Rafael comes from a third generation ranching family and second generation public service employee. He has served in leadership positions at the National, Regional, and State levels with NRCS. Rafael was selected to the OPM Legislative Fellowship Program and served as a Legislative staffer under the House of Representatives Committee On Agriculture, for one year during the 1995 Farm Bill deliberations. Rafael has completed two tours of duty at the National Headquarters, working in the Legislative Affairs Office, Deputy Chief for Programs, and Strategic Planning and Accountability Deputy Areas. Previous to his current position, Rafael served as the Central National Remote Sensing Lab Leader, responsible for the planning and implementation of a Region wide natural resources inventory, and for planning and implementing a remote sensing pilot for conducting offsite wetland determinations. Rafael also worked with the National Geospatial Management Center (NGMC), and facilitated the planning and development of the NRCS National Geospatial Report.