2014 Lycoming Winter Magazine - page 6

ov. Rafael Moreno Valle ’91 distinctly remembers his college adviser
telling him, “You cannot be a good politician without understanding
economics; and you cannot be a good economist if you do not
understand politics.” Those claims, voiced by John Piper, Ph.D.,
emeritus professor of history and dean of the college, are what convinced Moreno Valle
to earn a double-major in political science and economics.
That decision has paid off handsomely for Moreno Valle, who is successfully using
his liberal arts education as governor of Puebla, Mexico. His state was founded by
the Spanish in 1531 to secure the trade route between the port city of Veracruz and
Mexico City. In 2012, Puebla celebrated the 150
anniversary of Cinco de Mayo,
which originated there after General Ignacio Zaragoza led Mexican soldiers to victory
against the much larger French army in 1862. Today, it stands as the country’s fifth
most populated state with 6 million people and has the seventh largest Gross Domestic
Product at $30.4 billion.
Moreno Valle is in the middle of a six-year term as governor and has moved swiftly
to help his state become more economically competitive. He recently secured a $1.3
billion investment from Audi, which will mark the German automaker’s first production
facility in the Americas.
“That was a long, complex process in which we were competing with the U.S.,
with Brazil, with several states within Mexico, and we were finally able to attract that
investment,” Moreno Valle said. “And this will be the first luxury car manufacturer that
is in my country. And, that means not only a lot of jobs, but well-paid jobs. This is the
most important investment in Puebla’s history.”
According to Moreno Valle, the only comparable venture was when Volkswagen
came to Puebla in 1965 and started manufacturing the Beetle. With Audi’s investment,
he says that, “Puebla will become the number one automotive hub in the country. We
will be building, by 2018, one million cars a year in the state of Puebla.”
Moreno Valle comforts Atoyac River flood victims.
Moreno Valle and his wife, Martha Erika Alonso de
Moreno Valle, with residents of the city of Serdan
Gov. Rafael Moreno Valle ’91 with President Kent
Trachte and John Piper, emeritus professor of
history and dean of the college
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