By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

Rio_2016_new_logoJanuary 25 - A key aide of the former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been appointed as the new communications director of the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics, it has been announced.

Carlos Villanova was the press assistant secretary for Lula, who stepped down at the end of last month after a reign during which he was instrumental in helping Rio de Janeiro win its bid to host the Games.

Villanova, who was also formerly the press officer of the Brazilian Embassy in the United States, last year published a book of his time with Lula.

No Planalto, com a Imprensa - depoimentos de secretário de imprensa e porta-vozes, de JK a Lula - "In the Highlands, with the press - testimony from the press secretary and spokesman, JK Lula" - was one of the most highly publicised books in Brazil last year.

Villanova is one of two key appointments announced by Rio 2016 as preparations continue for the Games. 

They have also appointed Henrique Gonzalez as its new human resources director.

Gonzalez, who has a master's degree from the Military Institute of Engineering, which is run by the Brazilian military, will oversee contractors employed by Rio as well as the 4,000 staff who are eventually expected to work for the Organising Committee.

Gonzalez previously worked for Shell for 19 years as Brazil and Latin America human resources director.

His last experience was with automotive services as the Human Resources Director of DPaschoal.

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