In 2005, Rafael started his career in international development cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization in the Dominican Republic and continued, in 2007, with the Dominican NGO "Women in Development". From mid-2007 to 2010, he served for the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme as UNV Program Officer in the Dominican Republic. From 2010 to 2013, Rafael was the Program and Partnerships Analyst for Latin America and the Caribbean at UNV Headquarters in Germany. From 2013 to 2017 Rafael was in charge of the Portfolio for East Asia and the Pacific, overseeing the programme in 27 countries. In January 2018, Rafael was appointed as Partnerships Development Specialist to work with partners to deliver on the 2030 Agenda. Rafael holds a Master degree in International Decentralized Cooperation and a BA in Law.