Senator John Heinz


  • The Guardian profiles the work of Robert Langer go >>
  • Wired writes about Dean Kamen speaking at the White House Frontiers Conference in Pittsburgh go >>
  • Joseph DeRisi interviewed by Chronicle of Higher Education about co-leading new Chan Zuckerberg Biohub go >>
  • Hugh Herr and his work are profiled by Strategy and Business magazine go >>
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  • Millie Dresselhaus and her career is profiled by Lehigh University go >>
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  • Matt Mullenweg's company Automattic is profiled by Quartz magazine go >>
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  • Chemical and Engineering News takes a look at the range of Robert Langer’s startups go >>
  • James Balog writes about the dangers of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in National Geographic go >>
  • Hugh Herr is profiled by ABC News' "Finding the Next" on his most recent work on exoskeletons go >>
  • Dave Eggers' new novel reviewed for The New York Times go >>
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  • Rick Lowe joins the University of Houston's College of the Arts go >>
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  • Freeman Hrabowski writes Op-Ed in The New York Times on how communities must support student success go >>
  • Frederica Perera argues that the benefits to children's health from a reduction in fossil fuel use are enormous go >>
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  • Sal Khan is interviewed by Business Insider about his work at Kahn Academy go >>
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  • Roz Chast is interviewed on her work and New York City go >>
  • Robert Langer wins the 2016 European Inventor Award (In Non-European Countries) go >>
  • Roz Chast talks to The Wall Street Journal about growing up and where she lived go >>
  • Joseph DeRisi is elected to the National Academy of Sciences go >>
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  • Jonathan Foley writes Op-Ed piece for bioGraphic on the importance of natural history go >>
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  • Marian Wright Edelman discusses the importance of libraries for children and families go >>
  • Sangeeta Bhatia at TED Talks Live discusses her work on early cancer detection using nanotech go >>
  • Dr. Sanjeev Arora to receive the University of New Mexico's Presidential Award of Distinction for his work on Project ECHO go >>
  • The Washington Post reviews Rita Dove's new book of Collected Poems, 1974-2004 go >>
  • Paul Anastas receives the 2016 Green Chemistry Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry go >>
  • Robert Langer's lab develops a gel-based 'second skin' to smooth wrinkled skin go >>
  • Mason Bates is profiled by KQED in San Francisco go >>
  • Robert Langer receives 2016 Benjamin Franklin Medal Institute in Life Science from the Franklin Institute go >>
  • Elizabeth Kolbert writes about those trying to protect threatened ecosystems through manmade intervention go >>
  • Sangeeta Bhatia is interviewed by CCTV America at the Clinton Global Initiative go >>
  • Dean Kamen is profiled in the Wall Street Journal go >>
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  • Frederica Perera is co-author of study on dangers of prenatal pollution exposure go >>
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  • Robert Langer surveys the diverse output from his MIT research lab go >>
  • Marian Wright Edelman to receive the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal go >>
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  • Rick Lowe is profiled in the Stanford Arts Review go >>
  • Sangeeta Bhatia and her work are profiled in MIT Technology Review go >>
  • Sal Khan talks about his early history on the Reddit and Google Cloud Platform "Formative Moment" series go >>
  • Jake Wood, of Team Rubicon, is named to The Chronicle of Philanthropy's 2016 40 Under 40 list go >>
  • Elizabeth Kolbert writes about rising sea levels and South Florida for The New Yorker go >>
  • Dan Rather interviews Chris Field about climate change go >>
  • Salman Khan is interviewed by Here and Now on WBUR go >>
  • Donald Berwick to join the Health Policy Commission in Massachusetts go >>
  • Richard Alley is part of panel on The Dane Rehm Show discussing the melting ice sheets go >>
  • Aaron Wolf wins American Association of Geographers Gilbert White Public Service Award go >>
  • Salman Khan teams up with Tata Trusts to offer free online education to students in India in local languages go >>
  • Jonathan Foley writes a piece on Medium, "Sometimes, A Whale Dies" go >>
  • Jake Wood, of Team Rubicon, is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert go >>
  • Marian Wright Edelman co-recipient of the Patino Moore Legacy Award from the Marguerite Casey Foundation go >>
  • DOC NYC Film Festival premieres Ian Cheney's new film: Bluespace go >>
  • Sanjeev Arora announces major expansion of Project ECHO with the American Academy of Pediatrics go >>
  • Janine Benyus to join U.S. Green Building Council board of directors in 2016 go >>
  • Bruce Katz is named as Brookings Institution's inaugural Centennial Scholar, studying the innovations and impacts of global urbaniation go >>
  • Jonathan Foley writes on why museums can help change the world go >>
  • Mason Bates inaugural Kennedy Center Jukebox is reviewed by The Washington Post go >>
  • Janine Benyus is interviewed by The Dirt (American Society of Landscape Architects) go >>
  • Hugh Herr and his vision of bionics for the future profiled in the November issue of Popular Science go >>
  • John Luther Adams named artist-in-residence for 2016 Knoxville Big Ears music festival go >>
  • Leila Janah featured as one of five technology visionaries in The New York Times 'T' magazine go >>
  • Janine Benyus speaks in October at SXSW Eco 2015 bringing together the natural and manmade worlds go >>
  • Jay Keasling is co-recipient of $1 million Samson Prime Minister's Prize for Innovation in Alternative Fuels go >>
  • Curt Ellis writes OpEd for CNBC on how funding a "School lunch program could save $103 billion" go >>
  • TIME publishes a photo series by James Nachtwey on the refugee crisis go >>
  • Janine Benyus to recieve the Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Award from Montanta State University go >>
  • Rita Dove to give the Poetry Society's Annual Lecture in October in the UK go >>
  • Arthur Mitchell receives Roosevelt Institute Freedom of Speech and Expression Award go >>

