Sila María Calderón Serra (born September 23, 1942) is the first woman to become Governor of Puerto Rico.
Sila María grew up in San Juan and attended high school at the Sacred Heart Academy in Santurce. In 1960 she attended Manhattanville College in Purcharse, New York. In 1964 she graduated with a degree in Political Science. In 1970, her graduate studies led her to the School of Public Administration at the University of Puerto Rico where she graduated with a masters in Public Administration in 1972.
Her political career began in 1973 when she was named executive assistant to the Labor Secretary and Special Assistant to then Governor, Rafael Hernandez Colón. Calderon became the first woman Chief of Staff in Puerto Rico in 1985. Later, she served as Secretary of the Governorship, Secretary of State and Lieutenant Governor.
She took a hiatus from politics in 1992 and served on the board of directors of several corporations such as Banco Popular and non-profit organizations such as The Sister Isolina Ferré Foundation.
She returned to politics and was elected mayor of the city of San Juan in 1996. As mayor, she sponsored various urban projects to revitalize Rio Piedras, Santurce, Condado and other deteriorated sections of the city. She initiated a "Special Communities Program" to assist poor communities and foster community volunteering.
In 2000 she set her sights for the governor's seat. She led the Popular Democratic Party (PPD) during a heated and close campaign for Governor against Carlos Pesquera (PNP) and Ruben Berrios (PIP). With her win, she became the first elected female governor in the history of Puerto Rico.
In 2001 Calderón and her long-time husband Adolfo Krans were divorced.
Calderón's administration objectives have dealt with issues such as Vieques (see Navy-Vieques protests), the fight against drugs and the extension to the rest of the island of the "Special Communities Programs".
Although a firm believer in the current Commonwealth relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States, an unsuccessful attempt was made in 2002 to discuss mechanisms to resolve the political status dispute that faces Puerto Rico among the three major political parties.
Her administration has been characterized by frequent changes of the members of her cabinet; including four different Police Superintendents. During her term, crime has continued to rise Puerto Rico and has become a major issue.
Calderón announced in 2003 that she would not seek re-election in the 2004 Puerto Rican elections.
In 2003 she married Ramón Cantero Frau, a former member of her cabinet, on September 10, 2003. It marked the first time a wedding ceremony is carried at La Fortaleza, official residence of the Governor of Puerto Rico. The ceremony became a media event that was transmitted live on Puerto Rican television.
1958, 1975 and 1997 - The Chamber of Commerce of Puerto Rico awarded her for outstanding public service.
1986 - The Association of Puerto Rican Products designated her as one of the outstanding women of the year.
1987 - Inducted into the Order of Isabel the Catholic ("Orden Isabel la Católica") by the Spanish Government
1988 - The American Association of Public Works awarded her as "Leader of the Year" in the field of Public Works
1989 - Manhattanville College awarded her as Distinguished Alumni.
1997 - Manhattanville College awarded her a Honoris Causa Doctorate in Arts and Humanities.