Eduardo J. Padrón, Ph.D.
An American by choice, Eduardo Padrón arrived in the United States as a refugee at age 15. Since 1995, he has served as President of Miami Dade College, a national model of student achievement and the largest institution of higher education in America, with more than 175,000 students.
An economist by training, Dr. Padrón earned his Ph.D. from the University of Florida. In 2009, Time magazine included him among the “10 Best College Presidents” in the United States; in 2010, Florida Trend magazine named him “Floridian of the Year”; and in 2011, The Washington Post recognized him as one of the eight most influential college presidents in the country. In addition, the Carnegie Corporation of New York granted him its prestigious Centennial Academic Leadership Award; he is the first college president to receive the National Citizen Service Award from Voices for National Service; he has been named an Ascend Fellow by the Aspen Institute; and he is the recipient of the Hesburgh Award, the highest honor in U.S. higher education.
During his career, Dr. Padrón has been selected to serve on posts of national prominence by six American Presidents. His energetic leadership extends to many of the nation’s leading organizations. He is the immediate past chair of the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education and a past Board chair of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.
Dr. Padrón is widely recognized as one of the top educational leaders in the world. He serves on the boards of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Business/Higher Education Forum, the League for Innovation (former chair), RC-2020, the College Board Advocacy and Policy Center, the White House Fellows Selection Panel (chair), and the International Association of University Presidents. He has held leadership positions on the American Academy of Arts & Sciences/Humanities Commission and on the boards of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (chair), the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Campus Compact, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. He is also the immediate past Board Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Miami Branch.
President Padrón’s transformational accomplishments at Miami Dade College have been acknowledged by the national media, including The New York Times, NBC Nightly News, Time magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN and The Chronicle of Higher Education. He has received some of the most prestigious awards in and out of academia and more than 15 honorary doctorates from leading universities such as Rollins, Princeton and Brown. He is also the recipient of highest honors by the governments of foreign nations, including France, which named him Commandeur in the Ordre des Palms Académiques; Argentina, which awarded him the Order of San Martin; and Spain, whose King Juan Carlos II bestowed upon him the Order of Queen Isabella.