On a historic day at the iconic Federal Hall National Memorial, nestled at 26 Wall Street, Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez was honored with the prestigious Alexander Hamilton Immigrant Achievement Award. This distinguished recognition celebrates Commissioner Rodriguez’s remarkable journey as an immigrant and his unwavering commitment to the betterment of New York City.
In his acceptance speech, Commissioner Rodriguez dedicated his award to the unwavering spirit of immigrants and paid heartfelt tribute to the enduring legacy of Dominican immigrants in the United States. With passion, he shared, “At an Alexander Hamilton event, quoting Lin Manuel Miranda is a must; today, we stand as living proof that ‘Immigrants: We get the job done!'” Commissioner Rodriguez then eloquently delved into the rich history of Dominican immigrants in the United States, underscoring their profound and enduring contributions to the nation.
In 1613, Juan Rodriguez, born in Santo Domingo, became the very first non-Native American to call Manhattan Island home.
Fast-forwarding to 1887, over 5,000 Dominicans passed through Ellis Island, leaving an indelible mark on the city and the nation.
The Alexander Hamilton Immigrant Achievement Awards is an annual award ceremony hosted by the National Immigration Forum (NIF). These awards honor immigrants who have made significant contributions to the United States in the fields of business, science, education, the arts, and public service.
Named in honor of Alexander Hamilton, a Caribbean immigrant who became one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, these awards celebrate the enduring spirit of immigration and its essential role in the nation’s success. Hamilton himself was a staunch advocate for immigration, recognizing its critical importance in shaping the future of the new nation.
Since their inception in 1987, the Alexander Hamilton Immigrant Achievement Awards have recognized over 200 immigrants from more than 50 countries. These awards have garnered praise for their dedication to acknowledging immigrants’ profound contributions to the United States, serving as an inspirational testament to the potential and impact of immigrants on American society.
Notable past recipients of these prestigious awards include:
Yo-Yo Ma, the world-renowned cellist
Indra Nooyi, former CEO of PepsiCo
Andrew Ng, co-founder of Coursera
Luis Gutiérrez, U.S. Congressman
Faaiza Munir, founder of the National Muslim Women’s Leadership Institute
Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google
The 2023 Alexander Hamilton Immigrant Achievement Awards, held at the historic Federal Hall National Memorial, witnessed the recognition of extraordinary individuals who have made remarkable contributions to their respective fields:
Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez, New York City Department of Transportation, Dominican Republic
Distinguished Professor Malcolm Bowman, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, SUNY at Stony Brook, New Zealand
Judge Denny Chin, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Hong Kong
Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Chef & Restaurateur, France
Yvonne Szeto, Design Partner, Pei Cobb Freed Architects, Hong Kong
The Alexander Hamilton Immigrant Achievement Awards celebrate the rich tapestry of diversity and the indomitable spirit of immigrants who continue to shape and enrich the United States. These awards stand as a testament to the enduring legacy of immigrants and inspire future generations to make their mark on their communities and the world.