From The Classroom To The Cabinet: Donald Guerrero’s Inspiring Journey

Donald Guerrero

An economist and professor with decades of experience in banking, Donald Guerrero served as minister of finance for the Dominican Republic from 2016 to 2020. Succeeding Simón Lizardo Mézquita, he was appointed to the position through Presidential Decree 201-16 and, during his four-year tenure, implemented measures to improve the country’s financial health and social welfare.

For these efforts, Donald Guerrero was named Finance Minister of the Year for the Americas by The Banker, an English-language publication from the Financial Times editorial group. The Latin American magazine AméricaEconomía also included him in their “2016 Ranking: The Best Finance Ministers of Latin America.”

Public spending in the Dominican Republic was among the lowest in the region during Donald Guerrero’s tenure. He also shrewdly managed and decreased public debt to lower than 39 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, lower than the Latin American average of 42 percent.

Mr. Guerrero’s successful debt-reduction initiatives included issuing debt in local currency, including the first global peso-denominated debt, worth $800 million, in New York.

He also reduced exposure to changing US interest rates by decreasing the country’s stock of debt at variable rates from 20 to 12 percent. Rating agency Moody’s improved the country’s sovereign debt rating to Ba3 in 2017.

Donald Guerrero also improved the Dominican Republic’s tax collection record, which was 100 percent coverage of estimated collections in 2018, by enhancing collaboration between internal revenue and customs.

This also helped the country’s efforts to recoup lost revenue from personal and corporate tax evasion. Moreover, he pushed the country to join the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Sharing (BEPS). By 2019, the Dominican Republic economy reported a gross growth of 5 percent, higher than all other Latin and Central American countries.

Mr. Guerrero’s economic measures improved public welfare in his country. These policies allowed the Dominican Republic to increase spending on education and healthcare, including salary increases for teachers and doctors. The government also began providing students with breakfast, lunch, and snacks at public schools, accounting for approximately 7,500 pesos per month per child.

Prior to serving the Dominican government, Donald Guerrero held executive roles at several banks and financial institutions. He was a commercial director at Reid & Pellerano, vice president of credit at Banco Intercontinental, and executive vice president at Listín Diario.

He also served as vice president of corporate banking, second vice president of institutional banking, and credit director at Chase Manhattan Bank. A successful entrepreneur, he is additionally the founder and CEO of Axis Holding, LLC, a Puerto Rico-based auto group that includes Autocentro Toyota, Autocentro Nissan, Autocentro Chrysler, Autogermana, Mid America Insurance, and Smile Collision Center. The group’s sales topped 10,000 vehicles in 2019.

Donald Guerrero has also taught business strategy, corporate finance, and related courses at post-secondary institutions such as Santo Domingo Institute of Technology (INTEC), the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra, and the Pedro Henríquez Ureña National University (UNPHU). He is a distinguished alumnus of INTEC, where he graduated with a bachelor of science in economics, and also holds a master’s degree in finance from the University of Maryland.

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