Dynamic leaders to share wisdom with fall graduates

Adriana Cisneros and Jose R. Mas, members of the University's Board of Trustees, are commencement speakers for the two ceremonies taking place on Dec. 16.


By News@TheU

Adriana Cisneros and Jose R. Mas, members of the University's Board of Trustees, are commencement speakers for the two ceremonies taking place on Dec. 16.


Dynamic leaders to share wisdom with fall graduates

By News@TheU
Adriana Cisneros and Jose R. Mas, two chief executives who are members of the University’s Board of Trustees, will share their advice with more than 1,000 fall graduates of the Class of 2022 during commencement ceremonies at the Watsco Center on Dec. 16.

As the newest University of Miami alumni, graduates at the fall commencement ceremonies will hear from two dynamic individuals who have embraced opportunities and led their respective companies through innovative growth.

Scheduled for Friday, Dec. 16, at the Watsco Center on the Coral Gables Campus, the ceremonies will be livestreamedfor virtual viewing, enabling everybody to celebrate the accomplishments of doctoral, master’s, and bachelor’s degree candidates.

The following information offers a short bio on each commencement speaker, along with the date, time, and degree recipients associated with the specific ceremony.

Friday, Dec. 16 at 10 a.m.: Adriana Cisneros, chief executive officer, Cisneros. Undergraduate degree ceremony. 

As CEO of Cisneros, one of the largest privately held media and entertainment organizations, Adriana Cisneros is in charge of a 90-plus-year-old family legacy. 

An international conglomerate launched in 1929 in Caracas, Venezuela, and now headquartered in Miami, Cisneros comprises businesses in media, digital and interactive, entertainment, consumer products, and real estate. Adriana Cisneros is the third generation to lead the company. Her paternal grandfather, Diego Cisneros, founded the firm, and she is the daughter of former Chairman Gustavo Cisneros and Patricia Phelps de Cisneros. 

Cisneros has been instrumental in advancing the family firm’s nimble embrace of new opportunities. 

Cisneros Media is a story developer and premium content producer of a range of genres, from live action to animation. Its linear platforms reach more than 50 million subscribers. The division’s holdings include the top-rated television channel in Venezuela. Mobius.Lab, its newest nonfiction division, has grown to serve domestic and international audiences, with awarded short-form content for every platform. 

In her first role at the company, as director of strategy, Cisneros developed two additional business lines: Cisneros Interactive, comprising digital media such as mobile and online advertising networks, e-commerce, social gaming, and crowdfunding; and Cisneros Real Estate, which is currently developing a sustainable luxury resort community in the Dominican Republic.

She was appointed CEO of Cisneros in 2013.

In 2018 Cisneros forged the company’s partnership with AST&Science, a technology company developing ultra-powerful low-earth-orbit satellites that don’t require terrestrial infrastructure. 

A key priority for the CEO has been a closer integration between the company’s business units and its commitment to social responsibility. She is president of Fundación Cisneros, a nonprofit organization founded by her parents to improve education in Latin America and enhance global awareness of the region’s heritage and contribution to world culture. 

She launched “Soy niña, soy importante” (“I’m a girl, I’m important”), a summer camp that teaches girls ages 9–12 in rural Dominican Republic about their value in society and the importance of making good life choices. 

A graduate of the Harvard Business School Program for Leadership Development, Cisneros holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University. She also has a master’s degree in journalism from New York University. 

A board member of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) PS1, Cisneros is also on the board of MoMA’s Latin American and Caribbean Acquisition Committee. She is founding co-chair of Endeavor Miami, which supports high-impact entrepreneurship, and a director and member of the executive committee of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences International Emmys. 

She also serves on the boards of an array of prominent organizations including MoMA Latin American Acquisition Fund and the Cisneros Institute at MoMA, AST&Science, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Mattel Inc., Paley Center for Media, Parrot Analytics, and the University of Miami. 

Friday, Dec. 16 at 3 p.m.: Jose R. Mas, chief executive officer, MasTec, Inc. Graduate degree ceremony.

The youngest son of the late Cuban American exile leader and pioneering business executive Jorge Mas Canosa, Jose R. Mas is CEO of MasTec, Inc.

The Fortune 500 company, which evolved from its roots in construction firm Church & Tower into one of the nation’s largest and most diversified infrastructure service providers, today has approximately 25,000 employees in more than 500 locations across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. With annual revenues surpassing $8 billion, MasTec is the second-largest Hispanic-owned enterprise in the United States.

Mas credits the traits he learned from his well-known father—hard work, persistence, and passion—for his success as the top executive of MasTec, Inc. Mas began working for Church & Tower while he was still in high school. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration  from the University of Miami in 1992. In 1994, the year that Church & Tower merged into MasTec, Mas earned a Master of Business Administration from the University.

In 2007, Mas was appointed CEO at age 36. While expanding MasTec’s traditional communication business, he led the company through a major restructuring. Today, 60 percent of MasTec revenue comes from the energy sector, including the construction of electrical transmission lines, oil and gas pipelines, wind turbines, and solar farms.

The company is now pursuing stakes in emerging technologies such as 5G wireless systems, battery storage for sun and wind energy, sensors vital for driverless cars, and other super-fast, mobile applications.

In January 2018, Mas became a co-owner with his oldest brother, Jorge, and other investors of Inter Miami CF, Major League Soccer’s 25th team.

A longtime Coral Gables resident and supporter and coach of various youth basketball teams, Mas serves on the executive board for the United Way of Miami-Dade County and as a director of the Mas Family Foundation, which has awarded college scholarships to hundreds of young Cuban Americans. He also is a member of the U.S. Department of Commerce National Advisory Council on Minority Business Enterprises. As a University trustee, he chairs the Student Affairs Committee and serves on the Executive Committee.