President's Bio

Daisy Cocco DeFilippis, Interim President

Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D.

Biography - Summer 2023
Dr. Cocco De Filippis returned to Hostos Community College in August 2020 after serving as President of Naugatuck Valley Community College from July 2008 to August 2020. Prior to her presidency at Naugatuck, she served as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs (2002–2008) at Hostos Community College. Now, upon her return to the College as President for the last three years and through a pandemic with ‘manos a la obra/all hands-on-deck’ as her motto, Dr. Cocco De Filippis continues to provide a high-quality education delivered with hope, care and understanding to the students. During her presidency, author and philanthropist Ms. MacKenzie Scott announced a $15 million gift to Hostos, the largest donation the school has ever received. This was included in a large nationwide endowment for schools educating underserved students.

In her first year, President Cocco De Filippis hosted a successful Middle States Evaluation Visit, which garnered thoughtful and collegial feedback from peer evaluators. This year she is concluding a College-wide Strategic Plan, effective 2023–2028. The Strategic Planning process consisted of multiple voices at the table to prepare a powerful draft final plan that is engaged and inclusive. She has fostered the creation of a number of impactful initiatives, supported by Ms. Mackenzie Scott’s transformative gift to the institution.

Under her leadership, academic year 2023 recorded significant progress in fall to spring retention and a growth in enrollment during the spring semester, continuing to lead the college in meaningful ways post-pandemic. Of significance, Hostos was selected as a top ten finalist for the national Aspen Community College Prize.

Earlier this spring, she held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly opened Hostos Research Center, a space where faculty members from across disciplines will create and explore new and ever more effective ways of teaching, which will in turn provide the optimum academic experience for students. Dr. Cocco De Filippis worked with local elected officials to prepare and submit a successful $1 million congressional earmark in support of our students’ transfer opportunities and the successful celebration of the College’s 55th Anniversary Year.

Dr. Cocco De Filippis holds a Ph.D. in Latin American Literature, an M. Phil in Spanish Literature from the Graduate School and University Center of The City University of New York, an M.A. in Spanish Literature and a B.A. summa cum laude in Spanish and English literatures from Queens College, CUNY. A published author and literary critic, she is recognized internationally as a pioneer in the field of Dominican women studies and Dominican authors in the U.S. In 2016, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in the Humanities by the University of Santo Domingo (UASD), the oldest university in the Americas, in recognition of her contributions to Dominican, Caribbean and Dominican Diaspora literatures.

Dr. Cocco De Filippis has served on the board of multiple educational and community organizations, as well as Commissioner for the New England Commission for Higher Education.