I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Edwin Meléndez as Director of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies (Centro) and Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning. In this capacity, Dr. Meléndez will bring to Centro over twenty years of vast experience in public policy, academic research and publishing, and Puerto Rican studies.

Dr. Meléndez will be joining us from his position as Professor of Management and Urban Policy at Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy at the New School in New York City. He previously served as the Director of the Community Development Research Center at the Milano Graduate School.

Dr. Meléndez’s record of publishing and grant management is extensive, having authored or edited ten books and having managed over thirty-five research, outreach, or demonstration projects. His most recent book, entitled Latinos in a Changing Society and co-edited with Martha Montero-Sieburth, analyzes how Latin communities compare and contrast with other underserved groups, and critically examines issues such as the Latino commitment to labor participation as well as the educational opportunities that exist for Latinos across the country.

Prior to joining the faculty at The New School, Dr. Meléndez was the director of the Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston as well as a faculty member in the Economics Department and the Ph.D. Program in Public Policy. He has also served on the faculties of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Fordham University. In addition to his academic work, he has served as a consultant on employment, economic development, job creation, and small business issues for numerous government, community, and philanthropic foundations. Dr. Meléndez earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, his MA in economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and his BA from the University of Puerto Rico.

I would like to offer my appreciation to the members of the search committee who devoted a great deal of their time toward recruiting and interviewing a superb pool of candidates for this esteemed position. I am grateful for the leadership of Provost Vita Rabinowitz, who chaired the committee, and for the work of the following committee members: Professors Ellen Chesler (Distinguished Lecturer, Roosevelt House), Hector Cordero-Guzman (Black and Hispanic Studies, Baruch College), Lina Newton (Political Science), Xavier Totti (Anthropology, Lehman College), Anahi Viladrich (Urban Public Health); as well as Andres Torres (Centro), Taina Borrero (External Affairs), Pedro Juan Hernandez (Centro), Curtis Kendrick (University Librarian, CUNY), Mayra Torres (Centro) and Monica Cortes (student, Anthropology). I would also like to thank Anthony DeJesus and Andres Torres for each serving as Acting Director of Centro during its transition period.

Dr. Meléndez will bring a high level of intellectual and professional leadership to his new role and will usher Centro into an exciting new chapter of its storied legacy. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Meléndez to the Hunter community.

Jennifer J. Raab