2007 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year
The honorable William Handal came to Southeastern from his native El Salvador. He
remembers fondly how the faculty helped make Latino students comfortable in their
college home away from home. In fact, he recalls the names of many of his professors
who were so welcoming.
In 1974, Minister Handal received his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Southeastern and then returned to his beloved El Salvador. The following year he was well prepared when he began his career with TACA Airlines where he remained for 31 years until 2006. He began in the company as the assistant to the vice-president of Finance and worked in planning and control, marketing, traffic and sales, and as sales director. Promotion followed as he progressed to vice president for the commercial sector, vice president and general manager and then the highest rank of vice president.
Key positions of leadership also highlight his very impressive service to the country of El Salvador. On more than one occasion, Minister Handal was selected as president of the Airlines Association of El Salvador. He served as president of the executive committee of the Central American Airlines Association, director of the Airport and Port Authority of El Salvador, director of the Industrial Foundation, and vice president of National Tourism for the country.
Minister Handal was appointed as governor of El Salvador with authority over the International Monetary Fund and was the alternate governor of El Salvador for both the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. He also held the distinguished position as vice president of the Board of Ministers of Finance of Central America, Panama, and the Dominican Republic. Currently, he holds the esteemed title of Minister of Finance for the Republic of El Salvador.
With all this, Minister Handal still finds time to devote to civic organizations including the Rotary and Lions Clubs. His assistance with children’s organizations and advocacy for the handicapped has made his country a better place for all of its citizens.