Dr. Luis Martínez-Fernández is a historian, university professor, columnist (formerly with Creators Syndicate), consultant, and public speaker, whose fields of expertise include international affairs, Latin America, the Caribbean, education, and US Latinos/Hispanics.
Born in Havana, Cuba and raised in Lima, Peru and San Juan, Puerto Rico, he holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in History from the University of Puerto Rico and a Ph.D. in History from Duke University.
Dr. Martínez-Fernández has vast experience as consultant in the areas of education, diversity, transcultural communications, outreach, media, and publishing.
A Pegasus Professor of History at the University of Central Florida since 2004, he is recognized as one of the most prolific and influential scholars in the field of Caribbean history. His publications include articles in Cuban Studies, Slavery and Abolition, Latin American Research Review, The Americas, Caribbean Studies, and in numerous edited volumes.
His books include When the World Turned Upside Down: Politics, Culture, and the Unimaginable Events of 2019-2022, Fighting Slavery in the Caribbean, Revolutionary Cuba: A History, widely acclaimed as the most comprehensive and systematic study on the subject ever written and Key to the New World: A History of Early Colonial Cuba, winner of the 2018 Florida Book Awards' Bronze Medal for General Nonfiction and 2018 International Latino Book Awards Gold Medal, History Category.
In 2001, Dr. Martínez-Fernández was recognized among the most influential Hispanic leaders in the U S in the nationally televised special "Viva! Top Twenty Powerbrokers."
He served as trustee of the College Board (2009-2015) and in numerous professional, editorial, and community boards, among them the Cuban Studies journal, the South Atlantic Humanities Center, Hispanic Young Professionals, the Community Advisory Board of WMFE (Central Florida's NPR and PBS stations), the Board of Directors of the Historical Society of Central. In 2005 he founded the annual Latin American Cultural Festival of Orlando.
In March 2019, Martínez-Fernández joined the Board of Directors of the National Council for History Education; and in July 2020, was elected to the Academy of Cuban History in Exile. He currently serves on the boards of Alianza Center (Orlando), the International Board of Advisors of United Planet, and the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.
Dr. Martínez-Fernández has contributed op-eds to various outlets including The Globe Post. Between September 2020 and April 2023, he wrote nationally syndicated weekly columns distributed by Creators Syndicate.