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Fellows Forum

Dr. Eduardo Padrón

Dr. Eduardo Padrón

Miami, FL

Ascend Action Plan: As the President of Miami Dade College (MDC), Dr. Eduardo Padrón is reimagining the student experience to ensure student parents achieve educational success and create a legacy of economic security for their children through a unique partnership with the Florida Department of Children and Families.  This partnership will improve and expand eligibility and access for students served by MDC’s Single Stop service, which connects students with benefits.  Dr. Padron is leveraging the college’s position in the community by directly connecting with a determined and resilient population of Miamians who are committed to their educational success and economic security.  He is also revamping MDC’s college prep curriculum, providing intensive pre-college “boot camp” preparation for underprepared students, and offering mentor programming with local professionals as part of a focus on improving student supports.

Dr. Padrón’s goal is for MDC students to enter the mainstream economy with the skills and knowledge to be successful, and to establish individual and family economic security through education completion and meaningful work opportunities.

Biography: Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón is President of Miami Dade College. An American by choice, Dr. Padrón arrived in the United States as a refugee at age 15. Since 1995, he has served as President of Miami Dade College, a national model of student achievement and the largest institution of higher education in America, with more than 174,000 students.

An economist by training, Dr. Padrón earned his Ph.D. from the University of Florida. In 2009, Time magazine included him among the “10 Best College Presidents” in the U.S. In 2010, Florida Trend magazine named him “Floridian of the Year.” In 2011, The Washington Post named him one of the eight most influential college presidents in the U.S., and the Carnegie Corporation of New York granted him the prestigious Centennial Leadership Award.

He is a past board chair of the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the current board chair of the American Council on Education. He has been selected to serve on posts of national prominence by six American Presidents. Most recently, President Obama named him chairman of the White House Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.

Dr. Padrón serves on the boards of the Business/Higher Education Forum, the League for Innovation (former chair), RC-2020, the College Board Advocacy and Policy Center, the White House Fellows Selection Panel (chair), the International Association of University Presidents, and the Council on Foreign Relations.