Ken Oliver-Méndez has been a champion of Puerto Rico's statehood cause for nearly a quarter of a century. Since November of 2014, he has served as Executive Director of the United States Council for Puerto Rico Statehood.
A journalist by profession, throughout most of his career Ken has worked at the crossroads of media and politics. Ken is also currently Director of MRC Latino, the Media Research Center's Hispanic media arm, dedicated to championing honest journalism in U.S. Spanish-language media.
Most of Ken's career has been divided between his native Washington, D.C. and his mother's native Puerto Rico. In Washington, during the administration of President George W. Bush, Ken was White House Director of Specialty Media, where he managed White House media relations with all domestic ethnic and religious media outlets.
More recently, in Puerto Rico, Ken headed the speechwriting team of former Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuño, served as the island's Assistant Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Press Secretary to the President of the Senate and distinguished himself as an award-winning business journalist at Caribbean Business and the island's leading daily newspaper, El Nuevo Día.
Ken is also a former press secretary to Puerto Rico's sole representative in the United States Congress, as well as press secretary at the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration.
Ken holds a M.S. in Mass Communication from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio.
attorney, Mr. Althaus served for 12 years as Mayor of York,
Pennsylvania, where he resides with his family. He is currently
an international public affairs consultant with both public
and private sector clients, and an international consultant
in local government, public administration and association
mayor, he was active in the National League of Cities,
and the Pennsylvania League of Cities, which he served
as President in 1991. He was particularly active in the
U.S. Conference of Mayors, serving as President of USCM
in 1993. He received two presidential appointments (1985
and 1989) to the National Advisory Council on Historic
Preservation, and another as member of the Advisory Council
to the U.S. Trade Representative. He is past-President
of the National Republican Mayors Association, and was
elected President in 1991. He continues to be active in
of Mendez England & Associates, an international
consulting firm based in Chevy Chase, Maryland. A
native of Buffalo, New York, Mr. England has been
actively engaged in business in Puerto Rico for the
past twenty years. For eight years he served as Washington
Representative of the City of San Juan, as well as
other cities in the U.S. He served as a Principal
at the National Center for Municipal Development
in Washington, DC, and in federal service with the
U.S. Information Agency, Motion Picture and Television
Service, and the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity,
Office of Economic Development. He is a co-founder
and Board member of the Albanian American
Trade and Development Association.
Ashley Hawken is an award-winning writer, producer/director and media and public information
specialist with over 30 years of production and supervisory experience in the creation of news,
public affairs, training and documentary video products, principally directed towards overseas
For most of his career, he has functioned as an executive producer; designing formats,
supervising other creative and technical personnel and overseeing production content, schedules
and budget. For the U.S. Information Agency (USIA), he created and produced three long-
running TV series for commercial placement in Spanish language countries and two formats
for daily worldwide satellite broadcasting. His responsibilities included representing the Agency
with overseas programmers and interviewing top level figures, including heads of state. He
has produced, directed, and written credits for over three hundred programs on a wide range
of subjects and was an on-camera correspondent for news reports and interviews in English
and Spanish. For GVC, Hawken led the contract support for the start-up of USIA's TV Martí
daily newscast, designing the format, hiring the staff of thirty five, producing the initial programs
and turning over to the prime contractor an on-going operation. Hawken led GVC's program
development activities and produced several documentaries for the firm. Throughout his career,
he has conducted production workshops for overseas broadcasters. In 1990, he was a guest
lecturer in production techniques at Florida Southern University.
Hawken was the Creative Director and Executive Producer of GVC's multimedia campaign in
support of Puerto Rico self-determination. In addition to his numerous USIA assignments, he is a
veteran of the U.S. Army serving from 1958 to 1962.
Most recently, he was the contract supervisor for the ME&A PAC in Moldova, designing and
implementing the extensive radio and television elements of the project. He organized a team
of Moldovan staff writers and producers to execute the project and developed a mechanism to
identify, capacitate, and qualify Moldovan private sector media firms to participate in the contract
and remain in place to continue the work upon contract completion.
