President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez
28, 2014, Félix V. Matos Rodríguez took office as the tenth president of Queens
College of the City University of New York. His distinguished career spans both
academia and the public sector: he is a scholar, teacher, administrator, and
former cabinet secretary of the Department of Family Services for the
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
served as president of Eugenio María de Hostos Community College/CUNY prior to
coming to Queens College, Matos Rodriguez is one of the few educators in the US
who has served as president of both baccalaureate and community college
institutions. During his five-year tenure at Hostos, he and his leadership team
were responsible for dramatically improving the college’s retention and
graduation rates and doubling its fundraising.
to 2008, Matos Rodríguez served as Puerto Rico’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 overseeing a $2.2
billion dollar budget and over 11,000 employees. Earlier, he had been Senior
Social Welfare and Health Advisor to the Governor of Puerto Rico.
A cum laude
graduate in Latin American Studies from Yale University, Matos Rodríguez
received his PhD in history from Columbia University, and has taught at Yale,
Northeastern University, Boston College, the Universidad Interamericana–Recinto
Metro, City College, and Hunter College. At Hunter, he also directed the Center
for Puerto Rican Studies, one of the largest and most important Latino research
centers in the United States. He also worked as a Program Officer at the Social
Science Research Council.
A member of
the Council on Foreign Relations, Matos Rodríguez is also an Aspen Institute
Ascend Fellow. He serves on the boards of the Hispanic Association of
Colleges and Universities (HACU), Phipps Houses, the United Way of New York
City, the TIAA Hispanic Advisory Council, and the Research Alliance for New
York City Schools.
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).
recipient of the Albert J. Beveridge Award of the American Historical
Association, Matos Rodríguez has had his work appear in such peer-reviewed
journals as the Journal of Urban History, the Public Historian, Latin American
Research Review, Centro Journal, Revista de Ciencias Sociales, in addition to
having chapters in several anthologies. He was the founding editor of the
series New Directions in Puerto Rican Studies for the University Press of
Rodríguez’s expert commentary has appeared in many periodicals, including the
New York Times, Crain's Business, 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.