Antonio Pérez

President - Borough of Manhattan Community College/CUNY

Dr. Antonio Pérez, president of Borough of Manhattan Community College since 1995, is a visionary, high-energy leader with 23 years of experience as a chief executive officer. Since coming to BMCC, he has dedicated himself to making the institution one that is recognized nationally for excellence in teaching, learning, scholarship, and service to students and to the community.

Borough of Manhattan Community College was the first community college in Manhattan and is the largest college in The City University of New York. The College services nearly 22,000 students who enroll in 25 degree-granting programs. More than 10,000 students enroll in the College’s Adult and Continuing Education, and over 2,000 New York City middle school and high school students participate in collaborative programs. BMCC is distinguished by its second ranking nationwide in awarding associate degrees to minority students.

Under the direction of Dr. Pérez, BMCC has built an extensive network of partnerships with the business community, meeting corporate needs by providing on-site training and development courses for employees at some of New York City’s largest companies.

Dr. Pérez has also extended the College’s reach in an effort to make it more accessible to students around the city. By forging partnerships with other CUNY colleges, BMCC now offers a wide variety of courses in Inwood (CUNY in the Heights, a collaboration with Hostos Community College), the Bronx (Lehman College) and Brooklyn (Brooklyn College).

Furthermore, BMCC’s Educational Opportunity Center in Harlem offers job-training programs. President Pérez is also a strong believer in cross-cultural and cross-national education and exchanges. A driving force behind BMCC’s Study Abroad Programs, in November of 2007 Dr. Pérez visited the People’s Republic of China to explore and develop cooperative educational ventures between BMCC and Chinese universities.

Dr. Pérez maintains a deep personal commitment to community service. He served on the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation’s World Trade Center Memorial Committee. He serves as secretary of the board of directors of the Ralph Lauren Cancer Center, and sits of the boards of the Business Alliance for Downtown New York, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural. He is Commissioner of the Greater New York Councils of Boy Scouts of America. In recognition of his distinguished service to higher education, Dr. Perez was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters by his alma mater, the State University of New York at Oneonta.

Moreover, Dr. Pérez is secretary of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), and vice president of the board of directors of Hispanic Educational Telecommunications System, and the National Community College Hispanic Council. He also serves on the editorial board of The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education.

Since the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center that destroyed one of BMCC’s educational facilities, Dr. Pérez has spoken widely on leadership. His speeches have addressed such topics as the characteristics of a good leader to crisis and emergency management at the college level. In October 2008, Pérez was one of five recipients of the Annual Latino Heritage and Culture Award, an honor that recognizes the accomplishments of Latino leaders in New York City. Fittingly, Crain’s New York Business calls President Pérez one of New York’s top 100 minority business leaders.