Her practice includes recovery financing, grant management, federal acquisition and procurement matters, commercial real estate and financing matters and government affairs.
Prior to joining McV, she served as the Chief Legal Counsel for the Central Office for the Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency of Puerto Rico (COR3), which is the centralized oversight authority established by the Government of Puerto Rico to oversee all recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and serve as the Recipient of federal funds for recovery after major emergencies and disasters.
Ms. Rivera-Smith also served as the Alternate Governor’s Authorized Representative before the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In such capacities, she was directly responsible of managing all legal matters pertaining to COR3’s procurement, contracting and compliance responsibilities. Additionally, she focused her day-to-day efforts on providing policy guidance to public agencies and corporations, municipalities, and private non-profit entities to advance recovery projects throughout Puerto Rico. She also led all Public Assistance related administrative appeals process under FEMA's Public Assistance Program and the arbitration process promulgated by Section 601 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
She played an important role in Puerto Rico’s request for Presidential Major Disasters Declaration after the multiple earthquakes of 2020 in the southern region of Puerto Rico, Hurricane Isaias, and the COVID-19 pandemic which allowed the obligation of millions of dollars in federal funds for the recovery from such disasters. She also aided in the revision of COR3’s policies and procedures and the implementation of grant management programs to facilitate the disbursement of FEMA funds in compliance with applicable federal laws and regulations.
Her public experience also includes serving as hearing officer and administrative judge in the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources.
Ms. Rivera-Smith has also litigated in state courts and administrative proceedings and was the in-house counsel of a renewable energy corporation.
- Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
- U.S. District Court District of Puerto Rico
B.S.B.A., Rockhurst University, 2007
- Major: International Business
J.D., Magna Cum Laude, Interamerican University of Puerto Rico School of Law, 2011
LLM, Sports Law, Real Madrid Graduate School Universidad Europea, 2016
Certified Legal Specialty
- Civil Law Notary