Miami Dade College President Eduardo J. Padrón has recently been recognized with a pair of distinguished honors. He has been invited to serve as a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. The Urban Institute is the United States’ leading research organization dedicated to developing evidence-based insights that improve people’s lives and strengthen communities. With nearly 50 years of expertise, Urban is a trusted resource for timely, nuanced analysis of social and economic policy.
In 2016, the Urban Institute and Gates Foundation launched the US Partnership on Mobility from Poverty, which has convened 24 leading scholars, executives, advocates, and policy experts to develop bold ideas to boost economic and social mobility.
Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón’s energetic leadership extends to many of our nation’s leading organizations. He is the past Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education (ACE), past Chair of the Board of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and former Chair of the Business Higher Education Forum (BHEF). He also served on the American Academy of Arts & Sciences’ Commission on the Humanities & Social Sciences and as Chairman of the White House Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. In addition, he currently serves on the Board of the Council on Foreign Relations and several other national and international boards and committees.
Additionally, President Padron will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Pennsylvania’s renowned Netter Center for Community Partnerships, for his extraordinary national leadership and contributions to higher education.
“I am so honored to be recognized with this distinction,” said President Padrón. “At MDC, we believe that opportunity changes everything. The University of Pennsylvania is one of the finest institutions in the world and this recognition, which I accept on behalf of all my colleagues, only motivates us to continue working for an education system that is accessible, inclusive, and of the highest quality.”
The award will be presented during the 25th Anniversary International Conference on the Higher Education-Community Partnerships for Democracy and Social Change luncheon, Thursday, Nov. 16, at the University of Pennsylvania.
This is not the first time President Padrón has received the highest distinctions from Ivy League Institutions. He has received honorary doctorates from Brown and Princeton, and from nearly 20 other top institutions worldwide.
An American by choice, Eduardo Padrón arrived in the United States as a teenage refugee in 1961. Since 1995, he has served as President of Miami Dade College (MDC), the largest institution of higher education in America with more than 165,000 students. He is credited with elevating MDC into a position of national prominence among the best and most recognized U.S. colleges and universities and fostering a culture of inclusion.
An economist by training, Dr. Padrón earned his Ph.D. from the University of Florida. In 2016, President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the U.S., for being a prominent national voice for access and inclusion in higher education. In 2009, TIME magazine included him on the list of “The 10 Best College Presidents.” In 2010, Florida Trend magazine placed him on the cover of its inaugural “Floridian of the Year” issue. In 2011, The Washington Post named him one of the eight most influential college presidents in the U.S. Also in 2011, he was awarded the prestigious 2011 Carnegie Corporation Centennial Academic Leadership Award. In 2012, he received the Citizen Service Award from Voices for National Service, the coveted TIAA-CREF Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence, and the Aspen Institute Ascend Fellowship. In 2015, he was inducted into the U.S. News & World Report STEM Hall of Fame. I Dr. Padrón’s energetic leadership extends to many of the nation’s leading organizations. He is the past chair of the board of directors of the American Council on Education (ACE) and is a past chair of the board of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and former chair of the Business Higher Education Forum (BHEF). He also served on the American Academy of Arts & Sciences’ Commission on the Humanities & Social Sciences.
President Padrón is widely recognized as one of the top educational leaders in the world and is often invited to participate in educational policy forums in the United States and abroad. During his career, he has been selected to serve on posts of national prominence by five American Presidents. In 1993, President Bill Clinton recognized him as one of America’s foremost educators. President George W. Bush nominated him to the National Institute for Literacy Advisory Board and the National Economic Summit. More recently, he represented the U.S. at UNESCO’s World Conference on Higher Education at the invitation of the Obama administration, and President Obama appointed him Chairman of the White House Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.
Internationally, President Padrón’s accomplishments have been recognized by numerous nations and organizations including the Republic of France, which named him Commandeur in the Ordre des Palmes Académiques; the Republic of Argentina, which awarded him the Order of San Martin; Spain’s King Juan Carlos II, who bestowed upon him the Order of Queen Isabella; Spain’s Prince and Princess of Asturias, Felipe and Letizia, who presented him with the Juan Ponce de Leon 500th Anniversary award; and Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, who appointed him Honorary Consul in Florida of the Kingdom of Morocco in 2016.