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Juan Peñalosa Tapped as FDP's Top Executive

Veteran progressive activist and Democratic operative Juan Peñalosa was named Monday executive director of the Florida Democratic Party, the first major staff appointment announced in newly elected party Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo's term.

Juan Peñalosa
Peñalosa will be in charge of day-to-day operations, overseeing the party's rebuilding project in efforts to turn Florida blue, according to an FDP statement.

Juan comes to the FDP "after serving as a communications specialist and strategist for some of the largest progressive and Democratic campaigns across the U.S." the statement says, and will stregthen the state party's organization, growing collaboration with progressive partners, serving Florida families and implementing a 67-county strategy for realizing its goals.

"Juan came up from the grassroots and has worked in the trenches ... He has held key leadership positions in the Democratic Party during recent special election wins and has been a valued member of winning campaigns in Florida and across the United States," said Rizzo. "I'm honored that Juan is joining us ..."

Peñalosa is a first-generation American who has been a long-time grassroots activist for LGBT and immigration rights. He graduated from Boston College with honors and a degree in the geosciences. 

He previously worked at Mercury Public Affairs and "has nearly two decades of experience working in crisis communications, public policy and political arenas ..." While he has lived in nearly a dozen countries and more than half of the states in the U.S., he now resides in Miami.

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