Appointed to the position of CEO by the Foundation’s Board of Directors in July of 2012, Eric Eikenberg has extensive policy and political experience in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. During his time in public service, he served as Chief of Staff to former Governor Charlie Crist and former U.S. Representative E. Clay Shaw. Immediately preceding his joining the Everglades Foundation, Mr. Eikenberg served as senior policy advisor at the law firm of Holland & Knight, LLP, co-chairing the firm’s Florida Government Advocacy Team with former Governor Bob Martinez. As the CEO of the Everglades Foundation, he leads the Foundation’s science, advocacy, communications, and legal teams, which are nationally recognized for their expertise in Everglades restoration. A graduate of the American University and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Eric and his family live in Miami.
Emilio T. González, Ph.D., is the Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Miami-Dade Aviation Department. He oversees operations at Miami International Airport (MIA) and four general aviation (GA) airports in the Miami area, which together generate $33.7 billion in business revenue and support more than 280,000 direct and indirect jobs. MIA leads the way, handling more than 44 million passengers and more than two million tons of cargo annually, placing it among America’s busiest international passenger and cargo airports.
Under González’s leadership, MIA is aggressively expanding its extensive route network into untapped world markets, while leveraging technology to improve the customer experience at the airport. Dr. González has overseen the completion of one of the largest airport expansion programs in the U.S., a $6.5-billion capital improvement program that has added new terminals, roadways and other infrastructure to MIA and the County’s GA airports. He is now leading the planning process for another major infrastructure expansion at MIA. In addition, Dr. González personally directs the Department’s government affairs functions at the local, state, federal and international levels.
Dr. González has spent most of his career involved in leader development, strategic planning, foreign affairs and international policy. He completed a distinguished 26-year career in the U.S. Army and retired with the rank of Colonel. He has served as Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House and was later appointed – and subsequently confirmed by the U.S. Senate – as Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, an Under Secretary position within the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C. González has also held several executive-level positions in the private sector, including Senior Managing Director for Global and Government Affairs at a major Miami law firm, CEO of his own international and governmental affairs consulting firm, and President & CEO of Indra USA, the U.S. subsidiary of Spain’s Indra Sistemas, S.A., a leading multinational IT company.
A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. González earned a B.A. in International Studies from the University of South Florida; an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Tulane University; an M.A. in Strategic Studies and National Security Affairs from the U.S. Naval War College; and a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Miami. He has also served as a member of various boards in the banking, technology and social services industries. A recognized civic leader, Dr. González has been awarded the Boy Scouts of America 2014 Hispanic Heritage Award, Latin Builders Association 2014 Public Administrator of the Year Award, Friends of the American Latino Museum American Latino Influencer Award, and the 2015 Greater Miami Aviation Association Juan Trippe Award.