Miami, Jan. 8, 2016 – Miami Dade College (MDC) President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón will be appointed Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Morocco during a special ceremony on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at Tuyo, the award-winning restaurant located on the top floor of MDC’s Miami Culinary Institute. His Excellency Rachad Bouhlal, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United States will participate, and deliver remarks. Keynote speakers also include Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, and Former Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart.
“I am thrilled and honored to have been given this opportunity to serve on the consular corps. I look forward to forge even stronger ties between Morocco and the Miami community,” said President Padrón. “With so much in common with Spain, just a few miles north across the Strait of Gibraltar, Morocco, in turn, has more in common with South Florida than many people know.”
An economist by training, President 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 placed him on the cover of the inaugural “Floridian of the Year” issue. 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 also the first college president to receive the National Citizen Service Award from Voices for National Service. In addition, he has been named an Ascend Fellow by the Aspen Institute and he is the recipient of the Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence, the highest honor in U.S. higher education. He was recently honored with the 2015 Diverse Champions Award from Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine, among many other distinctions.
During his more than four decade career at MDC, President Padrón has been selected to serve on posts of national prominence by six American Presidents. His energetic leadership also extends to many of the nation’s leading organizations. He is former chair of the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education and the Association of American Colleges and Universities. President Padrón currently chairs the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.
President Padrón’s transformational accomplishments at Miami Dade College have been regularly acknowledged by the national media, including The New York Times, NBC Nightly News, Time magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, CNN and The Chronicle of Higher Education, to name a few. 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 from 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 and King Felipe VI awarded him the prestigious Juan Ponce de León Award.
In his new role, President Padrón will help provide important services both to the government of Morocco which he will represent and to U.S. citizens and organizations on related matters. Together with diplomatic missions, an honorary consul also promotes economic and cultural relations between nations.