About the Vice President for Government and Community RelationsRudy Fernandez joined the University in February 2007 as Vice President of Government Affairs. In April 2010 he assumed responsibility over Community Relations. As VP for Government and Community Relations he is responsible for managing and nurturing relationships between the University of Miami and all federal, state and local government officials and governmental agencies; representing the University in all issues, including but not limited to education appropriations, medical school funding, community initiatives, and political matters. He also assists the University President, other senior administrators, faculty and staff in pursuing government funding opportunities and advocating for other University priorities. He also serves as the chief strategist in developing the University’s response to legislation and other potential government actions impacting the University.
In June of 2013, Fernandez also assumed the role of Chief of Staff to the University President. As Chief of Staff, he serves as a senior advisor to the President on strategic objectives and he represents the President on committees both internally and externally. As Chief of Staff he also works with other University leaders in developing and implementing long-range goals and objectives for the university. In addition, manages the day-to-day operations of the President’s office and supervises the President’s immediate staff.
Prior to joining the university, Fernandez was Special Assistant to the President in the George W. Bush White House. He also held senior positions in the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Bush-Cheney 2004 Campaign and the Republican National Committee. Fernandez makes regular appearances on both mainstream and Spanish-language television and radio shows as a political analyst and serves on the board of directors of several non-profit organizations including the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Miami-Dade.
Fernandez has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from Harvard University and an MBA from the University of Miami. He and his wife Jennifer are the proud parents of four kids ages 7 and under.