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.


2022 Alfredo G. de los Santos Jr. Distinguished Leadership Award Recipient

Carlos E. Santiago, PhD
Massachusetts Department of Higher Education


Carlos E. Santiago, PhD was appointed Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher Education in 2015. The Commissioner serves as the State Higher Education Executive Officer (SHEEO). He works closely with the leadership of the three segments of public higher education: the community colleges, State Universities, and the University of Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education has broad oversight over independent institutions, including closure, consolidation, and merger processes and was selected as the recipient of the 2021 SHEEO Exceptional Agency Award.

The first Puerto Rican president of a major U.S. research university, Santiago, previously served as the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). He has served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY).  Santiago was a professor of economics at UWM and SUNY-Albany and holds a PhD in economics from Cornell University. He is also the author or co-author of six books and has published dozens of articles. Santiago was recently named to the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the Advisory Committee of the Smithsonian Museum of African American Culture and History, and the Wheelock Educational Policy Center, Boston University. In 1996 and 2011, Santiago was named one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the United States by Hispanic Business magazine. 


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

  • 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