Miami Dade College’s Board of Trustees Names Madeline Pumariega as Next President

Miami, Nov. 17, 2020 – Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Board of Trustees announced today the selection of Madeline Pumariega as the College’s fifth and first female President. She is expected to assume office in early January.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be selected to lead Miami Dade College, one of the country’s finest higher education institutions and a true beacon of hope for this community,” Pumariega said. “I look forward to serving MDC, its students, faculty and staff and working together to achieve more than we ever thought was possible.”

MDC’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously for the appointment, highlighting her impressive record of achievement, experience, vision, passion and consensus-building abilities.

“It has been a great experience serving on MDC’s Presidential Search Committee. After an exhaustive process, my fellow trustees and I are certain we have chosen the right individual to lead Democracy’s College into a new era of success,” added Michael Bileca, chairman of MDC’s Board of Trustees.

In her most recent role, Pumariega serves as Executive Vice President and Provost of Tallahassee Community College, where she provides leadership and is responsible for aligning and advancing the high-impact practices within the institution’s three core divisions – academic affairs, student affairs and workforce development.

A thought leader in student success, workforce innovation and higher education policy, Pumariega was appointed as the first female and Hispanic Chancellor of the Florida College System in 2015. Prior to that, she was president of Take Stock in Children, a statewide nonprofit focused on breaking the cycle of poverty through education.

Pumariega began her academic career at MDC and returned to work at the College for 20 years, growing her career and culminating as President of the Wolfson Campus. While at MDC, she developed innovative approaches to support academic progress and student success, ensuring that thousands of youth can access and complete college. Pumariega was instrumental in supporting workforce programs by leveraging key partnerships in the community. She believes in giving back and being involved in both statewide and local boards that focus on transforming communities.

The national search for MDC’s next president began in January, but was interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Nov. 6, the 17-member Presidential Search Committee composed of internal and external stakeholders from all sectors, recommended four finalists to the Board of Trustees.  Each of the finalists were invited to make campus presentations on Thursday, Nov. 12, and Friday, Nov. 13, to the MDC community. Today, the finalists were interviewed by MDC’s Board of Trustees and Pumariega emerged as the top choice from a very competitive pool. MDC thanks all the outstanding candidates who applied for the position.

Pumariega succeeds Dr. Rolando Montoya, who was called to serve as MDC’s interim president in August 2019. He retired as provost for operations in 2017, and previously served the College in various ascending capacities since 1987. As MDC’s former chief operating officer, Dr. Montoya oversaw finance, information technology, institutional effectiveness, human resources, facilities, legal affairs, resource development, and emergency preparedness.

“I am grateful to the Committee members and our board that worked so hard to find the best candidate for our beloved institution,” Dr. Montoya said. “I feel confident that I am leaving Miami Dade College in good hands.”

About Miami Dade College
Miami Dade College is the most diverse institution in the nation. There are 167 nations and 63 languages represented in its student body. The college’s eight campuses and outreach centers offer more than 300 distinct degree pathways including associate and baccalaureate degrees, career certificates and apprenticeships. Baccalaureate degree offerings include biological sciences, engineering, data analytics, information systems technology, education, public safety, supervision and management, nursing, physician assistant studies, film and others.  MDC is the recipient of many top national awards including the Aspen Prize. As Democracy’s College, MDC changes lives through accessible, high quality-teaching and learning experiences.  It is the home of the Miami Culinary Institute, the Miami Animation & Gaming International Complex, the Miami Fashion Institute, the Eig-Watson School of Aviation, The Idea Center, the Cybersecurity Center of the Americas, the Cloud Computing Center, the Center for Learning, Innovation and Simulation, the School for Advanced Studies, and the New World School of the Arts, to name a few of its most innovative programs.  MDC has been named among the nation’s “Great Colleges to Work For” since the program’s inception.  The College embraces its responsibility to serve as an economic, cultural, and civic leader for the advancement of our diverse global community. Its alumni and employees contribute more than $3 billion annually to the local economy, and MDC graduates occupy top leadership positions in every major industry. MDC is renowned for its rich cultural programming. It is the home of the Miami Book Fair, Miami Film Festival, the National Historic Landmark Miami Freedom Tower, the Tower Theater, Dyer Building, Koubek Center Mansion and Gardens, Live Arts Miami at MDC, the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives, the Museum of Art and Design, a sculpture park and a large campus art gallery and theater system.  MDC has admitted more than 2,000,000 students and counting, since it opened its doors in 1960. More than 120,000 students are currently enrolled. For more information, visit