EDINBURG – Hidalgo County officials have appointed a new economic development director assistant chief of staff.

According to a judge’s office news release, Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez announced the appointments of Laura Matamoros and Hilda Escochea Salinas to economic development director and assistant chief of staff, respectively.

Matamoros is a graduate of the University of Texas at Brownsville and previously served as the director of business research and strategy for the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation — an economic development arm for the city focused on creating jobs in the greater Brownsville area.

“I am both honored and excited to serve as the Economic Development Director for Hidalgo County,” Matamoros said in the release. “One of our primary goals is to further expand the prosperity of the region by creating a collaborative culture between the county and its municipalities. I hope to further create positive economic growth and continue to support employment opportunities for the greater Hidalgo County area.”

She was also the director of operations for the United Brownsville Coordinating Board, a nonprofit organization created to facilitate the implementation of the Imagine Brownsville Comprehensive Plan.

Salinas brings to her new position 30 years of experience in serving a culturally diverse population.

“We are very proud to have both of these stellar individuals on our team as we continue working quickly and efficiently for our constituents,” Cortez said in the release.

Salinas is a graduate of McAllen High School and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, formerly known as Pan American University, where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She has also previously served as the District 3 city commissioner in McAllen.

“Serving the public has been my life mission and I am grateful to continue doing so by serving the people of Hidalgo County,” Salinas said.