Alumni rise in state government

Jeanette Nuñez, lieutenant governor of Florida (left), and Barbara Lagoa, Florida Supreme Court justice (right)

By: Joshua Ceballos/News Director


University alumni have taken big leaps into the political sphere in the first month of 2019.

Two FIU graduates, Jeanette Núñez  and Barbara Lagoa, have been appointed to major positions within the State Government of Florida and setting records in their respective positions.

Nuñez was sworn in as the Lieutenant Governor for the State of Florida on Tuesday, Jan. 8 in Tallahassee. Nuñez and her running mate, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, were elected in November 2018 after a heated battle with Democrat Andrew Gillum that dragged out through mandated recounts.

Jeanette Nuñez, lieutenant governor, (left) with governor DeSantis (middle) in the FIU Senate Chambers.

Nuñez graduated from FIU in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. From 2010 to 2018, Nuñez served in the Florida House of Representatives as the representative for District 119 from 2010 to 2018. She is the first Hispanic woman to be elected Lt. Governor of Florida.

Lagoa, who graduated in 1989 from the University with a bachelor’s in English, was appointed by Governor DeSantis to the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday, Jan 9. Previously, Lagoa served as a judge on the State’s Third District Court of Appeal from 2006 to 2019. She was the first Cuban-American woman appointed to her previous position, and now she is the first Hispanic woman and FIU alum to be on the Supreme Court.

University President Mark B. Rosenberg took to email and social media to congratulate both alumna on their achievements and their appointments to prestigious positions in the government. After the appointment of Lagoa in front of the Freedom Tower in Miami on Jan. 9, Rosenberg called the event “a proud day for our FIU, and a historic moment for our state,” in an email to the University community.

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