The Heinz Awards


Marian Wright Edelman

Marian Wright Edelman receives the Heinz Award in the Human Condition for her dedication to protecting the rights and meeting the needs of America's children.

From her work with poor children in Mississippi in the 1960s to the present, Mrs. Edelman has endeavored to give all children the public voice they lack, yet so desperately need. Through her creation of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF) over 20 years ago, Mrs. Edelman has sought to bring the plight of children to the attention of policy makers and the public. Just as important, she has been a vigorous advocate for the creation and funding of programs to improve children's lives, strengthen families, and weave a web of community support for children. In a world in which children are too often overlooked, or are blithely used as props in battles between adults, Mrs. Edelman urges us to remember children and their distinct needs.

Marian Wright Edelman was raised to believe that it is every person's duty to help improve the lives of others. From this upbringing and her childhood in the segregated South, she derived a personal philosophy that has guided her throughout her life: "If you don't like the way the world is, you have an obligation to change it," she says. "Just do it one step at a time."

From an early age, Mrs. Edelman knew that the world she wanted most to change was the world inhabited by children, especially the children of the poor. A graduate of Spelman College and Yale Law School, she became, while serving as head of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund's office in Jackson, the first African-American woman admitted to the Mississippi state bar. Following a move to Washington, D.C., she became counsel to the Poor People's Campaign and later established the Washington Research Project, where she lobbied Congress for expanded child and family nutrition programs and an expanded Head Start program. In 1973, she founded the Children's Defense Fund.

Mrs. Edelman has described America's overarching challenge as the need "to rebuild a sense of community and hope and civility and caring and safety and morality for all our children." It is an ambitious agenda and it is one that reflects her work through the past two decades. Through the CDF, Mrs. Edelman was instrumental in persuading Congress to overhaul foster care, support adoption, improve child care, and protect handicapped, homeless, abused and neglected children. The Children's Defense Fund has also worked to curtail teen pregnancy, encourage immunizations of poor children for major childhood diseases, and distribute information about programs that help African-American children and preserve their families.

Mrs. Edelman has never shied from controversy in her single-minded pursuit of a nation more attentive to the needs of its children. She recalls urging a group of teenagers the day after Martin Luther King was assassinated to forego violence and to think about their futures. One of the youths responded, "Lady, why should I listen to you? I ain't got no future." Marian Wright Edelman will undoubtedly continue her mission to ensure that every child is given reason to believe in the future. At a time of momentous change in government, it is important that we each remain mindful of her timeless admonition to "remember the children."

Note: This profile is excerpted from the commemorative brochure published at the time of the awards' presentation.


February 2013 - Marian Wright Edelman is to receive the Harvard Graduate School of Education Medal for Education Impact, the highest honor given by the School. The medal is awarded to a person who is making a lasting difference in the field of education and on the lives of learners across the nation and beyond. - Harvard Graduate School of Education

April 2011
- John Jay College of Criminal Justice presented the 2011 John Jay National Leader for Justice Award to Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of Children's Defense Fund and the Children's Defense Fund for their commitment to improving the lives of all children. As founder and president of the CDF, Ms. Wright Edelman has been an advocate for disadvantaged Americans for over 35 years. - City University of New York

March 2011 - Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children's Defense Fund, will receive the 2011 Dr. John Hope Franklin Award from Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine at the 93rd Annual Meeting of the American Council on Education in Washington, D.C. Cited for her deep impact on the nation and the highest standard of excellence, Edelman joins a short, exclusive list of honorees. - The Children's Defense Fund

August 2000 - President Clinton has awarded Marian Wright Edelman, of the Children's Defense Fund, a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor, along with 15 others. - The New York Times

Marian Wright Edelman
Marian Wright Edelman