April 5, 2024

Korbel Celebrates First Full-Time Rice Family Professor of Practice

Former United States secretary of state Condoleezza Rice (BA ’74, PhD ’81, Hon. PhD ’96) established the Rice Family Endowed Professor of Practice in DU’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies to honor her parents, Rev. John Wesely Rice Jr. and Angelena Rice. In alignment with her own distinguished career, the endowment supports a non-tenured faculty position at Korbel for an eminently qualified academic, government, non-governmental organization, or business leader who has made a major impact on fields significant to Korbel School programs.

The inaugural holder of the Rice Family Endowed Professorship of Practice is Venezuelan economist Francisco Rodríguez, who joined the Korbel faculty in fall 2023. Rodríguez brings a wealth of experience in politics and economics to the role, including time as head of the Economic and Financial Advisory of the Venezuelan National Assembly (2000-2004), head of the research team of the United Nations’ Human Development Report Office (2008-2011) and chief Andean economist of Bank of America (2011-2016). He has also been a visiting researcher at the International Monetary Fund and a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as a professor at many prominent universities.

Being at Korbel affords Rodríguez an invaluable opportunity to consider his nation’s unique political and economic challenges.  “Venezuela has experienced the largest documented economic collapse outside of wartime in history. There have been attempts to address it, but no satisfactory solution, so in terms of being able to reframe ideas and work on solutions, I can’t think of a better community to be a part of than Korbel,” Rodríguez says.

Adds Korbel School dean Fritz Mayer, “Francisco Rodríguez is the perfect first Rice Family professor. He not only has high level government and private sector experience, but he’s also a PhD economist who bridges the gap between our academic faculty and the world of practice, in the process enlarging our students’ vision of the possible.”