Entering Academy along with President Obama
Miami, April 24, 2018 – Miami Dade College (MDC) President Eduardo J. Padrón has been elected a Member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, one of America’s oldest and most prestigious organizations. This appointment is considered by most leaders a top aspiration and career pinnacle.
As a new Member of the Academy, he joins a long list of internationally renowned leaders and luminaries including John Adams, James Bowdoin, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Maria Mitchell, Alexander Graham Bell, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Georgia O’Keeffe, John Hope Franklin, Martha Graham and Aaron Copland. Dr. Padrón is being installed along with President Obama this fall. International Members have included Charles Darwin, Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Lawrence Olivier, Mary Leakey, John Maynard Keynes and Nelson Mandela. Current Members also include many Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners.
As expressed in its 1780 Charter, the Academy’s purpose is “to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent and virtuous people.” This tradition is carried on through studies, publications, and formal and informal meetings. The Academy’s studies have helped set the direction of research and analysis in science and technology, policy, global security, social policy, and the humanities.
During his career, President Padrón has served on the nation’s most important and prestigious boards. He is currently a member or director of the Council on Foreign Relations; the Urban Institute; the American Council on Education (past Chair); the Association of American Colleges and Universities (past Chair); the Business Higher Education Forum (Past Chair) the International Association of University Presidents; and Achieving the Dream. In prior 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 (past Chair); the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; the White House Commission on Educational Excellence (past Chair); Campus Compact; Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute; and the College Board.
An American by choice, President 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. 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. During his career, he has been selected to serve on posts of national prominence by five American presidents.
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.
Dr. Padrón’s pace-setting work at Miami Dade College 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, Miami Dade College 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.
During his career, President Padrón has also received nearly 20 honorary degrees from top colleges and universities across the globe including Princeton, Brown, Rollins and others.