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Fernando I. Rivera, Ph.D. serves as the founding Director of the Puerto Rico Research Hub. He is Professor of Sociology, and is already leading the way with work in the fields of medical sociology/sociology of health, race and ethnicity and the sociology of disasters. Rivera has been studying the movement of Puerto Ricans to the Central Florida community for over 10 years and has studied the differential patterns of health among Puerto Ricans in the United States by analyzing different social indicators such as: perceived discrimination, residential segregation and socioeconomic status and their impact on Puerto Rican health.

In the area of race and ethnicity, he has studied racial relations among college students, the process of incorporation of Puerto Ricans to Central Florida, and several aspects of the Puerto Rican diaspora in the US including, health disparities, culture, and discrimination, among others. For the study of disasters, his work has emphasized on disaster resiliency and the importance of social and economic indicators in promoting resilience to the process of preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery to disasters.

A native of Puerto Rico, he continues to be involved in issues affecting the Puerto Rican community and he is recognized as one of the leading voices with regards to Puerto Rico in Central Florida.