Mr. Hawken earned his B.A. in Economics at The American University, Washington, DC, is a
honors graduate of the Defense Information School, and completed Theatre Arts graduate studies
at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Alan R. Hurst’s career spans almost two decades of professional
experience in the fields of education, federal and local government,
and private industry. He has had extensive experience as a bilingual
educator in Dallas, Texas where he assisted disadvantaged and
newcomer children respond to the demands of modern
education and overcome integration challenges.
studied education at Texas Woman’s University.
Previously, he worked in various capacities for the City of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico over
a four-year period where his accomplishments included the establishment of the U.S.
Department of Justice’s Weed and Seed Strategy securing over 1.5 million dollars
operating funds for the program. The program which was the first of its kind to be
established in Puerto Rico was nationally recognized in the 2003 national City Livability
Awards of the United States Conference of Mayors. Mr. Hurst also served as the
intergovernmental affairs and program coordinator for the city where he was responsible
for coordination with state and federal agencies and numerous successful initiatives,
proposals and grant applications.
Mr. Hurst’s private sector experience includes positions in several start-up technology
companies where he helped secure investment capital and negotiated multimillion dollar
contracts, for companies such as CSST, Inc., and Millennium Networks Inc.
Mr. Hurst is a graduate of Saint Meinrad College Seminary in Indiana where he earned
his Bachelor of Arts degree. He completed his law degree at Eugenio Maria de Hostos
School of Law in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico in 2005.
Mr. Hurst is a native-born Puerto Rican but has lived, worked and studied widely
throughout the mainland United States including Texas, Indiana, and Maryland. He
currently resides in Pennsylvania.
Krull is managing director in the Washington, DC office
of Gordon C. James Public Relations (GCJPR), a public
relations, government affairs and event management firm
based in Phoenix, AZ. GCJPR provides services to government
agencies, Fortune 500 companies, privately-held firms
and the non-profit sector. He previously worked for Mendez
England & Associates, an international consulting
firm based in Bethesda, MD. Mr. Krull has worked extensively
in the international business and trade sectors through
his positions as executive vice president of the Corporation
for International Trade, director of the Midwest Agribusiness
Trade Research Information Center, and vice president
of the Greater Des Moines Chamber of Commerce Federation.
Mr. Krull was appointed by President George H.W. Bush
to positions at the US Agency for International Development.
He has also worked in the United States Senate for Senator
Charles E. Grassley (R-IA).
in Llenza & Llenza, an architectural firm in
San Juan, PR, Llenza retired from the U.S. Air Force
as a Major General. A fighter pilot and veteran of
the Korean War, he served for six years as the Adjutant
General of Puerto Rico and was elected President
of the Adjutant Generals Association of the U.S.
was awarded the United States Distinguished Service
Medal, the Puerto Rico National Guard and State of
Florida Distinguished Service Medals. He served as
Director, U.S. Agency for International Development
in Ecuador, and was awarded the National Order of Merit
by the President of Ecuador. A professional architect,
he resides in Puerto Rico with his family.
Major General Orlando Llenza, USAF (Ret.) View Bio
Dr. Antonio M. Longo
Longo is a retired physician. A native of Puerto Rico, he
was a founding member of Estadistas Unidos at its inception,
possibly one of the first formally organized statehood
movements, which evolved into today’s Statehood (New
Progressive) Party. He has been a lifelong member of the
Republican Party and was National Committeeman of Puerto
Rico Young Republicans. He has resided and practiced in
Virginia during the last 44 years. He was President of
Pulmonary Internists, and served as Medical Director of
Circle Terrace Hospital. He subsequently worked for Genesis
Elder Care and directed their office medical laboratory in
Alexandria, VA. A graduate of Georgetown Medical School, he
was a Fellow of the University Hospital of San Diego and
Georgetown University Hospital. He served on the 8th
District Medical Board and as its Vice-Councilor. He
presided the Alexandria Medical Society and was Chief of
Medicine at National Hospital in Arlington,VA.
