, she was the Finance Comptroller for the Caribbean Region in multi-national company leaders in communications. Carmen has over 15 years with USGAAP Standards and over 10 years of experience at the managerial level with excellent accomplishments. Her expertise and efficiencies in business financial structural processes allowed her to receive awards such as 2010 #1 Performer of Caribbean Region and Top 10 Performers in the Latin-American Region. Carmen graduated with honors from the University of Puerto Rico with a B.A. in Business Administration majoring in Accounting.  

Nydia Suárez

Public Affairs Director
Nydia Suárez is the Center for a New Economy’s Public Affairs Director. She graduated from the Sacred Heart University and worked as a journalist for El Nuevo Día. She was Vice President of a consulting company of public opinion research and, since the 1980’s, she has presided her own Communications firm, working with organizations of social responsibility. She is the author of a book on social and political satire, and Master Coach in Neurolinguistic Programming.  

Jennifer Wolff

Program & Communications Director
Jennifer Wolff is Program & Communications Director at CNE. Prior to joining the Center, Wolff was General Manager of Hill & Knowlton Puerto Rico and Vice President of Comstat Rowland, where she developed corporate out-reach and institutional communications projects for a wide variety of companies in multi-national and multi-sectorial environments. She previously labored as journalist, anchor and executive producer of prime-time news shows, specializing in hard-news and investigative reporting, and developing international assignments in Somalia, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, Bolivia, El Salvador, and Cuba, among others. Her work earned her over 25 awards in the fields of communications, journalism, and marketing. She has served in the boards of the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce and Fondos Unidos de Puerto Rico. Wolff graduated Magna Cum Laude from Duke University with a double Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies and History, and minors in Economics and Computer Programming. Her education included courses in international economics, economic history, political philosophy and sociology from Birbeck College, London University, England and Stanford University, California, USA. She is currently pursuing graduate studies in History at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras.  

Carla J. Alonso Vélez

Special Events Coordinator
Carla J. Alonso Vélez graduated from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and has devoted much of her life to the administration of institutional projects and the production of events in the areas of Education and Sports. Since the very beginnings of the CNE, she has worked as the concept manager of all its conferences, seminars and public events. Her experience extends to Puerto Rico and abroad.  

Elizabeth Berríos Mejías

Executive Assistant
Office of the President

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