EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The City of El Paso has a new director of its International Bridges Department.

Economist Roberto Tinajero has been named to the position, the City announced in a news release issued Friday, Aug. 25.

Tinajero has served as interim director of the department since November 2022. His appointment as director is effective immediately.

“Our international ports of entry serve to connect our community and families, and account for billions of dollars in international trade for our local, state and national economies,” said interim City Manager Cary Westin. “Roberto Tinajero’s experience as interim director, along with his depth of knowledge of our bridge system and the regional economy, will serve him and our region well in his new leadership role.”

As director, Tinajero is responsible for the overall operations of the three City-owned international ports of entry and the City’s on-street parking meters.

He will continue to lead the bi-national Bridges Steering Committee, which plans and implements process and infrastructure improvements at the regional ports of entry, and works to enhance coordination among federal, state, and local agencies with private sector stakeholders in the U.S. and Mexico, according to the news release.

Tinajero joined the City in 2015 as an economist and had served as an assistant director for the City’s International Bridges Department, prior to being selected as interim director.

During his tenure with the City, he has collaborated on the development of the five-year capital improvement program for International Bridges; the Texas-Mexico Border Transportation Master Plan; and has coordinated applying for and securing a $12 million federal grant for pedestrian improvements at the Ysleta International Port of Entry.

He has also served on “cross-functional” teams for Sun Metro; Data and Knowledge Management; the El Paso Police Department; Inclusion and Access; Economic Development; and the COVID-19 Response, according to the news release.

Prior to joining the City of El Paso, Tinajero worked at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) in different capacities including associate director and research associate for the Institute for Policy and Economic Development (IPED); transportation economist for the Center for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems and El Paso Metropolitan Organization; and associate economist for the Border Region Modeling Project. He also taught graduate courses in research methods and applied statistics and undergraduate courses in microeconomics. He has co-authored numerous technical and special reports, as well as academic journal articles and book chapters.

Tinajero holds a bachelor of business administration in economics and finance with a concentration in commercial banking, and a master of science in economics, both from UTEP. He is a member of the National Association for Business Economics and the Rio Grande Economics Association.