Luis Pedraja

2020-21 Aspen New Presidents Fellow
Dr. Luis Pedraja is the sixth President of Quinsigamond Community College (QCC), where he is a passionate advocate for increased access to higher education and student success.

As a child, Pedraja emigrated from Cuba and grew up in a low-income neighborhood in Miami. He is the first in his family to attend college. He received his BA from Stetson University and a Ph.D. in philosophy and religion from the University of Virginia. He has published books and articles on Latino culture, philosophy, and intercultural dialogue.

Dr. Pedraja served as faculty at the University of Puget Sound and Southern Methodist University. Later, he became vice president of academic affairs at Memphis Theological Seminary. He is also a former president of La Comunidad.

Dr. Pedraja became vice president for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, where he developed higher education policy and international accreditation initiatives, and advocated strategic solutions to a range of challenges, including financial, governance, and political crises.

Before coming to QCC, Dr. Pedraja served as provost at Antioch University in Los Angeles and interim vice chancellor of academic affairs for Peralta Community College District in California.

President Pedraja serves on multiple boards in the region, state, and nation, including United Way, Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, Latino Education Institute, Masshire Central Region Workforce Board, and Worcester Regional Research Bureau, and is the co-chair of the Mayoral Commission for Latino Advancement and Education. He was appointed by the governor of Massachusetts to serve on the Economic Development Planning Council and the Healthcare WFD Collaborative. Additionally, he serves on the American Association of Community Colleges Commission on Institutional Infrastructure and Technology. He was chosen for the Worcester Business Journal’s “Power 50 Class of 2019,” their 50 most influential people in Central Massachusetts. Dr. Pedraja lives in Worcester with his wife and daughter.