Frenk, News, Profiles

Let’s Be Frenk: wife, supernatural abilities, favorite food

President Julio Frenk is getting to know the University of Miami through his 100 Days of Listening tour leading up to his inauguration on Jan. 29. With Frenk’s tenure having started on Sept. 1, students and faculty do not know much about Frenk besides the titles and degrees on his resume.

TMH: What is the biggest similarity between you and your wife, Dr. Felicia Knaul?

You know, it is good to have similarities, but also it is good to be complementary in our differences. The biggest similarity by far is [that]we are both very passionate about service to the community. We are very committed to issues of social justice. Actually, that’s how we met.

Felicia and I met professionally; we were colleagues before we became spouses and we met exactly working on health-related issues. She was working in the country of Colombia … her doctoral dissertation in the Department of Economics at Harvard was on street children in Bogota, Colombia, which is not a very conventional topic for a doctoral dissertation at the Department of Economics. But she was very fortunate to have as her mentor Amartya Sen, who years later won the Nobel Prize in economics, and so she was allowed to do that.

I had been invited to Colombia. Colombia had at the time an incredibly, very enlightened minister of health who unfortunately died in a tragic accident many years later, but again he had read things I had written, and he invited me because they were introducing a very important health reform, and I was invited to provide some advice, and that’s where I met Felicia. So we started collaborating, and I said we were first colleagues – and also I liked her very much from the first day I saw her – she and I worked together. So, I think the work related. We’re both very hard workers and we are both very committed to ideals of service to society and social justice.

TMH: If you could gain any ability or quality, what would it be?

I would like to be able to function with even less sleep, because I just find that being awake is a terrific experience. I don’t sleep a lot, but this is not recent, this is just my constitution. If I could get away with even less sleep, that would be an ability I would love to have, because it is stretching the waking hours.

I do not advise this to students, by the way. This is, I think, is just genetic – I just happen to require very little sleep. But there is ample evidence that sleep deprivation is a bad thing, so I am not advising this to students.

TMH: If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I can tell you that right away because I know it. There is a type of cheese that is produced in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico … which is a type of cheese where you can take strands of the cheese apart. It is called Oaxaca cheese, but it comes from the Middle East like almost all cheese because I found it also in Turkey. But I could eat that cheese all my life. It is a dry, salty cheese you can produce. Shred the string cheese; that is exactly the word. So, that’s probably my single favorite food in the world.

September 27, 2015

Reporters

William Riggin

Isabella Cueto

Isabella Cueto can be reached via email at editor@themiamihurricane.com and through Twitter at @isabellacueto


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

They were way below the radar coming into the 1983 season. And after their 28-3 opening-game loss to ...

In the opening eight minutes on Saturday — and the final seven minutes — FIU looked like a team that ...

The N’Kosi Perry era is here. Whether it’s here to stay is yet to be seen. The fans got what they wa ...

Ten takeaways from UM’s 31-17 win against FIU on Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium: ▪ Credit Mark Richt ...

As the Miami Hurricanes started their third series against the FIU Panthers on Saturday afternoon, t ...

Get Out The Vote, a nonpartisan initiative headed by the Division of Student Affairs and the Butler ...

University of Miami Libraries commemorates Banned Books Week with a special event and display. ...

A year after UPup’s founding father met his match, the service club is realizing its goal of becomin ...

UM students, faculty and staff commemorated the five-year anniversary of the Donna E. Shalala Studen ...

Miami’s Turnover Chain inspires copycats, but the U’s turnover prop has a ‘cool factor.’ ...

N'Kosi Perry and a dominant Miami defense led the Hurricanes to a 31-17 victory over the Panthe ...

Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team is headed to the championship one of th ...

The Miami women's tennis team posted a 5-2 mark in official matches on the second day of the Mi ...

Freshman Riley Howard continued her incredible start as a Canes cross country runner setting another ...

The University of Miami soccer team is set to host Virginia Tech Sunday at noon at Cobb Stadium. ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.