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Board of Directors

Luisa Palacios

Luisa Palacios

Luisa Palacios is the newly appointed Chairwoman of CITGO Petroleum Corporation. Prior her appointment, Ms. Palacios was a Senior Managing Director and member of the Management Committee of Medley Global Advisors where, during her career, she also served as head of Emerging Markets Research and Latin America Research. She previously worked at Barclays Capital, Society Generale and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. She graduated from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello and received a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a Ph.D. in international affairs from The John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. She is a non-resident fellow at the Center for Energy Policy at Columbia University and a Visiting Professor at the Energy Center of Caracas-based IESA’s School of Management.

Rick Esser

Rick Esser 

Rick Esser is the newly appointed Executive Vice President of CITGO Petroleum Corporation. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Esser served as Vice President of Compliance and Chief Strategy Officer. With more than 28 years of refining industry experience, he joined CITGO in 1997, and has served in numerous roles, including General Manager Pricing; General Manager Product Supply, Distribution and Trading; General Manager Crude Supply; Assistant Vice President Supply & Marketing; and Vice President of Supply & Marketing. Prior to joining CITGO, he spent seven years at the UNO-VEN Company before it became part of CITGO with the acquisition of the Lemont Refinery. Mr. Esser holds a master’s degree in business administration from Keller Graduate School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in business administration, marketing and management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Edgar Rincón

Edgar Rincón 

Edgar Rincón is the Senior Vice President of Operations for the Western Hemisphere for Nabors Drilling. During his career with Nabors, Mr. Rincón also worked as Senior Vice President of Operations for the United States, Chief Procurement Officer and Vice President of Supply Chain. Prior to joining Nabors, Mr. Rincón worked at Pacific Drilling and McKinsey & Company in various leadership positions. He holds a master’s in business administration with distinction from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Universidad Simón Bolívar.

Angel Olmeta

Angel Olmeta 

Angel Olmeta had a long career in Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA), occupying various positions in strategic and corporate planning and corporate acquisitions, where he oversaw the purchase of CITGO by PDVSA. He also served as Executive Vice President of CITGO, Chief Operating Officer and a member of its Board. At the time of his retirement in 1998, he was a member of the Board of Directors of PDVSA. Mr. Olmeta received a bachelor’s degree from the United States Military Academy (West Point) and graduate degrees from Columbia University, New York University and the University of Colorado.

Luis Urdaneta

Luis Urdaneta 

Luis Urdaneta is a former Vice President of PDVSA, former President of the CITGO Board and PDV America. He also served as Executive Vice President of an oil exploration and development company in Colombia and Chief Executive Officer of a coal company in Colombia. He spent more than 30 years in the Venezuelan oil industry. He graduated from the University of Zulia and received master’s degrees in petroleum engineering and computer science from Pennsylvania State University.

Andres Eloy Padilla

Andres Eloy Padilla 

Andres Eloy Padilla is a Finance and Logistics Control Analyst at INABLO LLC, a full-service food import and export company. Prior to his current position, Mr. Padilla held finance-related positions in various Venezuelan companies. He received Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration degrees from Florida International University.

Fernando Vera

Fernando Vera 

Fernando Vera is an attorney and the current Board Secretary of CITGO Petroleum Corporation. His practice specializes in energy project development and financial and corporate matters, including the restructuring and implementation of infrastructure projects and investments in hydrocarbons projects. Mr. Vera previously served as a member and corporate secretary of the boards of various oil and gas companies in Latin America. He is a retired counsel of Gámez & Vera Abogados and also served as an attorney in an affiliate of The AES Corporation: C.A La Electricidad de Caracas until 2005 and in The Third Party Unit of the Exploration and Production Division of PDVSA until January 2003. Mr. Vera graduated from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in 1997 and holds a Master of Law (LL.M) degree from The Washington College of Law, The American University, and a Master of Business Administration from IE Business School, Madrid, Spain.