RootsTech Connect 2021 is thrilled to announce another fascinating keynote speaker, Utah Valley University president, Astrid Tuminez. Tuminez became the seventh president of the nearly 40,000-student state university in 2018.
Tuminez has had a fascinating life, with many stories to tell that will captivate audiences this year. The role that education played in Tuminez’s life is an important reminder of the power of knowledge. Her journey from the slums of the Philippines to achieving literacy and education is both inspirational and powerful.
Astrid Tuminez’s Journey
Tuminez was born in a farming village in the Philippine province of Iloilo. When she was a small child, her family moved to the slums of Iloilo City. Tuminez’s parents were always seeking something better for their children and hoped to find it there.
The importance of education was instilled in Tuminez at a young age. When she was five, something life-changing happened; nuns from a Catholic order called the Daughters of Charity invited Tuminez and her sisters to attend a special school for underprivileged children in Iloilo City.
That educational opportunity was everything. It transformed Tuminez from an illiterate child who was malnourished and insecure to a person who learned to read, do math, and discover the world around her. She describes education as the “great equalizer.”
“If you grow up underprivileged, education offers you the chance to discover an entire world. You might live in a village or under a bridge in Manila and know nothing about anything, but education can set your mind free,” she said.
Opportunities in the United States
Tuminez came to the United States seeking more educational opportunities. She graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in international relations and Russian literature from Brigham Young University in 1986. She earned a master’s degree from Harvard University in Soviet Studies in 1988. Her Ph.D. came 8 years later from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in political science.
Her influence has been felt all over the world. Before her time at UVU, she was an executive at Microsoft. There, she led corporate, external, and legal affairs in Southeast Asia. She worked as vice dean of research at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, the National University of Singapore. She serves as a permanent member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She has also been involved in philanthropy and venture capital in New York City.
Writing is another strong point of Tuminez’s. She has authored a long list of publications, including Russian Nationalism since 1856: Ideology and the Making of Foreign Policy.
She loves to help transform the lives of others for the better. She believes in using data and research to solve problems in communities and has seen that process work in many areas. Her 29 years of leadership experience have helped bridge gaps not only in education, but in opportunity.
Tuminez speaks several languages, including English, Filipino (Tagalog), Iliongo, Russian, and French. An avid runner, she is a proud half- and full-marathon runner. She is married, with three children. She loves to dance and travel.
Tuminez will captivate RootsTech audiences with her knowledge of culture and history all over the world. Have you registered yet? Click here to register for this free conference!
Source: Family Search