Eduardo J. Padrón

President Emeritus at Miami Dade College

Eduardo Padrón served as president of Miami Dade College, the largest institution of higher education in America with more than 170,000 students, from 1995 to 2019. In 2016, President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States, for being a prominent national voice for access and inclusion in higher education.

Dr. Padrón is the recipient of the Carnegie Corporation’s Centennial Academic Leadership Award, the National Citizen Service Award from Voices for National Service, and the Hesburgh Award, the greatest honor in U.S. higher education. He is also an Ascend fellow at the Aspen Institute and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2009, Time magazine included him on its 10 Best College Presidents in the United States list; in 2010, Florida Trend magazine named him Floridian of the Year; and in 2011, the Washington Post recognized him as one of the eight most influential college presidents nationwide.

Six U.S. presidents have selected Dr. Padrón to serve on posts of national prominence. He serves on the boards of the International Association of University Presidents, the Spencer Foundation, and the Urban Institute. He is the past chairman of the American Council on Education, Association of American Colleges and Universities, and Business-Higher Education Forum. He is the recipient of over fifteen honorary doctorates.