IEM Spotlight: Luis Monterrubio, Geospatial Programs Lead (English)

Name: Luis Monterrubio
Position & Division: Geospatial Programs Lead, Digital Services Division
Number of years at IEM: Started February 2021

Where are you currently located?

Guaynabo, Puerto Rico

What are your responsibilities at IEM?

Luis oversees a team of Geographic Information System (GIS) and data analysts at IEM to manage GIS technology, assemble data, create visualizations to support clients in Florida, Virginia, and Puerto Rico (e.g., COVID Dashboards)

What led you to IEM and what do you like best about working with the IEM Team?

Luis was drawn to the type of work performed at IEM – in particular, he was impressed by the resources available in the private sector that could help make positive change through innovative technologies within a fairly fast timeline.

What inspired you to pursue a career in this field? The opportunity to make a difference. When working in community planning in Chicago, Luis had the opportunity to help underserved communities through community planning – being able to use his skillsets for the greater good is what inspired him to pursue this field.

How have you and/or your family been impacted disasters?

Yes – his family in Mexico was impacted by the devastating 1985 earthquake. While in Puerto Rico, he has experienced earthquakes, and most recently lost relatives to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What do you feel is the most rewarding part of your work with IEM?

“I like to see things work”. Luis explained that it is fulfilling to see immediate results – it motivates him and encourages him to continue to learn more. He feels fortunate to have a supportive team at IEM, where we are always learning.

What was your involvement in developing Interactive Vulnerability and Risk Maps?

Under Luis’ leadership, the Foundation for Puerto Rico was able to launch the Interactive Vulnerability and Risks Maps. This collection of data allows citizens to make informed decisions on how to address potential vulnerabilities and risks in their communities. While overseeing this project, he was able to integrate a team of 24 GIS and data analysts to create a multi-sector group who helps to identify data sets needed.

To learn more about the interactive maps that have helped to promote planning for Puerto Rico’s most vulnerable communities, check out the following article from News Is My Business, here.

What do you hope the Interactive Vulnerability and Risk Maps will bring to Puerto Rico?

Luis hopes this resource will allow users to see, and more importantly use, information that was previously not available to them. Making this information accessible will help both government and citizens alike to make critical decisions regarding local development and planning processes.

How do you hope the maps will benefit the island in the future?

In Puerto Rico, it has been challenging to find reliable and updated planning information. Luis is hopeful that this technology will help make the lives of average citizens a little bit easier. This data accessibility to will assist with a variety of issues, including disaster preparedness.