Breadcrumbs

Meet the Staff


Steve SaulsSteve Sauls, Vice President of Governmental Relations

As the Vice President for Governmental Relations, Steve is responsible for an aggressive new emphasis on governmental affairs at both the state and national levels. Steve has more than 34 years working in the public sector as a senior political advisor, lobbyist, legislative strategist, fundraiser, manager of Washington offices for elected officials, and university vice president. Through his professional experience, Steve has acquired an extensive background in intergovernmental issues and state/federal relations as well as expertise in education, grants-in-aid to state and local governments, and the Congressional budget process. A 15-year veteran of FIU Governmental Relations, Steve returned to the University in 2006 from the private sector where he managed corporate, community and governmental relations for a Fortune 150 global corporation. Email Steve at: saulss@fiu.edu.

Michelle LorenzoMichelle Lorenzo Palacio, Assistant Vice President of Health Policy and Government Affairs

Michelle is responsible for providing strategic leadership for all aspects of Governmental Relations for the FIU Academic Health Center, which includes the Wertheim College of Medicine, College of Nursing and the Stempel School of Public Health. Michelle began her FIU career in November 2004, serving as Director of State Relations for Florida International University. She was a key member of FIU’s governmental relations team, responsible for seeking state funding for the university, seeking state approval and funding for the newly authorized Wertheim College of Medicine, and leading an increasingly active state substantive agenda. Before coming to FIU, Michelle was a Governmental Relations Consultant for Becker & Poliakoff, P.A., a diverse commercial law firm with more than one hundred twenty five attorneys practicing in offices throughout Florida, in New York City, Nassau, Bahamas, and Prague, Czech Republic, plus affiliated offices in France and Israel. Prior to that, she worked as the Chief Legislative Aide for Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio when he served as Florida House Majority Leader in the Florida Legislature. Early on in her career, Michelle coordinated numerous political campaigns in South Florida. In 2008, Michelle was featured as an “up-and-comer” in South Florida New Establishment Magazine. Michelle earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Florida International University. She is currently a board member of Miami Bridge Youth and Family Services. Email Michelle at: Palaciom@fiu.edu.

Carlos BecerraCarlos A. Becerra, Director of Federal Relations

Carlos Becerra represents the university's interests before Congress, advances our research agenda with federal agencies and manages our presence in the nation's capital. An FIU alumnus, Carlos brings over 15 years of experience advancing public education in urban cities and leveraging relationships to achieve intergovernmental collaboration in the public sector. At the National League of Cities, Carlos assisted mayors in acquiring federal resources to support youth employment strategies. Previously, he served as Chief of Staff to the Chairman of the Miami-Dade School Board, managing policy development, media outreach and served as a liaison with other elected officials. He has extensive experience in grassroots campaigns, having helped manage six local races. Carlos has been advancing FIU's agenda since serving as two-term student body president and later, leading alumni relations and annual fundraising. In those roles, he led student and alumni advocacy campaigns for the establishment of a College of Law and approval of intercollegiate football. Email Carlos at: carlos.becerra@fiu.edu.

Adriana PereiraAdriana Pereira, Director of State Relations

Adriana Pereira serves as the Director of State Relations in the Office of Governmental Relations. In her role representing FIU in Tallahassee, she is responsible for securing state funding and working to advance the University’s legislative priorities. Adriana is also working to enhance relationships with local counties, cities and municipalities and is engaged in several University-wide initiatives. She also teaches the First Year Experience course to FIU freshmen and works closely with the FIU Student Government Association as a mentor. Adriana earned a Bachelor of Science in Communication from FIU and a Master in Public Administration from American University in Washington, DC. She has been involved in the political process for nearly a decade. Early in her career she worked at the local level for the Miami Dade County Board of County Commissioners and most recently spent five years at the federal level working on Capitol Hill for a U.S. Congressman. During her time at FIU, Adriana worked as a student assistant for External Relations and served as the Governmental Relations Washington Intern for a semester. She was also actively involved on campus as a leader in Alpha Xi Delta Fraternity for women, Student Ambassadors and the Student Alumni Association, among other organizations. Adriana is an active member of the Our Lady of Lourdes Academy Alumni Association, the FIU Alumni Association, a recent graduate of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Leadership Miami program, and a member of Miami Children’s Young Ambassadors. Email Adriana at: aperei@fiu.edu.

Ana HerreraAna Herrera, Chief of Staff

Ana graduated from FIU with a degree in Political Science. She earned a Masters of Arts degree in Political Management from George Washington University in 2000. Prior to joining FIU, she worked in the Government Relations department of a local hospital. Now, as part of the FIU Governmental Relations team, she assists and facilitates the department with initiatives designed to promote the University in coordination with county and municipal governments. Email Ana at: herra@fiu.edu.

Katerina L. SanchezKaterina L. Sanchez, Governmental Relations Liaison, Health Affairs.

Katerina began her career in governmental relations as an intern on Capitol Hill and working on various political campaigns. Prior to coming to FIU, she worked as a Staff Assistant for U.S. Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart’s district office and as a Field Director for a county-wide mayoral campaign. Katerina graduated from FIU with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2011 and is currently pursuing her Master of Public Administration. Currently, she assists the Assistant Vice President of Health Policy and Governmental Affairs in the overall daily functions and long term projects of the office. Email Katerina at: klsanche@fiu.edu.

Kerry BallKerry Ball, Administrative Assistant/Office Manager

Kerry began working at FIU in 2000, with the College of Continuing and Professional Studies. She joined the office of Governmental Relations in August 2003 and is currently working towards a degree in Liberal Arts at FIU. Kerry assists the vice president with coordination of federal, state and municipal projects, coordinates travel plans, and develops agendas for the vice president and directors. She also processes all office management functions, such as contracts, purchase orders and subscriptions. Email Kerry at: ballk@fiu.edu.

Juliet HaydarJuliet Haydar, DC Intern 

As a native Miamian, Juliet graduated from FIU with honors in the fall of 2013 with a degree in International Relations. She got her first taste of the Nation’s Capital as a public policy fellow at a lobbying firm and then went on to intern with U.S. Representative Mario Diaz-Balart.  Fluent in English, Spanish, and French, Juliet interned at the French Consulate in Miami during her last semester at FIU. Juliet plans on going to graduate school and pursuing a career in public service and government. Juliet may be reached through federal@fiu.edu.