Trenton, NJ - Governor Chris Christie today announced the historic appointment of Martín Perez of New Brunswick, a respected lawyer and President of the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey, to the Rutgers Board of Governors, effective July 2013. The Governor joined leaders of New Jersey's education reform, business and Hispanic communities, along with students from Rutgers University, on the school's New Brunswick campus to announce the action that finally brings Mr. Perez's voice, experience and leadership to the Board. Perez's previous nomination marked just the second time a governor has named a Hispanic to serve on the university's top governing board and today's action secures his seat as the second Hispanic-American to serve on the Board in its history.
First nominated on May 12, 2011, Mr. Perez has been waiting 587 days for a confirmation hearing and up-or-down vote of the Senate, only to be blocked without explanation by a small group of Middlesex County Democratic Senators. The Governor's direct appointment ends nearly 600 days of legislative inaction and abuse of "Senatorial Courtesy" since he first nominated Mr. Perez for a seat on the board. Governor Christie filed one of two direct appointments to the Board of Governors afforded to the Governor under the higher education reorganization law.
"Nearly 600 days after I nominated Martín Perez to serve on the Board of Governors, I am extraordinarily pleased to make his appointment to serve his alma mater and end the petty politics and indifference that prevented this from happening for far too long. As a well-qualified lawyer and advocate for the Hispanic community and educational opportunity, Martín brings an important voice of diversity and point of view as the only Hispanic to sit on the current Rutgers University Board of Governors and just the second in its history," said Governor Christie. "I am proud to make this day a reality by giving our flagship public university the benefit of Martín's leadership, passion, and knowledge as Rutgers enters a crucial period of expansion and opportunity for students across New Jersey."
In accepting the Governor's appointment, Mr. Perez said, "I thank Governor Christie for this opportunity to serve my alma mater, for his commitment to diversity and his support to me personally. I look forward to working with President Barchi, the other members of the Board of Governors and Board of Trustees and most importantly, the students who represent our best hope for the future of the State of New Jersey."
Martín Perez (New Brunswick, Middlesex), Appointee, Rutgers University Board of Governors
Martín Perez, a 1986 Rutgers School of Law-Newark graduate, is currently the President of the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey, a statewide umbrella Latino advocacy organization. Mr. Perez grew up in Puerto Rico and graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a Bachelor's Degree, Seton Hall University with a Masters Degree in Secondary Education and Rutgers University Law School with a Juris Doctor Degree.
Mr. Perez's accomplishments include directing Project Puente at Middlesex County College, teaching and working in various positions at Rutgers University and serving as a trial attorney for the Office of the Public Defender in Hudson County.
A well known and respected community leader, Mr. Perez is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options (HCREO) and Excellent Education for Everyone (E-3). In 2007, he served on both the Governor's Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel on Immigration Policy and as Co-Chair of the Latino Advisory Council to the President of Rutgers University.
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