Secretary of the Housing & Urban Development-Designate Mel Martinez
Mel Martinez is the Chairman of Orange County, Florida. He is the elected Chief Executive of a government that provides complete urban services to over 860,000 people and is the home of many high tech enterprises and numerous tourist attractions.
The county seat is Orlando, one of thirteen municipalities in the county. Five hundred and forty thousand (540,000) people live in the unincorporated areas of the county.
Since his election to a four-year term in 1998, Chairman Martinez has concentrated on public safety, growth management, the needs of children and families, clean neighborhoods, improved transportation and streamlining government.
In 1962, at age 15, Mel Martinez left his Cuban homeland. Alone and speaking virtually no English, he was taken in by foster families until he was reunited with his family in Orlando in 1966. Martinez graduated from Florida State University College of Law in 1973. During his 25 years of law practice in Orlando, he was very involved in community activities.
Martinez is currently serving as Chairman of Governor Jeb Bush’s Growth Management Study Commission. Among other duties, he also serves as Chairman of the Board of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority and on the Orlando/Orange County Expressway Authority.
He and his wife Kitty live in Orlando and have three children.