In addition to being passionate about education, Arturo A. Massol-Deyá and President Cruz Rivera have one prevalent commonality: they both call Puerto Rico home.
As part of President Jose Luis Cruz Rivera’s installation celebration, scheduled to take place over the next two weeks, Massol-Deyá will be featured in the Presidential Speaker Series. His talk, “Building Energy Democracy,” will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, in the Kitt Recital Hall. The NAU and greater Flagstaff communities are invited to attend—free tickets can be reserved online.
About the speaker
Massol-Deyá is from the mountainous area of Puerto Rico in the municipality where his parents founded Casa Pueblo, a community-based group with 38 years of services in natural resources conservation, education and sustainable development. Now the executive director, Massol-Deyá has chaired its Board of Directors since 2007, which is responsible for protecting the central region and its critical watersheds from an open pit-mining proposal and a massive gas pipeline. Instead, new forest units, El Bosque del Pueblo and Bosque La Olimpia were designated and have been managed by the community initiative, thus changing the Island’s forestry policy, and catalyzing an increase of protected areas from a mere 3.7 percent to a current 8 percent of its surface.
After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in September 2017, Massol-Deyá and Casa Pueblo led a community aid response that is working to change the energy landscape of a country dependent on fossil fuels to one based on renewable energy sources.
Massol-Deyá is a graduate of the public school system in Puerto Rico as well as the University of Puerto Rico, where President Cruz Rivera also earned his bachelor’s degree. He obtained his doctoral degree from Michigan State University and is a faculty member at the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez.