AAHHE Alfredo G. de los Santos Jr. Distinguished Leadership Award

Sponsored by The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

The AAHHE Alfredo G. de los Santos Jr. Distinguished Leadership Award is given to an outstanding administrator in the field of higher education who has demonstrated excellence in academe and its related professions.


2023 Alfredo G. de los Santos Jr. Distinguished Leadership Award Recipient

Raymund Paredes
Professor of Practice
University of Texas at Austin

Raymund Paredes was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. After high school, he attended The University of Texas at Austin where he received a bachelor’s degree in English. Following military service in Vietnam, he  attended the University of Southern California, earning a master’s degree in American Studies. Finally, he  returned to Austin where he received a doctorate in American Civilization from The University of Texas.    

Paredes then moved to California to take a faculty position in the Department of English at UCLA. Over a career of 30 years, Paredes both taught and moved into university administration, serving as a department chairman, dean of the graduate school and, ultimately, vice chancellor of academic development.
Paredes retired from UCLA in 2001 and took a position as director of creativity and culture at the Rockefeller Foundation in New York City. He managed a giving budget of over $25 million distributed primarily to arts organizations all over the world. 
After two years at Rockefeller, Paredes was recruited to be Commissioner of Higher Education and CEO of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). The THECB “represents the highest authority for higher education” in Texas and oversees state financial aid programs, approves new degree programs at colleges and universities and otherwise manages Texas higher education.
Paredes has had executive experience in virtually every area of  higher education, working at the local, state and federal levels and working on such issues as strategic planning, academic excellence, curricular development, and campus climate and diversity.
In addition to his professional work, Paredes has served as a trustee of The College Board and Big Brothers, Big Sisters. Hispanic Business Magazine named Paredes as one of the 100 Most Influential Latinos in the United States and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) honored him as the Hispanic Educator of the Year in 2019.


List of past recipients of the Alfredo G. de los Santos Jr. Distinguished Leadership Award:

  • 2022 Carlos E. Santiago, PhD
  • 2021 Ann Quiroz Gates, PhD
  • 2020 Chon Noriega
  • 2019 Mildred Garcia
  • 2018 Nora R. Garza
  • 2017 James E. Brenneman
  • 2016 Dr. Ted Martinez Jr.
  • 2015 Havidán Rodríguez
  • 2014 David López
  • 2014 Tomás Morales
  • 2013 Norma L. Hernandez
  • 2012 J. Michael Ortiz
  • 2011 Leonardo de la Garza
  • 2011 Shirley Reed
  • 2010 Milton A. Gordon
  • 2009 Dolores M. Fernandez
  • 2008 Silas H. Abrego
  • 2007 Diana Natalicio and Ernest H. Moreno
  • 2006 José Jaime Rivera
  • 2005 Blandina Cardenas and Miguel A. Nevarez
  • 2004 Estela López
  • 2003 B. Roberto Cruz
  • 2002 Margarita Benitez
  • 2001 Douglas X. Patiño
  • 2000 Cecilia L. Lopez
  • 1999 Jesús Rangel
  • 1998 Celestino Fernández
  • 1997 Eduardo Padrón
  • 1996 Lattie F. Coor
  • 1995 Victor Alicea
  • 1994 Juliet García
  • 1993 José González
  • 1992 Manuel Pacheco
  • 1991 Alfredo G. de los Santos Jr.
  • 1990 Not awarded
  • 1989 Jaime Escalante
  • 1988 Tomás Arciniega
  • 1987 Arturo Madrid