CHCI to Honor Dr. Francisco Cigarroa at 36th Annual Awards Gala

Chancellor of UT-System and Renowned Surgeon to Receive CHCI Chair's Award on October 2

Jun 27, 2013, 11:36 ET from Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute

WASHINGTON, June 27, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) and its Chair Rep. Ruben Hinojosa today announced that Dr. Francisco Cigarroa will be awarded one of its highest honors—The Chair's Award—in recognition of his accomplishments, leadership, and outstanding service to the Latino community at CHCI's 36th Annual Awards Gala on October 2, 2013 in Washington, D.C.  The event is the largest gathering of Latino leaders in the country and is part of CHCI's Hispanic Heritage Month events.


"I am incredibly honored to receive this award from such a prestigious group that works to promote access and opportunity," Dr. Cigarroa said. "CHCI's mission is incredibly important and perfectly aligned with what we at The University of Texas System are working toward. As both a physician and educator, I truly believe that education saves lives. We are working to save and improve lives by creating pathways to higher education."

"I am so pleased to recognize and celebrate Dr. Cigarroa as a positive role model for all Americans. His personal path and many professional successes prove that the American Dream is achievable through higher education, hard work, and most importantly by giving back to our community," said Chair Hinojosa.

Born in Laredo, Texas, Dr. Cigarroa is one of ten children and a third generation physician. After graduating with a BA in biology from Yale University, he earned his medical degree with honors in 1983 from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.  He did his General Surgical Training at Massachusetts General Hospital and completed fellowships in both Pediatric Surgery and Transplantation Surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital.  In 2000 he became the President of the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.  In 2009, Dr. Cigarroa became the first Hispanic to be named chancellor of The University of Texas System, overseeing one of the largest public systems of higher education in the nation. In 2003, President George W. Bush appointed him to serve on the President's Committee on the National Medal of Science. 

He continues to perform liver and kidney transplant surgeries. Dr. Cigarroa currently serves on the National Research Council Committee on Research Universities and on the American Academy Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences. In addition, he was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as a commissioner on the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.  He is a member of the National Academies Institute of Medicine and a Fellow of the American Arts and Sciences. 

CHCI's 36th Annual Awards Gala will convene the nation's largest and most prestigious gathering of Hispanic nonpartisan, public, and private sector leaders at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on October 2, 2013. The evening's festivities will honor CHCI's past, present, and future and present CHCI's highest honors—the annual Chair's Award and the CHCI Medallion of Excellence awardees. These awards highlight the many rich contributions made by Latinos who have not only succeeded in their individual careers, but who also serve as positive role models and empower Latino youth to believe that anything is achievable through higher education, hard work, and pursuit of the American Dream. All events support CHCI's educational attainment and leadership development programs.

Along with the Gala, CHCI's Hispanic Heritage Month Events include its Public Policy Conference and Reyes of Comedy. Learn more at

CHCI's Highest Honors past awardees.

About CHCI
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), a nonprofit and nonpartisan 501(c) (3) organization, provides leadership development programs and educational services to students and young emerging leaders. The CHCI Board of Directors is comprised of Hispanic members of Congress, nonprofit, union, and corporate leaders. For more information call CHCI at (202) 543-1771, visit, or join us on Facebook, Twitter (chci), LinkedIn, and YouTube.

SOURCE Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute