President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez
Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, the tenth president of Queens College of the City University of New York, has a career spanning academia and the public sector.
A cum laude graduate in Latin American Studies from Yale University, Matos Rodríguez received his PhD in history from Columbia University. He taught at Yale, Northeastern University, Boston College, the Universidad Interamericana–Recinto Metro, City College, and Hunter College, where he also directed the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, one of the largest and most important Latino research centers in the United States.
Subsequently, Matos Rodríguez was appointed senior social welfare and health advisor to the governor of Puerto Rico. From 2006 to 2008, Matos Rodríguez served as the territory’s cabinet secretary of the Department of Family Services. In this position, he formulated public policy and administered service delivery in such programs as Child Support Enforcement, Adoption and Foster Care, and Child and Elderly Protection. Managing an annual budget of $2.2 billion, he oversaw nearly 11,000 employees.
Matos Rodríguez returned to higher education in 2009 as president of Eugenio María de Hostos Community College/CUNY, where he dramatically improved retention and graduation rates and doubled fundraising. After five years at Hostos, he was named president of Queens College.
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, 2001); editor of A Nation of Women: An Early Feminist Speaks Out / Mi opinión sobre las libertades, derechos y deberes de la mujer by Luisa Capetillo (Arte Público Press, 2005); co-editor of Puerto Rican Women’s History: New Perspectives (M.E. Sharpe, 1998); co-editor of Blackwell Reader on the Americas (Blackwell, 2003); and co-editor of Boricuas in Gotham: Puerto Ricans in the Making of Modern New York City (Marcus Weiner, 2004).
A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Matos Rodríguez is a board member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), Phipps Houses, and FedCap.
Matos Rodríguez is married to Dr. Liliana M. Arabía, a dentist, and they have two sons: Lucas and Juan Carlos.