Irene Zoppi-Rodriguez, Ph.D. is a 2015 Latina of Influence named by Hispanic Lifestyle. Zoppi-Rodriguez, Ph.D is being recognized for her commitment to the service of our country and education research. Hispanic Lifestyle’s 2015 Latinas of Influence will be recognizing Irene and her fellow Latinas of Influence during a luncheon held in their honor on at Latina Conference 2015.
Dr. Zoppi demonstrates excellence in leadership each and every day by serving as a role model to her students, peers and colleagues. Dr. Zoppi has always strived to be a leader in the Latino community, and believes that leaders have the ability to positively influence, mentor, coach and help transform those around them. She consistently seeks to become the best version of herself and demonstrates excellence in the number of roles she plays, both professionally and personally. She has served in the U.S. Army for over 25 years, from active duty to the reserves.Originally from Canóvanas, Puerto Rico, Dr. Zoppi was deployed to Kuwait, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia in what is known as the 3rd Armored Division as a Military Intelligence Officer. She was one of few Latino women who served during Desert Storm in a Tank Division which earned her a Bronze Star Medal.
She also demonstrates her excellence in leadership through becoming the first female to hold the position of Chief of Staff in the U.S. Army in Puerto Rico, a position she has held since December, 2013. Dr. Zoppi, balances being in the reserves with her family life, job as an adjunct professor at Strayer University and her role as voluntary commissioner for the state of Maryland.
Her latest efforts have been focused on the Maryland Women in Military Service Monument. The monument is the first-ever to honor women from the State of Maryland, past and present, who honorably and proudly served our nation in war and peace.
In all that she does, she aims to be a role model to other women; and desires to see more Latina women grow to attain all they want out of life.
Irene M. Zoppi Rodríguez is an Education Research & MBTI Consultant, Community Organizer, and Motivational Speaker. Recognized as Maryland’s Top 100 Women (2009), she is a Professor at Strayer University in the Business and Education Departments including a member of Strayer’s Distinguished Scholar Council and Awarded the Faculty of the Year (2012). A former Adjunct Professor from the College of Notre Dame, and Research Associate for the Maryland Institute of Minority Achievement and Urban Education, University of Maryland, College Park. In addition, Dr. Zoppi is a Colonel in the U.S. Army (Reserve) serving as a Deputy Commander, 1st Mission Support Command in Ft. Buchanan, PR with expertise in military, civil & public affairs; and graduated from the prestigious U.S. Army War College with a Master of Strategic Studies (2012). Currently, she is serving as a Full-time Professor for Strayer University; and is a Research Consultant and a visiting Adjunct Professor for Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), Ft. Benning, GA.
Dr. Zoppi holds a Ph.D. in Education Policy, Planning, and Administration from the University of Maryland (2004) and Leadership Certificate from Harvard Business School (2009); a Master’s in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University (2000); and Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages from the University of Puerto Rico (1988). Dr. Zoppi is a Gulf War Veteran and Bronze Star Medal recipient with 25 years of service both in the U.S. Army – Active and Reserve. She began as a Private First Class in 1985, later became a commissioned officer. She graduated from some of the military’s most significant leadership courses: Combined Arms Staff Service Course (1998) and Command & General Staff Officer Course (2004). She serves as a Commissioner for the State of Maryland in: (1) Commission on the Establishment of Women in the Military Service Monument, and (2) Maryland Workforce Corporation Board.