Alejandro Portes
University of Miami
Professor of Law

Year Elected


Membership status

Alejandro Portes is Howard Harrison and Gabrielle Snyder Beck Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Princeton University and Research Professor of Law and Distinguished Scholar of Arts and Sciences at the University of Miami. He is the founding director of the Center for Migration and Development at Princeton. He has formerly taught at Johns Hopkins University, where he held the John Dewey Chair in Arts and Sciences; Duke University, and the University of Texas-Austin. In 1997, he was elected president of the American Sociological Association and served in that capacity in 1998-99. Born in Havana, Cuba, he came to the United States in 1960. He was educated at the University of Havana, Catholic University of Argentina, and Creighton University. He received his M. A. and Ph. D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Portes is the author of more than 250 articles and chapters on national development, international migration, Latin American and Caribbean urbanization, and economic sociology. He has published 40 books and special issues. His books include City on the Edge – the Transformation of Miami (California 1993), co-authored with Alex Stepick and winner of the Robert Park Award for best book in urban sociology and the Anthony Leeds Award for best book in urban anthropology in 1995; and Immigrant America: A Portrait, 4th edition, (California 2014), designated as a Centennial Publication by the University of California Press in 1996. His current research is on the adaptation process of the immigrant second generation in comparative perspective, the role of institutions on national development, and the comparative study of immigrant transnational organizations. In 2001, he published, with Rubén G. Rumbaut, Legacies: The Story of the Immigrant Second Generation and Ethnicities: Children of Immigrants in America (California 2001). Legacies is the winner of the 2002 Distinguished Scholarship Award from the American Sociological Association and of the 2002 W. I. Thomas and Florian Znaniecki Award for best book from the International Migration Section of ASA. His books and articles have been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese. Ten volumes of his collected essays have been published in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. His most recent articles have appeared in the American Sociological Review, Social Forces, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, International Migration Review, Population and Development Review, and the British Journal of Sociology. Portes is a former fellow of the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences and of the Russell Sage Foundation. He has received honorary doctorates from the New School for Social Research, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Genoa (Italy), Roskilde University (Denmark), and the University of Lisbon. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2008, he received the annual Award for Scientific Reviewing (Social and Political Sciences) from the National Academy of Sciences. In 2010, he was the recipient of the W.E.B. DuBois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award from the American Sociological Association and, in 2012, he was named as the James Coleman Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. Portes has been elected to Phi Beta Kappa and the American Philosophical Society, the country’s oldest honorary academic organizations. In 2019, Portes was awarded the Princess of Asturias Prize from the Government of Spain.

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