The IOHE awards the Inter-American Prize to university, political and socio-economic figures who have greatly contributed to the development of higher education and the strengthening of scientific and cultural ties in the Americas. At the same time, this prize highlights the recipients’ role in increasing integration of the peoples of the American continent through sustainable development.

In 2012, the award was integrated to the Conference of the Americas on International Education (CAIE). Therefore, it is granted by the 28 signatory associations of the initiative's Memorandum of Understanding.

Since it was created in 1985, the prize has been awarded to the following people:



  • Ignacio EllacuríaFormer President, Universidad Centroamericana (UCA), El Salvador.


  • Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Former President of the Republic of Brazil.


  • Carlos Fuentes, Writer and Activist, Mexico.


  • Pierre Cazalis, Former General Coordinator of the Institute for University Management and Leadership (IGLU).
  • Mario Bunge, Physicist, Philosopher, Epistemologist, Humanist and Professor at McGill University, Montreal, Canada.


  • Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Former President of Brazil.
  • Lauro Ribas Zimmer, IOHE Honorary President, Brazil.


  • José Sarukhán Kermez, National Coordinator, National Board for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity, and Former President of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), from 1989-1996.


  • Raul Alfonsín, Former President of Argentina.


  • Huguette Labelle, President, Canadian International Development Agency, Canada.


  • Cardinal Lucas Moreira Neves, Regional Archbishop of San Salvador de Bahia, Primate of the Church of Brazil and President of the National Conference of Bishops, Brazil.


  • Patricio Aylwin Azócar, Former President of Chile.


  • Ambassador João Clemente Baena Soares, Secretary-General, Organization of American States (OAS), Brazil.
  • Gilles Boulet, IOHE Founding President, Canada.


  • Oscar Arias Sánchez, Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and Former President of Costa Rica.
  • Alan F. McHenry, President, Richard Lounsbery Foundation, United States.


  • Pierre Dansereau, Ecologist, Professor Emeritus of the University of Quebec at Montreal, Canada, and Pioneer of Inter-American Collaboration.


  • Margaret Catley-Carlson, Deputy Minister of Health & Welfare, Canada, and Former President of the Canadian International Development Agency, Canada.


  • Manuel Sadosky, Minister of Science and Technology, Argentina.
  • Victor Urquidi, Former President, Colegio de México, Mexico.


  • Allan K. Gillmore, President, Association of University and Colleges of Canada.
  • Edson Machado de Souza, Vice Minister, Coordinator the Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Postgraduate Education (CAPES).


  • Roberto Marinho, President, GLOBO Organizations, Brazil.


  • Rafael Velasco Fernández, Deputy Minister of Education, Mexico.
  • Charles Young, President, University of California, Los Angeles, United States.
  • François Loriot, Executive Director of the IOHE, Canada.