Miami, Feb. 6, 2019 – Miami Dade College’s (MDC) President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón has been named among the top 10 U.S. Presidents by Great Value Colleges in its recent list of the top 50 U.S. colleges with the best presidents. The headline of the report stated “These 50 current college presidents are outstanding.” The list recognizes college presidents for their achievements, innovative leadership, evidence of positive impact on a college and commitment to the institution.
It is not the first time President Padrón has been mentioned or listed as one of America’s best college or university presidents. In 2009, TIME magazine included him on the list of “The 10 Best College Presidents.” In 2011, The Washington Post named him one of the eight “most influential college presidents in the U.S.”
An American by choice, Dr. Padrón arrived in the U.S. as a teenage refugee in 1961. Since 1995, he has served as President of Miami Dade College, 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. An economist by training, Dr. Padrón earned his Ph.D. from the University of Florida. In 2018, he was elected a Member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, one of America’s oldest and most prestigious organizations. 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.
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). During his career, he has been selected to serve on posts of national prominence by five American presidents.
Internationally, Dr. 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.
Dr. Padrón’s pace-setting work at MDC has been hailed as a model of innovation in higher education. He is credited with engineering a culture of success that has produced impressive results in student access, retention, graduation, and overall achievement. MDC enrolls and graduates more minorities than any other institution in the United States, including the largest numbers of Hispanics and African-Americans. Under Dr. Padrón’s leadership, MDC has received national recognition for its longstanding involvement with its urban community, its catalytic effect for social and economic change, and the marked difference the College has made in student access and success through pace-setting initiatives.
He currently serves on the boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Urban Institute; RC 2020; the International Association of University Presidents; and Achieving the Dream. In past years he has held leadership positions on the boards of the Federal Reserve Board of Atlanta, Miami Branch (past Chair); the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (Chair); the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; the White House Commission on Educational Excellence; Campus Compact; Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute; The College Board; and the White House/Congressional Commission of the National Museum of the American Latino.
He is also the recipient of more than 15 honorary doctorates and highest honors from prestigious universities including Princeton, Brown, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Rollins College, Cleveland State University and Lynn University, to name a few.