President Leonel Fernández Reyna of the Dominican Republic addressed more than 250 students, faculty members and local community leaders at Uris Hall on Wednesday night. The subject of his remarks was “Engaging the Dominican Republic Diaspora in a National Strategy for Development.”
Fernández, who began his second term as president in 2004, is largely credited with improving the country’s economy and its ties to other Caribbean nations. In 1996, at age 42, he was the youngest person ever elected president of the Dominican Republic. A graduate in law, with honors, of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, he worked as a teacher, journalist and lawyer before entering politics. Having attended high school in New York, Fernández maintains close ties to the city.
The audience included students and faculty members from other schools at Columbia University as well as such local community leaders as Adriano Espaillat of the New York State Assembly, Dr. Rafael Lantigua of Columbia University Medical Center, Miguel Martinez of the New York City Council and Moises Perez, president of the Alianza Dominicana.