Starting July 10, Angel Dawson Jr., a former V.I. Finance commissioner and gubernatorial candidate, will take up the helm as administrator of the Government Employees’ Retirement System.
The announcement was made public Wednesday morning, after weeks of the board not identifying who had been selected to fill the spot. During a GERS’ board meeting in mid-May, members went into executive session to make the decision but afterward declined to name current administrator Austin Nibbs’ successor.
In Wednesday’s news release, GERS board chair Duane Callwood said it’s because “time was required for an offer to be made and accepted.”
“Now that this process has been completed, we publicly thank Mr. Nibbs for his service and commitment to the GERS over the years and his willingness to remain at the helm while the process of selecting his successor wound its way to completion,” he added.
Nibbs has been administrator since 2007 but after announcing in 2021 his intention to retire has been given contract extensions — the latest of which was supposed to end in September. Until then, Nibbs will serve as a special advisor to the GERS board, making sure the transition goes smoothly once Dawson comes on in July.
According to GERS, Dawson is a longtime banker, starting his career with Chase Manhattan Bank, where he completed its Western Hemisphere Professional Development Program in commercial and investment banking shortly after receiving his degree in Business Administration/Finance from what was then the College of the Virgin Islands.
He currently serves as a senior vice president of FirstBank Puerto Rico, overseeing commercial lending activities in its Eastern Caribbean Region and the bank’s only international operation in the British Virgin Islands. His banking career also included 12 years with Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, where he left as vice president of Commercial Lending in 2009. Dawson served as commissioner of Finance from 2009 to 2014. In this position, he was also executive director of the Virgin Islands Public Finance Authority and a member of the GERS Pension Reform Taskforce Advisory Committee.
“Mr. Dawson brings us a well-balanced career in both the public and private sectors. We are confident that his experience in public finance and commercial banking will serve us well as we continue to stabilize and strengthen the Government Employees’ Retirement System,” Callwood said.