National Advisory Board
Edwin Meléndez is a Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning at Hunter College and the Director of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies. He has conducted considerable research in the areas of Latino studies, economic development, labor markets, and poverty.
Originally from Puerto Rico, Dr. Meléndez came to the United States in 1978 after receiving a bachelor's degree from the University of Puerto Rico. He earned a master's degree in economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and in 1985 received his Ph.D. also in economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has been the recipient of numerous scholarships and teaching awards, including those from ASPIRA, MIT, UPR, and the National Research Council and Ford Foundation. He began his teaching career at Fordham University in 1984, teaching economics and Puerto Rican studies. In 1999 he joined Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy in New York City. From 1999 to 2004, Dr. Melendez was the Director of the Community Development Research Center at the Milano Graduate School, and from 1992 to 1998, he was the director of the Mauricio Gaston Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He was also an associate professor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and served in its faculty from 1986 to 1992.