An Enlightening Visit: Former President Fernández

Dean Scott Taylor welcomes Leonel Fernández

On October 26, 2023 we had the honor of welcoming former President of the Dominican Republic, Leonel Fernández, to a lunch at the Pardee School of Global Studies. The luncheon provided an opportunity for the distinguished guest to engage in meaningful discussions with faculty, staff, and Dean Scott Taylor, further enriching the discourse on global issues.

Later that evening, Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, hosted an engaging lecture by Leonel Fernández, titled “Globalization & Geopolitics in the Digital Age.” Co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies, the lecture took place at the Boston University Hillel and became a notable event in the academic and political calendar.

Fernández, a prominent Dominican politician, lawyer, professor, and writer, has made substantial contributions to both national and international political and ideological discourse. As a three-time elected President of the Dominican Republic, he championed progressive and democratic mandates, led institutional reforms, promoted economic growth, implemented anti-poverty social policies, and oversaw substantial infrastructure development.

The former President’s intellectual prowess has been recognized with numerous honorary doctorates from prestigious universities in Europe, the United States, and Latin America. He also serves as the President of various global organizations, such as the Global Democracy and Development Foundation, the United Nations Association of the Dominican Republic, and the World Federation of United Nations Associations.

As Sixcia Devine, a Latinx speaker and guest at the lecture, beautifully put it, “Globalization has brought us closer than ever, with digital connectivity at its core. But to forge ahead, we must remember our roots.” She emphasized the importance of understanding the historical context of globalization to navigate future challenges and opportunities.