By Katherine Marajas
A Filipina raised in slums has been selected as the seventh president of Utah Valley University (UVU) and is also the first female president in the university’s history.
Dr. Astrid S. Tuminez currently serves as Regional Director for Corporate, External, and Legal Affairs in Southeast Asia for Microsoft and will be taking over the position this fall according to a report on the Utah Valley University website.
Tuminez will be succeeding UVU’s president since 2009, Matthew S. Holland.
“Dr. Tuminez has proven to be a dynamic leader across academic, nonprofit, public policy, and corporate sectors. Throughout her storied career, she has focused on bridging gaps in education and opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives, which seamlessly aligns with UVU’s institutional mission and core themes,” Daniel W. Campbell, chair of the Board of Regents, quoted in a statement.
“Dr. Tuminez’s experience, vision, and dedication to student success will ensure that UVU continues to thrive in the years ahead,” he added.
Tuminez served as the Vice Dean of Research and Assistant Dean of Executive Education at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore and was the senior consultant to the US Institute of Peace, Director of Research at AIG Global Investment, and program officer at Carnegie Corporation of New York.
The Filipina also currently serves as an independent director at the Ayala-led Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI).
“I was raised in the slums of the Philippines and I was 5 years old when Catholic nuns offered me and my siblings a chance to go to school. So that changed the entire trajectory of my life, and that’s what makes it so exciting for me to be in a university like UVU,” Tuminez in an interview on Deseret News.
UVU is said to be ‘the largest public university in the state of Utah and one of a few in the nation offering a dual-mission model that combines the rigor and richness of a first-rate teaching university with the openness and vocational programs of a community college.’