Mark B. Rosenberg
Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad, 1982
Mark B. Rosenberg
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Mark B. Rosenberg

University President Transforms Higher Education Institutions into Global Centers

Mark B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.
President of Florida International University
1982 Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad award recipient to Honduras

Dr. Mark B. Rosenberg has spent his nearly five-decade career in higher education finding solutions. As a professor, researcher, and current President of Florida International University (FIU), he has turned institutions into inclusive, innovative, and collaborative centers of global learning. As a Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Program alumnus, Dr. Rosenberg has embraced the internationalization of higher education as a key component in fostering mutual understanding and solving our biggest global challenges.

A political scientist specializing in Latin America, Dr. Rosenberg started his academic career as an assistant professor at FIU in 1976. Recognizing the importance of international academic exchange, he founded FIU’s Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center in 1979. The Center is now recognized as a leading public research and teaching center focused on the region. In 1982, Dr. Rosenberg embarked on a Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad award to research political science in Honduras, where he gained new knowledge on critical policy issues related to democracy and justice throughout the Central American region. The Fulbright-Hays Program, according to Dr. Rosenberg, “enabled a broader understanding of U.S.-Latin American affairs that has informed my entire scholarly and public affairs career.” Today, he is sought after by a variety of organizations for his expertise, including the Council on Foreign Relations, U.S. Congress, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Upon transitioning into leadership roles at FIU, the State University System (SUS) of Florida, and beyond, Dr. Rosenberg has focused on expanding access to education, increasing support and funding for research, and building global community. At FIU, Dr. Rosenberg prepares a global workforce through the Global Learning for Global Citizenship Initiative, and encourages on-campus Fulbright participation and celebration through events such as “Fulbright Fest” and “Fulbright Homecoming,” and interaction with Fulbright affinity groups including Fulbright Noir and Fulbright LatinX. To support Fulbright applicants, FIU produces webinars and workshops to help recruit a diverse and representative applicant pool for international scholarships. While commemorating the Fulbright Program’s 70th Anniversary at FIU, Dr. Rosenberg summarized the program’s symbiosis with the university: “As a globally engaged institution with deep ties throughout the world, the Fulbright Program is critical to our success as an institution.”

Dr. Rosenberg, a first-generation college student himself, also recognizes the barriers students at FIU, a majority-minority institution, face. Under Dr. Rosenberg’s leadership, more than 100 new student advisers and counselors were hired for a restructured and expanded student graduation initiative, student internship programs were expanded, and the school has become a leading producer of graduates in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). As a result of these initiatives, FIU has increased graduation rates by 13% since 2009, and was named a 2020-2021 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Top Producing Institution.

It is difficult to quantify the impact of Dr. Rosenberg’s work in higher education, and his passion and commitment to internationalizing higher education. But as Dr. Hilary Jones, 2019 Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Senegal and FIU associate professor of history, says, “FIU and President Rosenberg have been supportive of Fulbright because it speaks to the international mission of the university. Fulbright offers faculty and students possibilities.”