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November 13, 2017

NEW YORK, NYCongressmanAdriano Espaillat (NY-13) released the following statement upon his return from the Dominican Republic as part of this year's summit to broaden the relationship with the United States.

Envisioned by the Minister of Tourism for the Dominican Republic, Francisco Javier Garcia, the summit was created in collaboration with the Hispanic Federation in an effort to strengthen the relationship between the United States in support of tourism and hospitality, and other important areas such as education to support the academic success of Dominican students in communities around the nation

This year's summit focused on education, and Rep. Espaillat was accompanied by leaders from the City University of New York (CUNY) and the State University of New York (SUNY).

"Education is the foundation for our success as a community and as a nation," said Rep. Espaillat, who serves on the House Committee of Education and the Workforce. "I am delighted to participate in this historic delegation of leaders, teachers and administrators from CUNY and SUNY to establish the New York Higher Education Task Force Summit to address the needs of the more than 40,000 Dominican students currently enrolled throughout both universities."

"I am delighted to have participated as part of this year's delegation to the Dominican Republic with Congressman Espaillat to address the needs of CUNY students and our faculty," said Chairman William Thompson,Chairman of the CUNY Board of Trustees. "CUNY has a vast enrollment of Dominican students and students of Dominican descent and ensuring they have a solid foundation for learning and achievement is critical to our shared goals and overall success. Our mission during this trip was to strengthen the relationship and educational partnership between the New York and the Dominican Republic so that we are better equipped with a framework tailored to engage, connect and nurture student interests, training, and their academic achievement. Education is the foundation for success, and it was a pleasure to work with Congressman Espaillat and Chairman McCall of SUNY on this effort. I look forward to continuing our work and our discussions with the Dominican Republic to ensure student achievement and success."

"We had a very productive visit to the Dominican Republic as we seek to strengthen our existing partnerships and explore new ones in a country with so many ties to New York," said Chairman H. Carl McCall, Chairman of the SUNY Board of Trustees. "The State University of New York is grateful to Congressman Adriano Espaillat for bringing together this delegation and we look forward to the future strong partnership."

"In its third year, this visit is especially historic because of the caliber of participants from institutions of higher learning throughout New York and the Dominican Republic, who have come together with the purpose of establishing a broader relationship between the United States and the Dominican Republic to focus on the educational success of our students. Thank you to Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina and the Minister of Higher Education, Alejandrina German, and each of the delegation participants for the informative discussions on the importance of language proficiency, exchange programs, preparation and preparedness for teachers and student achievement, as well as academic completion and success. I look forward to continuing our work in support of the students, faculty and leaders at CUNY and SUNY in support of their academic studies today and academic success in the future," concluded Rep. Espaillat.

This year's visit marked the largest delegation to the Dominican Republic which included the following leaders from institutions of higher education throughout New York: H. Carl McCall, Chairman of the SUNY Board of Trustees; William Thompson, Chairman of the CUNY Board of Trustees; Lorraine Cortez Vazquez, Trustee of the CUNY Board, NYC Mayor's Senior Advisor; Havidan Rodriguez, President of the University at Albany, SUNY; Jose Luis Cruz, President of Lehman College, CUNY; Antonio Perez, President of the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), CUNY; Professor Gilbert Valverde, senior researcher at the Institute of Global Education Policy Studies, Department of Educational Policy and Leadership at the University of Albany, SUNY; Robert Balkin, Director of the Office of Latin America and the Caribbean, SUNY; Dulce Kontak, Assistant to SUNY Chairman H. Carl McCall; Dr. Rafael Lantigua, MD, Professor of Clinical Medicine Medical Director, Associates in Internal Medicine at New York Presbyterian; Teresita Levy, Ph.D., Director of International Programs and Global Partnerships and Associate Professor for the Department of Latin American, Latino and Puerto Rican Studies, Lehman; Monica Tavares, Vice President of External Affairs for the Hispanic Federation; and Aneiry Batista, Chief of Staff, Office of Congressman Adriano Espaillat.

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First elected to Congress in 2016, Rep. Adriano Espaillat is serving his first term in Congress where he serves as a member of the influential U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and the House Select Committee on Small Business. He is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and serves in a leadership role as CHC Freshman Representative to the Democratic Caucus. He is also chairman of the CHC Task Force for Transportation, Infrastructure and Housing. Rep. Espaillat's Congressional District includes Harlem, East Harlem, northern Manhattan and the north-west Bronx. To find out more about Rep. Espaillat, visit online at /.

Media inquiries: Candace Randle Person at