The Business-Higher Education Forum Announces Eduardo J. Padrón, President, Miami Dade College, as its 2015-16 Chair

Noted International Leader in Education to Lead BHEF into its Fourth Decade

Washington, D.C. (June 23, 2015) — During its 2015-16 summer member meeting, the Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF) announced that Eduardo J. Padrón, president, Miami Dade College, will become its next chair. Padrón succeeds Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., president and CEO, TIAA-CREF.

“BHEF and our members are committed to collaboration to improve higher education outcomes and address U.S. workforce challenges,” stated BHEF CEO Brian Fitzgerald. “I look forward to working with Eduardo as BHEF continues to create undergraduate pathways that benefit regional economies. I am proud that Miami Dade College, one of our nation’s leading higher education institutions, is spearheading one of BHEF’s flagship efforts in data science and analytics. Eduardo’s unwavering commitment to his students and community—through industry partnerships, internships, and innovative learning experiences—will be hallmarks of his time as our chair.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our outgoing chair, Roger Ferguson. It has been an extraordinary year. Under his leadership, BHEF initiated a Financial Services Industry Workforce Project; grew its cybersecurity footprint in California, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts and Virginia; launched new data science efforts in New York, North Carolina, and Ohio; and created new opportunities in media engineering in New York City. We are extremely grateful for his generosity of time and resources.”

Padrón added, “I echo Brian’s sentiment. This is a remarkable period for BHEF. Roger’s leadership galvanized new partnerships between industry and higher education that emphasize diversity. BHEF members are building pathways to make graduates candidates of choice when they begin their careers, and I am confident our BHEF effort at Miami Dade College will be a national model for others. I thank him for his enduring commitment, and look forward to continuing the tradition of advancing innovation and creating solutions for America’s college students and workforce.”

About Eduardo J. Padrón

Eduardo J. Padrón is president of Miami Dade College.

An American by choice, Eduardo 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 175,000 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 United States; 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 in the country. In addition, the Carnegie Corporation of New York granted him its prestigious Centennial Academic Leadership Award; he is the first college president to receive the National Citizen Service Award from Voices for National Service; he has been named an Ascend Fellow by the Aspen Institute; and he is the recipient of the Hesburgh Award, the highest honor in U.S. higher education.

During his career, Dr. Padrón has been selected to serve on posts of national prominence by six American Presidents, including his appointment by President Obama to chair the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. His energetic leadership 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.

Dr. Padrón is widely recognized as one of the top educational leaders in the world. He serves on the boards of the Council on Foreign Relations, 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), and the International Association of University Presidents. He has held leadership positions on the American Academy of Arts & Sciences/Humanities Commission and on the boards of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (chair), the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Campus Compact, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. He is also the immediate past Board Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Miami Branch.

President Padrón’s transformational accomplishments at Miami Dade College have been acknowledged by the national media, including The New York Times, NBC Nightly News, Time magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN and The Chronicle of Higher Education. 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 by 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. Please visit for more information.

About the Business-Higher Education Forum
BHEF is the nation's oldest membership organization of Fortune 500 CEOs, prominent college and university presidents, and other leaders dedicated to advancing innovative education and workforce solutions and improving U.S. competitiveness. BHEF's business and academic members collaborate in regions across the country to design and deploy education-workforce solutions in the high-demand and emerging fields that are so critical to innovation and national security. BHEF and its members drive change locally, work to influence public policy at the national and state levels, and inspire other leaders to act.