A practicing attorney in Washington, DC, Antonio Monroig has led a long and distinguished career in public service, both stateside and in Puerto Rico. This has included service as an Assistant Secretary for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and HUD's Offices of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. Mr. Monroig also served as Administrator of Municipal Services and Chairman of the Board of the Solid Waste Management Authority for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in addition to Special Assistant to the Mayor of San Juan. He has served as General Counsel of the Puerto Rico Cooperative Development Administration, and Deputy Director of the San Juan Legal Services. He was Chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly in 1997 and 1998. He was also Chairman of the White House Task Force on Hispanic Heritage during President Reagan's Administration.
Mr. Monroig also has had a distinguished career as a political analyst and advisor. He served as Special Consultant on Latin American issues to the Advisory Committee on Foreign Affairs during Senator Bob Dole's 2000 presidential campaign. He is a frequent commentator on national and international radio and television networks regarding political campaigns and events. He has served as political analyst for radio and television in the U.S.A., Latin America and Europe, appearing regularly on news and talk shows including on Univision, Telemundo, Voice of America, Radio Mitre (Argentina) amongst many others. Mr. Monroig has represented U.S. and foreign companies before international organizations and governments.
Mr. Monroig graduated from the Catholic University of Puerto Rico School of Law (J.D., 1968). He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Puerto Rico in 1965. Mr. Monroig is admitted to the Bars of the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Virginia. He is a partner in the Washington, DC law offices of Lasa, Monroig & Veve.
Justin O'Brien is a government affairs consultant in Washington, DC with 15 years experience
and expertise as a state and local government and intergovernmental relations specialist. His
career has included service as a Washington representative for a number of local governments,
including the City of Miami and the City of San Juan, in addition to a variety of private sector
clients. His multifaceted experience yields extensive knowledge of the interplay between the
federal, state, and local governments across a broad range of public policy areas, issues, and
programs. An honors graduate of the Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, he has lived,
worked and studied in Puerto Rico. Over a five-year period as senior associate at the U.S.
Conference of Mayors, he worked in a variety of roles and capacities including liaison to Puerto
Rico's mayors, the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, and as Staff Director for the
Conference's Task Force on border issues. Mr. O’Brien is multilingual and earned his Master of
Arts degree in international political economy from American University in Washington DC. In
addition to his pro-bono advocacy work, Mr. O'Brien is a United States Air Force Reserve officer
and veteran of the Afghanistan campaign. He resides with his wife and family in Washington,
DC. Mr. O’Brien additionally serves as the Executive Director of the USCPRS.
Hernan Padilla is a retired physician specializing in
nephrology. He was Physician-In-Chief of the National
Capital Area for Kaiser Permanente, and a member of the
Board of Directors of The Capital Area Kaiser Permanente
Medical Group. A native of Puerto Rico, he served in
the Puerto Rico House of Representatives and as Speaker
of the House before being elected Mayor of San Juan,
an office he held for eight years (1977-1985). While
Mayor he was nationally active in local government issues
through his involvement as a leader in the National League
of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He served
as President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 1985,
becoming one of our Nation’s foremost spokesmen
on local government issues at that time. A
founding member of the New Progressive (Statehood)
Party in Puerto Rico, he has been a strong advocate
of statehood for the island for most of his life.
He also served as National Committeeman for the Republican National Committee
representing Puerto Rico. Long a leader in public service, he was honored to
be appointed as Alternate Representative of the U.S. Mission to the United
Nations in 1982, and a Member of the Presidential Scholars
Commission for six years.
He lives with his family in Miramar, Florida.
Scanlon is President of Benchmarks, Inc., a professional
consulting business in Washington, DC specializing
in international trade, federal relations, and development
of charitable organizations. He is a regional specialist
in Latin America, being active in the Americas since
serving in Chile in the Peace Corps. He is a Director
and Chairman of the Board of the Public Welfare Foundation.
He also serves as Executive Director of two nonprofit
foundations in the Peoples Republic of China that
support a hospital and other charitable projects.
His clients have included USAID, the Peace Corps,
the Interamerican Foundation and many private businesses
throughout the world. One of our countrys first
Peace Corps Volunteers, he recently authored the
well-received book entitled, "Waiting for the
Snow," which focuses on his experiences in Chile.