Sophia Aguirre, new President of Catholic Distance University
HRF Director Maria Sophia Aguirre, Ph.D., a distinguished Ordinary Professor of Economics and researcher in the field of finance, family, and economic development, has been appointed President of Catholic Distance University on July 1, 2023.
Dr Aguirre has been part of our board since HRF began. She led our latest Experts Meeting in Washington on Home and Displaced People last year. Furthermore, she has participated in several conferences with enriching papers that have been part of our publications.
A tenured faculty member at The Catholic University of America, Dr. Aguirre has 30 years of teaching and research experience while holding leadership positions at the academic programme level, department and school levels, as well as the university at large. She was a Fulbright scholar in 2012–2013.
After completing Accounting and Business Administration degrees in Argentina, Dr. Aguirre worked in accounting and commodities trading in Chicago for several years before earning an M.A. and then a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Notre Dame with a focus on monetary and fiscal policies and international financial markets. She has represented countries, including the Holy See, in international organizations, and served the U.S. President and Secretary of State as a presidential appointee confirmed by Congress in the capacity of Commissioner and Adviser for two presidential terms. Dr. Aguirre has testified before Congress in the U.S. and in several other countries and has lectured and published extensively both domestically and internationally.
Dr. Aguirre has worked to develop and implement Integral Economic Development (IED), an interdisciplinary approach to economic analysis that recognizes the role of social relationships—first manifested by the family—as key drivers of economic activity. Dr. Aguirre’s research, and the two master’s degree programmes in Integral Economic Development she founded, have led to successful collaboration with a variety of business leaders, academicians, technologists, and policy makers by improving the lives of millions of people in the developing world. She is currently on leave at the University of St. Thomas in Houston conducting research on the application of IED to artificial intelligence and virtual reality.