The Heinz Awards Review - Fall 2008

about the heinz awards
about john heinz

contact us

The Heinz Awards pay tribute to the memory of H. John Heinz III by celebrating those who embrace, as he did, the joyous American belief that individuals have both the power and responsibility to change the world for the better.

As a reminder of the virtues of hard work, determination, excellence and a broad vision for the future, the Heinz Family Foundation annually recognizes a special group of individuals for their outstanding contributions.

about the heinz
family foundation

teresa heinz

jeffrey r. lewis

kim o’dell
director, heinz awards

carole smith
heinz awards review

photographs by
james harrison
john nation
sidney felsen
renee rosensteel

14th Heinz Awards14th Awardees

Teresa Heinz recently honored five extraordinary individuals who “affirm the spirit that drives this country” with Heinz Awards for their many accomplishments. In a moving ceremony at the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, Mrs. Heinz recognized the pioneering work this small group of innovators has achieved in art, research and human services.

Introducing the recipients to the audience, she said: " a world where too many resign themselves to the status quo, our honorees explode it: challenging conventional wisdom with new ideas and a better way, and touching our lives in extraordinary ways. They embody the American spirit, and so make the lives of every American a little better. And for that, we are all in their debt."

More than 500 people attended the 14th Annual Heinz Awards ceremony.

Meet the five recipients:

Ann Hamilton
Ann Hamilton

Arts and Humanities: Ann Hamilton is an internationally recognized visual artist from Columbus, Ohio. Noted for a dense accumulation of materials, Hamilton’s installations create experiences that respond to the architectural presence and social history of their sites. She has forged a reputation as a perceptive, poignant observer whose art explores the places and forms for face-to-face experiences. As a professor of art at The Ohio State University, she is an inspiration and guiding force among a new generation of artists.

Thomas FitzGerald

Environment: Thomas FitzGerald founded the Kentucky Resources Council in Louisville, a watchdog environmental organization which he now directs. As an authority on surface mining regulations, his influence has stretched beyond the Bluegrass state to the national arena. FitzGerald has dedicated his life’s work to helping citizens and organizations within Kentucky and across the country secure full and fair implementation of policies intended to safeguard their health, safety and quality of life. His advocacy extends well beyond issues related to coal. Working always pro bono, he helped draft ordinances to protect communities from other environmental dangers as well.

Brenda Krause Eheart
Brenda Krause Eheart

Human Condition: Brenda Krause Eheart, Ph.D., founded an Illinois community where foster children, their adoptive parents and senior citizens live as neighbors. As founder of Generations of Hope and Hope Meadows, Dr. Eheart has created an innovative model for mutual support that has provided a renewed sense of meaning for countless Americans. She designed a community where children would be adopted by caring parents who would themselves be supported by fulltime therapists and psychologists. By incorporating seniors into her vision, she has given birth to an innovative and vibrant paradigm of interdependent community living, one which fosters a caring and supportive environment for all.

Robert Greenstein
Robert Greenstein

Public Policy: Robert Greenstein is founder and executive director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, from Washington, D.C. The non-partisan research center analyzes the impact of federal and state budget and tax initiatives on the country’s low- and moderate-income people. Respected by policymakers on both sides of the political aisle, Greenstein has provided a clear and exacting voice in matters affecting millions of people. He is widely viewed as an unbiased, authoritative expert on a range of fiscal policy and poverty issues, and his work has helped improve the economic outlook of many of America’s poorer citizens.

Joseph DeRisi
Joseph DeRisi

Technology, the Economy and Employment: Joseph DeRisi, Ph.D., is a molecular biologist, researcher and inventor, from San Francisco. His breakthrough creation of a viral detection platform, the ViroChip, for malaria and other infectious diseases has helped advance biomedicine’s ability to detect both existing and new viruses. As the Howard Hughes Medical Investigator and professor of biochemistry at the University of California, San Francisco, and one of the world’s foremost researchers in the application of molecular genomics to the study of infectious disease, he stands at the intersection of the disciplines driving the life sciences – genomics, bioinformatics, virology, materials science and computer engineering. A selfless researcher, he readily shares his research with investigators worldwide.

