Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Immigrant of the Day: Rita M. Rodriguez (Cuba)

Rita M. Rodriguez, a former director of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, was born in Oriente, Cuba in 1942, and came to the United States at age 15. She graduated from the University of Puerto Rico, and received her MBA and Ph.D. from NYU. In 1969, Rodriguez became the first female hired to teach at the Harvard Business School. She remained there until 1978 when she became a professor of international finance at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

In 1982, the U.S. Senate confirmed Rodriguez as one of the five directors of the Export-Import Bank, an independent agency whose chief purpose is to improve U.S. trade with other countries. From 1982 to 1999, Rodriguez was a full-time member of the board of directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States—the longest-serving director in the bank's 65-year history. In this position, she oversaw bank policy development and coordination for countries and programs, was responsible for formulation of bank policy objectives and negotiating strategy toward international organizations, and coordinated the bank's strategy and staff participation in U.S. government interagency groups and meetings with international organizations. She also chaired the board's audit and exposure management committees.

Rodriguez has written numerous books and articles on international finance.



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