Daniel J. Santos, born in Cidra, Puerto Rico, has been named to a seat on the Nuclear Defense Facilities Safety Board.
The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board is an independent organization within the Executive branch, charged with overseeing safety issues. Santos, who is 37, is both the youngest member ever to receive appointment to this expert board and the first Hispanic member in its history. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 16th.
Santos received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, when he was just 20, and entered the Navy as an officer. During his time in the navy, he did further study in engineering in Pennsylvania, completed is Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Navy Postgraduate School, and also completed an MBA at the University of Maryland. He also earned licensure as a professional engineer.
Before he was 30, Santos had reached the Senior Level of the technical track in government service in the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He served as Chairman of the Multinational Design Evaluation Program, Digital Instrumentation and Controls Group and as a cyber security expert. He received the HENAAC Luminary award in 2012.
Rep. Pedro Pierluisi, the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico, expressed his pride in Santos and best wishes for him:
Daniel’s nomination by the President and confirmation by the Senate underscores two important facts. It demonstrates that Puerto Rico’s best and brightest can compete with anyone in the country. And it reminds us that—for generations—U.S. citizens from Puerto Rico have made immense contributions to this nation’s safety and security. Daniel is following in this proud tradition.
Pierluisi went on to say that Santos should serve as a role model for the young men and women of Puerto Rico, where a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) focus has become an important tradition.