Rafael has worked in local government for over 7 years. He joined Buncombe County, NC in 2020 as the Director of Strategy & Innovation. In his current role, he oversees special projects, process improvement, policy management, innovation, and strategic planning for the County. Rafael believes that local government can and should be a leading industry in innovation. He holds a Master of Public Administration for UNC- Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Arts in Politics from Willamette University. Rafael loves exploring new activities with his family, watching Formula 1, and playing water polo.