Robert Langer

Professor and bio-tech researcher Robert Langer, Ph.D., was honored with the 2008 Millennium Prize, the technology community’s largest award. Dr. Langer, 10th Technology, the Economy and Employment Heinz Award, is an Institute Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the co-founder of multiple companies commercializing his ideas. He holds over 600 issued and pending patents.

The committee honored Dr. Langer “for his invention and development of innovative biomaterials for controlled drug release and tissue regeneration that have significantly improved human health.” His drug delivery systems have had a major impact on fighting cancer, heart disease, mental health illnesses and numerous other diseases. In addition to his research, Dr. Langer lectures almost daily and is responsible for guiding more than 100 researchers.

The Millennium Prize is sponsored by Finland to promote technological research and innovation that have a positive impact on the quality of life. It carries a cash prize of 800,000 Euros, the equivalent of about $1 million.

Dudley Cocke
Dudley Cocke

The Roadside Theater of Appalachia has just received $1 million from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop new audiences for live theater. Led by Dudley Cocke, 8th Arts and Humanities Heinz Award, Roadside Theater dramatizes the stories of the people of Appalachia through original music and stage plays. The theater company has developed a workshop approach to teaching community members throughout the country how to tell their own stories.

Sidney Drell
Sidney Drell

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences awarded its prestigious Rumford Prize to physicist and arms control expert Sidney Drell, Ph.D. Dr. Drell, 11th Public Policy Heinz Award, was one of four arms reduction experts to receive the award at a presentation ceremony last month. The Prize was established in 1839 by the AAAS to honor contributions that advance the good of mankind in the fields of heat and light. As senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute where he is also a professor emeritus of theoretical physics, Dr. Drell has worked to advance the United States’ efforts to reduce the danger and proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Dr. Drell is a Fellow of The AAAS, an independent research center that studies complex and emerging problems. It boasts nearly 5,000 members from around the world who are leaders in the fields of academic disciplines, the arts, business and public affairs.

Amory Lovins
Amory Lovins

Environmentalist Amory Lovins was named the first “Green Hero” for his untiring efforts promoting energy-saving technologies in businesses and communities around the world. The 4th Environmental Heinz Award winner, Lovins has built an international reputation for developing innovative ways to save energy and money at the same time. Lovins was honored by Cyber Gear, a Dubai-based web design company that recently launched the Go-Green Initiative. In its announcement it called Lovins a “pioneer who has had as profound an influence on the way people use energy as any man alive.” He co-founded the Rocky Mountain Institute, which he serves as chairman, and where he promotes energy reduction practices to the auto and aviation industries, government agencies and retailers.

Robert Butler

The groundbreaking work of two recipients of the Heinz Award in the Human Condition category is the subject of two works of nonfiction to hit bookstores recently.

In The Longevity Revolution: the Benefits and Challenges of Living a Long Life Dr. Robert Butler outlines issues for addressing aging on a personal and societal level so that the boomer generation and those that follow have a financially secure, vigorous and healthy final chapter of life. Dr. Butler, 10th Human Condition Heinz Award, is a physician specializing in geriatric and psychiatric medicine. He is president and CEO of the International Longevity Center.

Geoffrey Canada
Joseph DeRisi

The Harlem Children’s Zone is the subject of a new book, Whatever It Takes, by New York Times reporter Paul Tough. Tough spent five years researching the work of HCZ and talking to national experts on the impact this revolutionary program is having on education and poverty. HCZ is headed by Geoffrey Canada, 1st Human Condition Heinz Award. The Harlem Children's Zone Project targets a specific geographic area in Central Harlem with a comprehensive range of services. The Zone Project covers 100 blocks and aims to serve over 10,000 children by 2011.


The Children’s Defense Fund celebrated its 35th anniversary with an evening at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The Children’s Defense Fund grew out of the Civil Rights Movement under the leadership of Marian Wright Edelman, 2nd Human Condition Heinz Award. It has become the nation’s strongest voice for children and families since its founding in 1973.