This alumni story is part of series of biographical profiles of prominent Florida International University graduates sponsored by the school.
State Senator Alexis Calatayud’s rise to leadership in the Florida Legislature is an endearing testament to her unwavering dedication to public service. And her passion for advocacy and leadership was shaped by her experiences while a student at Florida International University (FIU), where she honed her skills as a dedicated advocate and leader.
Despite this being in her first year in the Florida Legislature, Calatayud has already made a significant impact by spearheading an effort to boost affordable housing in Florida. Through her sponsorship of Senate Bill 102, also known as the “Live Local” bill, Calatayud is at the leading edge of a push by Republicans and Democrats alike to address the rising spike in housing that has forces many families to make long commutes because they can’t afford to live where they work.
Calatayud’s experiences at FIU, which taught her the importance of tenacious advocacy, helped her hone her professional approach to getting things done in the state legislature. And that has earned her not only the respect and praise of Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, but also her trust. The “Live Local” bill is Passidomo’s top legislative priority this year.
“Her leadership in moving our Live Local Act through the legislative process was impressive, and I was pleased to see my colleagues acknowledge the deliberative and inclusive process she utilized in bringing every stakeholder to the table and seeking input and improvements every step of the way,” said Passidomo. “Alexis represents the future of not only the Florida Senate, but the future of Florida. The youngest Senator in recent history, through her prior service in the executive branch, she has a depth of knowledge in so many policy areas that far exceeds her years.”
Calatayud’s leadership skills and her ability to bring stakeholders to the table have been evident throughout her career, from her work at FIU to her current role in the Florida Legislature. During her tenure at FIU, Calatayud worked to preserve the Bright Futures scholarship program for incoming freshmen who relied on it to complete their education. Her advocacy efforts eventually led her to campaign for the role of student body president, where she became the leading student voice both on and off campus.
As Calatayud explains, “I truly believe that service is the true extension of love. It’s really about finding gaps and filling them. Do that, and you eventually find a place that has immense need.”
Calatayud’s servant leadership is a testament to her unwavering dedication to public service. Her deliberative, collaborative and inclusive style, honed during her time at Florida International University (FIU), has earned her the trust and respect of her colleagues in the Florida Legislature. Calatayud’s leadership on Senate Bill 102, also known as the Live Local bill, demonstrates her team approach embodied in her mantra of “finding gaps and filling them,” a style of leadership that will not only serve Calatayud well, but also her constituents.
Florida International University is a top public university that drives real talent and innovation in Miami and globally. Very high research (R1) activity and high social mobility come together at FIU to uplift and accelerate learner success in a global city by focusing in the areas of environment, health, innovation, and justice. According to U.S. News and World Report, Florida International University offers a number of degree programs among the best in the nation, including international business at ranked No. 2. Washington Monthly Magazine ranks FIU among the top 20 public universities contributing to the public good. Learn more about FIU here.