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      Sara Aponte Meléndez, Ph.D., PPL

      Sara Aponte Meléndez, Ph.D., PPL

      Construction Oversight Manager, City Revitalization Program, Puerto Rico


      Sara Aponte Meléndez is a Licensed Professional Planner and a Historian. She holds a Ph. D. with a major in Puerto Rican History from the Center for Advanced Studies of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean and a master’s degree in urban and territorial planning from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus.  

      Within Disaster Recovery Management, Dr. Aponte-Meléndez serves as Construction Oversight Manager, responsible for the development and implementation of the project closeout process for the Region 3 City Revitalization Program’s construction projects. She also meets the Secretary of Interior-Qualifications for Architectural History supporting the development of Section 106 National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) Effect Determination Form for reconstruction projects under CDBG-DR funds.  

      After Hurricane Maria in 2017, Dr. Aponte-Meléndez worked for FEMA as a Community Planning Field Group Supervisor, responsible for implementing long-term recovery efforts island-wide. In 2019 she worked in the Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience of Puerto Rico (COR3) as a Project Manager in charge of the general coordination of the “Puerto Rico State Hazard Mitigation Plan (2021-2026)” and worked as State Reviewer for Local Hazard Mitigation Plans.  In 2021 she was appointed as Project Management Office (PMO) Deputy Director focusing on the development of tools and implementation of the organization’s public policy to facilitate the disbursement of FEMA Public Assistance projects.  She also oversaw the development and implementation of the COR3 Strategic Plan.

      In her private practice, Dr. Aponte Meléndez joined the Faculty of the School of Architecture of the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico as Director of the Urbanism, Urban Planning and Housing Laboratory, and acted as a visiting Professor at the Graduate School of Planning at the University of Puerto Rico. She collaborated with academic journals, planning, and historical architecture design competitions. She also performed as a subject matter expert in various theses in Puerto Rico and the United States (University of Hawaii, Columbia University, and Center for Advanced Studies of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean). Between 2012 and 2014, Dr. Aponte Meléndez spearheaded the nomination of the Hiram Bithorn Stadium to the National Register of Historic Places of the U.S. Department of Interior, which was awarded in 2014. 




      Center for Advanced Studies of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean 

      Ph. D. History of Puerto Rico

      University of Puerto Rico

      Master’s degree in planning

      University of Puerto Rico

      Bachelor’s degree in arts, 
      Modern Languages, Music



      Urban History
      Public Management
      Architectural History
      Urban Planning
      Community Planning
      Disaster Recovery
      Project Management
      Construction Management