Félix V. Matos Rodríguez took office as President of Eugenio María de Hostos Community College of The City University of New York (CUNY) on July 1, 2009. Trained as a social scientist, Dr. Matos previously held leadership positions in foundations, universities, policy centers, and branches of government in which he combined his scholarship with social policy, advocacy, and change.

       On December 31, 2008, Dr. Matos Rodríguez finished his service as Secretary of the Department of the Family for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. As Secretary, he formulated public policy and administered service delivery in the following programs: Child Support Enforcement, Adoption and Foster Care, Child and Elderly Protection, Food Stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Child Care, and Head Start. Managing an annual budget of $2.2 billion, Dr. Matos Rodríguez oversaw nearly 9,500 employees. Earlier, he had served as Social Welfare and Health Head Advisor to the Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

       While at Hostos, Dr. Matos Rodríguez is on leave from his tenured position as an Associate Professor of Black and Puerto Rican/Latino Studies at Hunter College of CUNY, where he teaches courses on Caribbean, Latin American, and Latino history. He has also served as director of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter, which is one of the largest and most important Latino research centers in the United States. In addition, Dr. Matos Rodríguez is part of the History Department at CUNY’s Graduate Center.

       Dr. Matos Rodríguez has an extensive publication record in the fields of Women’s, Puerto Rican, Caribbean, and Latino Studies and Migration. He is the author of Women and Urban Life in Nineteenth-century San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1820-1862 (University Presses of Florida, 1999; Marcus Weiner, 2001); co-author of “Pioneros”: Puerto Ricans in New York City, 1896-1948 (Arcadia Publishers, 2001); editor of A Nation of Women, An Early Feminist Speaks Out: Mi opiníon sobre las libertades, drechos y deberes de la mujer by Luisa Capetillo (Arte Público Press, 2005); co-editor with Gabriel Haslip Viera et al. of Boricuas in Gotham: Puerto Ricans in the Making of Modern New York City (Marcus Wiener, 2004); co-editor with Matthew C. Gutmann, Lynn Stephen, and Patricia Zavella of Blackwell Reader on The Americas (Blackwell Publishers, 2003) and co-editor of Puerto Rican Women’s History: New Perspectives (M.E. Sharpe Publishers, 1998).

       Dr. Matos Rodríguez’ work has been in such peer-reviewed journals as the Journal of Urban History, the Public Historian, Latin American Research Review, Centro Journal, Revista de Ciencias Sociales, and the Boletín de la Asociacíon de Demografía Histórica, in addition to having chapters in several anthologies. He was the founding editor of the series New Directions in Puerto Rican Studies, published by the University Press of Florida. He has also reviewed manuscripts for Temple University Press, Rutgers University Press, M.E. Sharpe Publishers, Blackwell Publishers, Hispanic American Historical Review, and Revista de Ciencias Sociales. He has been a member of the advisory boards of the Latino Studies Journal and New York Archives.

       Dr. Matos Rodríguez’ expert commentary has appeared in many periodicals, including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Hartford Courant, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, The Congressional Quarterly, The Daily News, Newsday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, El Diario/La Prensa, Hoy, The Orlando Sentinel, El Nuevo Día, El Vocero, and The Hispanic Outlook of Higher Education.

       Dr. Matos Rodríguez is a graduate of Colegio San Ignacio High School in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His undergraduate studies were Yale University, where he graduated cum laude in Latin American Studies. He received his Ph.D. in history from Columbia University.

       Prior to his work at Hunter College, Dr. Matos Rodríguez was a Program Officer at the Social Science Research Council in New York City and a faculty member at Northeastern University in Boston. He has also held visiting and adjunct teaching appointments at Yale University, Boston College, City College (CUNY) and the Universidad Interamericana, Recinto Metro.

       Active in community organizations, Dr. Matos Rodríguez has been a board member of ASPIRA of New York, Inc., and Phipps Community Development Corporation, as well as the community advisory board of El Diario/La Prensa. He has received numerous awards for community service, including recognition for excellence in education from the New York State Senate and Assembly’s Puerto Rican/Latino Caucus in 2002, a special recognition from the New York City Council during Hispanic Heritage Month in 2003, and selected as “Man of the Year” by the New York City League of Puerto Rican Woman in 2009.

       Dr. Matos Rodríguez is married to Dr. Liliana M. Arabia, a dentist, and they have two sons: Lucas, 7, and Juan Carlos, 6.

Copyright © 2010 by Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños / Hunter College, CUNY. All rights reserved.

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