James Albino, the executive director of the President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico, is stepping down and going to the Department of Veterans Affairs, a White House official said.
Albino didn’t return an e-mail request for comment. An automatic reply from his government e-mail address says that Friday is his last day and that Aug. 31 is his first day in the new position.
While the task force was created by President Bill Clinton in 2000, President Barack Obama broadened its responsibilities, charging it with making recommendations on policies that promote job creation, education, health care, clean energy and economic development on the island.
The committee, chaired by White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Jerry Abramson and Acting Associate Attorney General Stuart Delery, is staffed by a team that includes Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Adrian Saenz and Deputy Associate Attorney General Julie McEvoy.
They will continue to manage the daily affairs of the task force, a White House official said in an e-mail.
Puerto Rico’s economy has struggled to grow since 2006, and officials are trying restructure the country’s $72 billion in debt. Its population has shrunk by 7 percent in the past decade as residents look for work on the U.S. mainland.
A spokesman at the Veterans Affairs press office couldn’t be reached by phone or e-mail for comment about Albino.