Eduardo J. Padrón

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Dr. Eduardo Padrón
President of Miami Dade College
Assumed office
Personal details
Born (1944-06-26) June 26, 1944 (age 70)
Santiago, Cuba
Alma mater University of Florida
Profession Educator

Eduardo José Padrón (born June 26, 1944)[1] is the current President of Miami Dade College.

An American by choice,[vague] Eduardo Padrón arrived in the United States as a refugee at the age of 15.[citation needed] Since 1995, he has served as President of Miami Dade College (MDC), the largest institution of higher education in Florida.[citation needed] He is credited with elevating MDC into a position of national prominence among the best and most recognized U.S. colleges and universities.[dubious ] An economist by training, Dr. Padrón earned his Ph.D. from the University of Florida.[2]

International Leader[edit]

Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padrón is widely recognized as one of the top educational leaders in the world,[citation needed] and he is often invited to participate in educational policy forums in the United States and abroad. In 1993, President Bill Clinton recognized him as one of America’s foremost educators.[citation needed] President George W. Bush nominated him to the National Institute for Literacy Advisory Board and the National Economic Summit. More recently,[when?] 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. During his career, he has been selected to serve on posts of national prominence by six American presidents.[citation needed]

Internationally, Dr. Padrón’s accomplishments have been recognized by numerous nations and organizations including, among others, 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; and Spain’s King Juan Carlos I, who bestowed upon him the Order of Queen Isabella.[citation needed]

College Transformation[edit]

Padrón’s work at Miami Dade College has been hailed[by whom?] as a model of innovation in higher education.[citation needed] He is credited with engineering a culture of success that has produced impressive results in student access, retention, graduation, and overall achievement.[citation needed] MDC enrolls and graduates more minorities, including Hispanics and African-Americans, than any other institution in the United States.[citation needed] He is nationally respected for his advocacy on behalf of underserved populations in higher education,[citation needed] and his in-depth research report, "A Deficit of Understanding," highlights the funding crisis that threatens access for low-income and minority students. Dr. Padrón has also championed innovative teaching and learning strategies and developed support initiatives to ensure student success.

He was a member of the AAC&U Greater Expectations national panel that re-examined baccalaureate education in the U.S. and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation’s Commission on the High School Senior Year. More recently,[when?] he has been called upon to co-chair the Century Foundation's Task Force on Preventing Community Colleges from Becoming Separate and Unequal. He also serves on the National Commission on Higher Education Attainment; CFR Task Force on U.S. Education Reform and National Security; National Governors Association's Advisory Group for College Completion Initiatives; and ACE Blue Ribbon Panel on Global Engagement.

Dr. Padrón’s accomplishments at Miami Dade College have been acknowledged by the national media, including The New York Times,[3] The Washington Post, NBC Nightly News, Time magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Civic Leadership[edit]

Padrón’s energetic leadership extends to some of the nation’s most influential organizations. He is 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). He also serves on the American Academy of Arts & Sciences' Commission on the Humanities & Social Sciences. He also currently serves on the boards of the Business/Higher Education Forum; the Council on Foreign Relations; League for Innovation in the Community College (past Chair); RC 2020; College Board Advocacy and Policy Center; White House Fellows Selection Panel (Chair); the International Association of University Presidents; the Federal Reserve Board of Atlanta, Miami Branch (Chair); and Achieving the Dream. Dr. Padrón also serves as chairman of the White House Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. In past years he has held leadership positions on the boards of 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 others. Most recently, he has been appointed to the White House/Congressional Commission of the National Museum of the American Latino.

In Florida, Padrón has served on several gubernatorial commissions and has lent his talents to numerous organizations including the Florida Humanities Council; the Florida Council of Presidents (Chair); the Council of 100; Miami-Dade Criminal Justice Council (Chair); Miami Parking Authority (Chair); the Hispanic American League Against Discrimination (Chair); NAACP Miami-Dade (Vice-President); and Greater Miami United (Co-Chair).


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 it has made in student access and success through pacesetting initiatives. The most recent recognitions include: 2011 CHEA "Award for Outstanding Institutional Practice in Student Learning Outcomes;" 2010 The Washington Center "Higher Education Civic Engagement Award;" 2010 The College Board "College Keys Compact for Learning Outcomes Initiatives;" 2008 Associations for General & Liberal Studies "Exemplary Award for Improving General Education;" 2008-2011 "U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll;" 2008 National Center for Digital Education "Fourth Best College for Digital Transformation;" and 2008 "Chancellor’s Best Practice Award for Academic Affairs," Florida Department of Education.

Dr. Padrón is the recipient of numerous honorary doctorates and prestigious awards. The recent list includes: 2012 Aspen Institute Ascend Fellowship;[4] 2012 University of Texas "John Roueche International Leadership Award;" 2012 Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce "Sand in my Shoes" Award; 2012 "Citizen Service Award" from Voices for National Service;[5] 2011, the prestigious Carnegie Corporation "Centennial Academic Leadership Award;[6]" the coveted 2011 TIAA-CREF "Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence;" 2008 "Charles Kennedy Equity Award," Association of Community College Trustees; 2008 "Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award," American Council on Education; 2008 "Innovator of the Year," League for Innovation in the Community College; Chair Academy for Leadership Development’s 2005 "Paul A. Elsner Award for International Excellence"; Hispanic Magazine’s 2004 "Hispanic Achievement Award in Education;" and the Association of Community College Trustee’s 2002 "Chief Executive of the Year" award.

He is a prolific writer with countless publications to his credit and serves on the editorial boards of The Presidency and University Business. In addition, he is a guest columnist for Hispanic Magazine and the Miami Herald.

In 2009, TIME magazine included him on the list of “The 10 Best College Presidents.”[7] In 2010, Florida Trend magazine named him “Floridian of the Year.”[8] In 2011, The Washington Post named him one of the eight most influential college presidents in the U.S].[9]

He has been featured in People magazine as one of the world’s most influential Hispanics, in Hispanic Magazine’s list of most powerful Latinos, and in PODER magazine’s report on "Movers and Shakers."


  1. ^ date & year of birth according to LCNAF CIP data
  2. ^ Educational background
  3. ^ New York Times talks about Padron
  4. ^ [1] Aspen Institute Ascend Fellowship
  5. ^ [2] Voices for National Service Citizen Service Award
  6. ^ [3] Carnegie Corporation "Centennial Academic Leadership Award
  7. ^ [4] Time magazine, The 10 Best College Presidents
  8. ^ [5] Florida Trend, Floridian of the Year
  9. ^ [6] The Washington Post, Who are the most influential college leaders?

External links[edit]