The Heinz Awards Review - Fall 2009

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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.

the heinz
family foundation

teresa heinz

jeffrey r. lewis

kim o’dell
director, heinz awards

carole smith
heinz awards review

photographs by
james brantley
jonathan greene
young lee
liz mangelsdorf
ellen mclean martin
bernie saul
michele stapleton
judy wilder


Teresa Heinz recently honored 10 Americans at the 15th Heinz Awards ceremony in Washington D.C. for their innovative efforts in solving some of the world’s most pressing environmental concerns. Under the stunning glass canopy at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Mrs. Heinz recognized their individual achievements while acknowledging their shared ideals. The recipients were honored for their work in a wide range of fields that protect and restore the environment.

Mrs. Heinz, chairman of the Heinz Family Philanthropies, presented each with a Heinz Award medallion etched with the image of Sen. John Heinz and introduced them to the audience of more than 300 guests including family, friends, dignitaries and several of the 86 previous recipients who were in attendance. Mallory Walker, chairman of the National Portrait Gallery, served as host and U.S. Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts delivered the opening remarks.

She explained that on this special anniversary, she reframed the Heinz Awards to draw attention to this single focus of preserving our resources and expanded the number of recipients from five to 10 to reflect a broader array of men and women working toward that goal. Each recipient also received a monetary award of $100,000.

“We will not protect our environment, improve our schools, uplift our culture, strengthen our communities, invigorate our economy, or achieve any of the other changes we desire for America by accepting failure. The Heinz Awards celebrate those who every day journey to that frontier where the impossible gives way to ingenuity and hard work,” she said.

Meet our recipients:

Robert Berkebile

Robert Berkebile is an architect based in Kansas City, Mo., who has been on the forefront of sustainable building issues and has influenced thousands of architects in the green building movement. He helped found several agencies that advocate and promote this cause and he continues to design new projects modeling sustainable practices.

P Dee Boersma

P. Dee Boersma, Ph.D., uses her extensive field studies on penguins and other sea birds to help us understand the impact humans impose on marine ecosystems. Based at the University of Washington in Seattle, she also founded Conservation magazine, an award-winning publication dedicated to conservation science, and serves as its executive editor.

Christopher Field

Christopher Field, Ph.D. is a scientist who brings innovation and leadership to the issues surrounding climate change. As head of the Department of Global Ecology at the Carnegie Institution for Science, one of several positions, he has played a critical role in the emergence of global ecology as a unique discipline and applying it to the questions surrounding the scientific foundation for a sustainable future.

Ashok Gadgil

Ashok Gadgil, Ph.D., is a researcher, inventor and humanitarian who works to reduce the health risk of indoor pollution, improve energy efficiency and enhance the quality of life in developing countries. Working at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley, his simple inventions help solve life-changing problems such as an inexpensive and reliable water purification system and a healthier indoor cook stove for Darfur.

Chip Giller

Chip Giller breathed new life to communicating environmental news when he founded Grist, an online media platform. Using humor and a knack for finding the positive angle to often dire news, he established a new model of delivering a broad range of independent environmental content free of charge.

Deborah Rice

Deborah Rice, Ph.D., has directed studies on the potential impact of certain toxicants on the early development of the brain and nervous system. Her research has led to national and state policies regulating their use. She is a researcher with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Environmental and Occupational Health.

Joel Salatin

Joel Salatin has pioneered alternative, environmentally friendly farming techniques at his Polyface Farm in Virginia and has spawned a movement towards local, sustainable agriculture at family farms across the country. He has successfully challenged the methods of commercial production of chickens and beef used by the food industry giants, and is an engaging, sought-after lecturer on the topic.

Kirk Smith

Kirk Smith, Ph.D., was the first to recognize and quantify the magnitude of the pollution exposure received by the poorest women and children in developing countries because of cooking indoors with various solid fuels. As a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, he documents the dangerous relationships among household fuels, public health and climate and offers viable solutions.

Thomas Smith

Thomas "Smitty" Smith has been an essential player in advocating for renewable energy, such as wind and solar, in Texas. As director of the Texas office of Public Citizen, a consumer and environmental group active in areas concerning energy, environment and other socio-economic issues, he has helped craft legislation that is being adopted in other parts of the country.

Beverly Wright

Beverly Wright, Ph.D., is a leading scholar on environmental justice issues and advocates on behalf of communities as head of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, based in New Orleans. She tackles issues of environmental racism and works to raise the profile of environmental issues in poor and minority communities nationwide.

heinz talks
heinz talks

The 2nd Heinz Talks!: Physicist Amory Lovins, 4th Environmental Heinz Award, offered far-reaching solutions for increasing energy efficiency at the recent Heinz Talks!. His presentation, Profitable Solutions to Climate, Oil and Proliferation, demonstrated how improving energy efficiency impacts climate change, oil dependence and national security.

Moderated by André Heinz, a board member of the Heinz Awards, the presentation was held at the historic Russell Caucus Room in the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington D.C. Serving as host was U.S. Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts. Heinz Talks! is jointly sponsored by the H. John Heinz III College at Carnegie Mellon University.

(in photo: Michael Spotts, Zhimin Mao, André Heinz, Amory Lovins)


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