Former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferré, an FIU Honorary Doctor of Public Service recipient, is proud to be a part of this dynamic and great public institution.
The Puerto Rican-born public servant is a former six-term mayor of the City of Miami and the first Hispanic mayor of a major American city, serving from 1973-1985. He has served as the chair of the Miami Dade County Expressway Authority and currently serves on the Florida Transportation Commission. As mayor, Ferré provided leadership and vision when Miami took its place as one of the world’s most vibrant, eclectic and diverse international cities.
Throughout his years in office, he focused on economic development, job creation and a visionary approach to improving South Florida’s transportation and public infrastructure, as well as on transforming the area into a center for inter-American trade, banking and commerce. He remains active in business, commentary on current affairs, teaching and in public service. In 2006, he explored issues concerning Puerto Rico, its identity and political status in his book ¿Hacia Dónde Va Puerto Rico? (Where is Puerto Rico Headed?).
His career has been marked by a style of public service that encourages people of widely different views and philosophies to work together in the name of the common good and progress. Ferré himself embarked on that journey early on, first as a member of the Florida House of Representatives from 1966-1967 and then as a commissioner and later mayor of the City of Miami and, years later, as vice chairman of the Dade County Board of Commissioners.
Ferré has served on the Board of Trustees for various educational institutions, including Lawrenceville School, Barry University, Carlos Albizu University, and the University of Miami. He served as a U.S. Delegate to the UNESCO Conference in 1978.
Additionally, President Ford appointed him to the Commission on Immigration, and President Carter to the Ambassadorial Nominating Commission . He has received numerous decorations from the governments of Spain, Venezuela , Columbia, Peru, Mexico, Argentina, and the Dominican Republic.
Mayor Ferré credits his wife of 63 years, Mercedes Malaussena Ferré, as his “North Star”, and his loving family, including six children and thirteen grandchildren, as his “anchor”.