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Mark B. Rosenberg

President, Florida International University

Mark B. Rosenberg is the fifth president of Florida International University, a public institution of higher education and leader in the production of minority degrees in the sciences and engineering among majority-minority institutions.

A political scientist specializing in Latin America, Dr. Rosenberg is the first FIU faculty member to ascend to the university's presidency bringing over forty years of experience in higher education leadership to this post.

The author of seven books and numerous scholarly articles on Latin America, Dr. Rosenberg was one of the principal architects of FIU's growth and expansion during the past decade and played a lead role in development of FIU's Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine.

Under his leadership as president, FIU has increased enrollment to almost 56,000 students, improved graduation rates by nearly 13% and hired over 500 new faculty. Dr. Rosenberg has provided leadership to grow the institution's budget, improve student graduation and retention rates, expand internships for enrolled students, and coordinate FIU's emergence as a leading producer of graduates in priority national and state areas focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

From 2005 to 2009, Dr. Rosenberg served as the second Chancellor (first formally selected by the Board of Governors) for the State University System of Florida. Prior to becoming chancellor, Dr. Rosenberg was integrally involved in the expansion and development of FIU into a major public research university.

Dr. Rosenberg holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and a B.A. from Miami University of Ohio, where he was Phi Beta Kappa.  He is a Fulbright Research Scholar, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, is the immediate past-Chair of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce (GMCC) and is currently serving as serves as Chair of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Committee on Developing Indicators for Undergraduate STEM Education.

Saif Y. Ishoof

Vice President

Saif Y. Ishoof, Esq., leads a dynamic team in the Office of Engagement, tackling the community’s most pressing needs and unlocking awesome opportunities by building transformational partnerships that are fueled by the scholarship of FIU faculty and the talents of FIU students.

He guides the university’s participation with K-12 partners, economic development agencies, industry partners and social enterprises. He is also a Senior Fellow in the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs.

Saif’s professional career includes being a startup technology entrepreneur and an executive in agricultural and engineering companies. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami School of Law.

Among his many accomplishments, Saif was named a 2016 Presidential Leadership Scholar, a program that is a collaborative between four Presidential centers and libraries. He was recognized by the Miami Herald as “20 Under 40" leader in 2010 and was named 2010 Diversity Leader by the American Jewish Committee. In 2012, Saif was named a Thurgood Marshall College Fund Leader of the Year. Saif was recognized by the University of Miami School of Law Alumni Association as the Distinguished Leader of 2013.

Recently, he was appointed to serve as founding Chair of the Disruption Workgroup of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.

James Knapp

Executive Director

James Knapp serves as the lead relationship builder, strategically connecting FIU with partners in the community.

He manages and oversees some of FIU’s most important initiatives, including Life Sciences South Florida, the Talent Development Network, the Academic Leaders Council and the Engagement Advisory Council.

James works alongside the vice president for Engagement in managing the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce disruption taskforce and is tasked with identifying and establishing new relationships, initiatives and partnerships in key areas.

With a passion for mentorship and volunteerism, Knapp volunteers his time with the Lil Abner Foundation. In addition, James has been leadership facilitor for the Do What Counts organization for more than five years, where he trains student-athletes and collegiate staff to transfer their leadership skills from the field of play to the world in which they live.                         

He earned both his bachelors in sports management and master’s in higher education from FIU. James is a L.E.A.P participant and a part of the High Potential Leader Program, which both focus on enhancing workforce and leadership excellence. In addition, James was selected to participate in the inaugural FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg Presidential Leadership Program, a professional development program designed for employees under 50 years of age interested in solidifying a career track in higher education.

Alexina E. Alonso

Program Manager

Alexina Alonso manages several key external partnerships of the university – including the City of Miami Beach, the Beacon Council’s Academic Leaders Council – for Life Sciences South Florida initiative. She received her bachelor of arts in history at the University of Central Florida and her master’s in public administration and graduate certificate in community development from Florida International University.