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News from the Hill October 01, 2009 | back to index

Andover Newton alumnus appointed founding head of Latino Policy Institute

Fuentes Group

Ferdinand “Fred” Fuentes, Andover Newton ’88, has been appointed the first Executive Director of the new Latino Policy Institute (LPI) at Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI, following a national search. The university announced the appointment on September 22.

“Not only will Fred Fuentes bring extensive experience to the Latino Policy Institute, he’ll approach his work with the energy and enthusiasm needed to initiate progress,” said Roger Williams University President Roy J. Nirschel. “He’ll undoubtedly be a critical, vocal leader as we work toward building an awareness of Rhode Island’s Latino community members and their contributions.”

Established via a planning, development, and fund-raising process begun in 2006, the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University is an independent research institute committed to generating and communicating non-partisan data of Latinos in Rhode Island. Latinos are currently Rhode Island’s largest minority group. Their numbers are expected to double by 2020.

According to its Mission Statement, the LPI “stimulates public policy discourse and enhances the public’s understanding of the Rhode Island Latino experience. With this information, Latinos’ social, economic and civic contributions to the state can be better documented and understood.”

Fuentes, currently assistant superintendent of New Bedford, MA, Public Schools, holds a master’s degree in divinity from Andover Newton and is currently completing his doctorate in education at Johnson & Wales University. He has also served on a number of boards and organizations including the Educational and Personal Advisory Council, the Massachusetts Redistricting Committee, the New Bedford Human Relations Commission and various other groups

“We are very excited to have someone with Fuentes’ credentials leading the important work of the Institute,” said Jorge Elorza, co-chair of the LPI Board of Directors. “He was chosen for his leadership skills, understanding of the community and deep commitment to the issues laid out in LPI’s business plan… Fuentes’ experience as an academician, administrator and educational leader makes him uniquely qualified to direct the Institute.”

“Traveler, there is no path, we make the path we walk,” said Fuentes. “Truly, the LPI at Roger Williams University will blaze a new trail as it provides awareness, thorough analysis, and prompt, creative solutions to the most pressing issues within the Latino community. Through this, we will affirm the contributions Latinos are making and prove to the state that an investment in the Latino community is an investment in all of Rhode Island.”

Photo: Ferdinand “Fred” Fuentes ‘88 (left) with Roy J. Nirschel, president of Roger Williams University and Jorge Elorza, co-chair of the Latino Policy Institute