Local August 16, 2020 | 12:00 pm

Raquel Peña, from the education sector to the vice-presidency of the Republic in less than a year

Raquel Peña, Vice President of the Dominican Republic.

Santo Domingo, DR


Raquel Peña was elected on March 10 as Luis Abinader’s ballot companion in the Modern Revolutionary Party, leaving her position as financial vice-rector of the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PCMM).

On July 5, after the elections’ results, she was elected to the position of being the second in command of the country. 

Peña will be the third woman to occupy the position of Vice President of the country. The first was Milagros Ortiz Bosch, in 2000. In 2012, Margarita Cedeño, who has been in office until August 16, 2020.

Although she was not a well-known face in the political world until last March 10, when Abinader selected her as a ballot companion, Peña assured that politics was present throughout her life. In her home, she hosted many gatherings with her friends’ friends, parents who met to discuss politics, and even some activists and politicians came to present their ideas.

“In my parents’ house, where I grew up, politicians constantly met to discuss ideas for the growth of Santiago and the country, and I was always watching and listening. My father, Rafael Leocadio Peña, was a businessman who advocated for the development of Dominican people and companies, ”Raquel Peña told Hoy newspaper on one occasion.

Regarding her responsibilities, the president-elect quickly appointed her as the coordinator of his Health Cabinet, which will integrate all the institutions in that sector under a single direction.

According to Abinader himself, this commission aims to “monitor the pandemic at the highest level,” which, as reported by the latest bulletin from the Ministry of Health, has infected more than 84,488 people, costing more than 1,409 of them their lives. 

In addition to Peña, the cabinet will be made up of Plutarco Arias, as Minister of Public Health; Mario Lama; Victor Attalah; Eddy Pérez Then; José Miguel Stephan; Natalia García; Daniel Rivera; Ivelisse Acosta; Yolanda Saturria and Sonia Feliz.


Within her plans, Raquel’s priority is to promote all public policies and actions that improve Dominicans’ quality of life.

Likewise, she has been one of the leading promoters of a Judicial Branch independent of the Executive Branch, willing to fight corruption no matter where it originates.

“It is essential, gentlemen, it is imperative to make it independent and impartial, just as we have to toughen all those sanctions against those who repeat the crime,” said Raquel Peña in the Más Cerca program, with hosts Anibelca Rosario along with Marisol Mendoza and Darys Terrero.

Likewise, she pointed out on one occasion that one of the incoming government’s priorities is the generation of occupational opportunities that reduce the unemployment rate and labor informality.

Profile and education 

Raquel Peña was born in Santiago de los Caballeros on September 10, 1966. She is the daughter of the late cigar maker Leocadio Peña Guillén and Mrs. Estela Rodríguez de Peña.

She completed her primary studies at Sagrado Corazón de Jesús and La Salle schools in Santiago de los Caballeros. She graduated from PUCMM in Business Administration, as well as in the area of ​​Education, Business, Finance, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation.

In 2002 Peña received a Master of Business Administration (MBA) -double degree from the University of Quebec in Montreal.

Raquel Peña entered the world of work at an early age in family businesses and rotating through all areas; she assumed her family’s commercial and tobacco companies’ general management. She is a shareholder and part of the administrative council of the Parque Industrial Corporación Zona Franca del Norte, SA.

“I have always worked with many people, in the times of the tobacco harvests, rolling up, and later in the university with people from different social backgrounds,” Peña told Listin in an interview in the middle of the electoral campaign.

In 2000 she began her other great passion, education, teaching at the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

She served as the director of the Business Administration career at said University. She founded the PCMM Emprende center, a program aimed at the massive generation of business ideas and social entrepreneurship models aimed at undergraduate students at this university and techniques from the Center for Technology and Permanent Education (TEP).

She is also known for her social work within cooperatives in the Cibao area and working to promote the development of commerce and industry so that companies are profitable over time. 

Similarly, Peña has promoted sustainable energy production, advocating for the rational use of natural resources and the protection of the environment.

She belongs to the Administrative Council of World Wide Seguros, a company dedicated to international medical care. He is also a member of the Santiago Chamber of Commerce and Production.

Family life

She married Marco José Antuña Cabral (deceased), with whom she had three children: Rosa Estela, married to Eduardo José Brugal, who had Felipe Andrés Brugal Antuña; the industrial engineer Marco José and Isabel Amelia, a marketing student at PUCMM.

For Raquel, her most precious treasure is her children and grandchildren, because on the social network Instagram she always uploads some photos while she performs the task of grandmother.

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