Our Team

The Government and Community Relations team is comprised of experienced professionals focused on advocacy and public affairs in the government, nonprofit, and business sectors.

Rudy Fernandez

Executive Vice President for University Operations and External Affairs and Chief of Staff


(305) 284-4330
Rudy Fernandez serves as executive vice president for university operations and external affairs and chief of staff to the president at the University of Miami. He is responsible for the leadership and strategic direction of a diversified portfolio of university business units including Audit and Compliance, Data Governance and Institutional...

Raena Wright

Vice President, Government Affairs & Community Relations


(305) 284-2618
Raena Wright has served as vice president for government and community relations since January 2022. She is responsible for overseeing the University’s relationships with the state and federal government, elected officials, and with the broader South Florida community. With more than 14 years...

Maite Alvarez

Associate Vice President, Local Government Relations and Deputy Chief of Staff


(305) 284-6282
Maite Alvarez joined the University of Miami in October 2007. She currently serves as Associate Vice President of Government Relations and Deputy Chief of Staff to the President. In the role of Associate Vice President of Government Relations, she is a representative of the University to local government entities and community organizations and...

Shreya Dilip Kuntawala

Asst. VP, Government Relations


(305) 284-4456
Shreya Kuntawala joined the University of Miami in December 2016. In her current role, as assistant vice president of government relations she is responsible for the federal government affairs portfolio in Washington, D.C., developing, strategizing, and advancing funding priorities and strategic initiatives...

Adriana Verdeja

Executive Director of Government and Community Relations


(305) 284-8740
Adriana Verdeja has worked in higher education for more than a decade, serving in various roles from fundraising as senior director of Development, to deputy chief of staff to the president, and currently as executive director of Government and Community Relations.  Throughout her fundraising career, she raised more than $50 million for...

Adrian Zachary Nunez

Assoc. Director, Government Relations


(305) 284-8741
Adrian Nuñez serves as the associate director for Government Relations. In this role he manages the state government relations portfolio advocating for the University of Miami and University of Miami Health System's budget and policy priorities. Prior to this role, he managed the Community Relations...

Abdias C. Rodriguez

Manager, Business Operations


(305) 284-2684
Abdias Rodriguez serves as manager of business operations for the Office of Government and Community Relations. In her current role, she oversees and manages the departmental budget, lobbying commitments, and consulting agreements, and provides assistance to the entire team. Abdias also assists in the community...