Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX, was among the three winners of the 2016 Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education.
The winners, which also included Miami-Dade School District superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho and Afghan Institute of Learning chief executive Sakena Yacoobi, were announced March 3.
A panel of 19 jurors chose the three finalists in the K through 12 category, the higher education section and in the international education category.
"These three winners are extraordinary educational leaders who will inspire the next generation of learners around the world," said former chairman and CEO of The McGraw-Hill Companies Harold (Terry) McGraw III in a statement. "We are proud to have them join the other illustrious recipients of the McGraw Prize in Education."
The prize, founded in 1988, honors innovation and recognizes outstanding individuals who have dedicated themselves to improving education through new approaches and whose accomplishments are making a difference today. The winners will receive a $50,000 award and a bronze sculpture.
"Anant, Alberto, and Sakena have changed the lives of millions of students," president and CEO of McGraw-Hill Education David Levin said. "Their accomplishments and innovation should be lauded and shared with others who are working to make a difference around the world."
In addition to edX, Agarwal is an MIT professor. He was the recipient of the U.S. Higher Education prize as an outstanding leader in the development of the Massive Open Online Course movement, which has helped make possible the education of millions of students around the world.
He is committed to the democratization of learning, the news release stated. Through dozens of partnerships, edX, under Agarwal's leadership, has significantly increased access to education across the globe, it added.
A graduate of IIT Madras and Stanford University where he received a bachelor's in electrical and electronics engineering and a doctorate in electrical engineering and computer science, respectively, Agarwal has founded a number of companies, including Virtual Machine Works Inc., InCert Software, Determina Inc. and Tilera Corporation. He also served as the director of MIT's computer science and artificial intelligence lab.
Carvalho won the K through 12 prize and Yacoobi won the international education award.
With a new alliance between McGraw-Hill Education and Arizona State University, this was the first year the public was allowed to submit nominations for the award. Nominees were also submitted by the prize's dedicated research group.
The award winners will be recognized at the ASU GSV Education Innovation Summit in San Diego, Calif., April 19.