He co-founded and was the COO of Distributed Sun, a commercial solar energy company that developed and operates solar power plants in 5 states. He successfully exited Distributed Sun in 2012. Rafael was also an investor and adviser to The Map Network, an event-based data and mapping company that was acquired by Nokia/NAVTEQ in 2006; and an investor in Witten Technologies, an early leader in underground radar imaging.
Prior to starting his own business, Rafael practiced law at Holland & Knight, where he specialized in corporate compliance and business litigation and advised financial institutions and multinational corporations on international trade, OFAC, and PATRIOT Act compliance. He is admitted to the Bar in California, the District of Columbia, Florida, and New York.
Rafael was also a commissioned officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. He served in various billets, including as a military prosecutor in Japan, as general counsel to a deployed amphibious unit throughout Southeast Asia, and as a human rights and legal adviser in South America.
Rafael is a Term Member on the Council on Foreign Relations where he contributes on energy security, science & technology, and finance & trade. He is also Chair of the Board of Directors of ProInspire and a Member of the Board of Advisers of Read & Prosper.
Rafael earned his BA in political science from the University of Michigan and his JD from George Washington University Law School. He is currently pursuing an executive MBA at MIT Sloan School of Management.