The Heinz Awards Review - Spring 2011

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The Heinz Awards pay tribute to the memory of Senator 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

jonathan greene
beverly hall
james harrison
ellen mclean martin
cary wolinsky


Heinz Awards Chairman Teresa Heinz and the Board of Directors will continue to focus on the environment for the 17th awards cycle. This year, the Awards will honor up to 10 people who are working in unique and innovative ways to address the intersection of the environment with one of the existing Award categories – arts and humanities, human condition, public policy, and technology and the economy.

The Heinz Awards first introduced a special focus in its 15th cycle. Mrs. Heinz explained: "At this unique time in history, when the environment is more important than ever to our lives, our economy, our national security and our future, it is only fitting that we focus exclusively on this critical topic."

Founded in 1993 to honor the memory of her late husband, U.S. Senator John Heinz, Teresa Heinz and the Board of Directors established the Heinz Awards around five categories: Arts and Humanities, the Environment, the Human Condition, Public Policy, and Technology, the Economy and Employment. Since that time, more than 90 Americans have been honored.

Jane Lubchenco

One of President Barack Obama’s first acts upon taking office was appointing Jane Lubchenco head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). As administrator of the agency, Dr. Lubchenco is responsible for monitoring factors affecting everything from the surface of the Sun to the depths of the oceans. Always a vocal conservationist who embraced every opportunity to speak out for environmental preservation, she was eager to assume this influential platform. The new role meant leaving behind her long and successful career as professor of marine biology at Oregon State University, but she has embraced her responsibilities overseeing nearly 13,000 employees and a budget of $5 billion.

Dr. Lubchenco, the 8th Environmental Heinz Award recipient, faced her first critical test last spring when the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, resulting in a three-month oil spill that exceeded any this country had ever seen before. During her multiple trips to the Gulf Region, she met with residents, fishing companies and local government officials to keep tabs on how the oil was affecting the region.

Her role in handling that disaster in particular and the job’s responsibilities in general was the topic of an excellent and far-reaching cover story in Nature international weekly science journal, written by features editor Richard Monastersky. Dr. Lubchenco was selected by Nature as the Newsmaker of the Year in 2010.

Paul Farmer

Humanitarian Paul Farmer was named a University Professor at Harvard University, the school’s highest distinction for a faculty member. This honor caps a long career at Harvard for Dr. Farmer, 9th Human Condition Heinz Award, where he holds several other positions, at the university, the Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health.

An anthropologist and physician, Dr. Farmer’s research in some of the world’s poorest regions has helped revolutionize treatment for severely underserved populations.

Harvard President Drew Faust said: "Paul Farmer is best known to the public as a pioneering humanitarian. But among scholars, he is equally well-known for his research and writing... He is also an outstanding educator with a remarkable capacity to inspire students to focus their minds and their energies on serving the common good."

As a co-founder of Partners In Health (PIH), the international humanitarian organization that works with communities to combat disease in resource-poor settings, Dr. Farmer has played a key role in mobilizing relief efforts after such devastating disasters as the earthquake in Haiti and by advancing models for treating AIDS and tuberculosis among populations living in extreme poverty. In January, he helped unveil a 152-bed hospital in Rwanda and was credited with making that region’s dream of having a modern medical facility a reality in just two years.

Geoffrey Canada

As the challenges of providing quality and equitable public education for all our nation’s children dominate the airways, Geoffrey Canada is frequently identified as an innovative educator who finds solutions. This Harlem-based trailblazer, who was the first recipient of a Heinz Award in the Human Condition category, was selected as number one on the list of Top 10 Good Men of 2010 by The Good Men Project Magazine.

The online men's magazine cites its mission as "trying to make the world a better place." It lauded Mr. Canada’s efforts at the helm of the Harlem Children’s Zone for reducing the achievement gap between its African American students and the city's white students: "The results are simply off the charts."

Mr. Canada has seen increased visibility over the past several months as one of the main storylines in the documentary, Waiting for Superman. The movie chronicles several children whose parents fight for the best educational option and prominently features Mr. Canada and the efforts he has made to provide a holistic approach to education in one of our country’s neediest regions. President Obama has cited Mr. Canada's program as a role model and has dedicated funding to replicate it in 21 neighborhoods across the country.

Joel Salatin

The wit and wisdom of organic farmer Joel Salatin is on full display in a charming feature article published by The Guardian.

The reporter follows him through his daily tasks on a stretch during the farm's "down time," when it is otherwise closed to visitors. The Virginia family farm, called Polyface, is the center of a growing revolution in organic farming in America. Mr. Salatin, who won a Heinz Award during its 15th cycle when the focus was on the environment, commands the page with his down-home vision and outspoken self-assurance. The Guardian also honored him on its Top 20 Green Power List. The editors lovingly identified him as a "Lunatic Farmer."

Robert Berkebile

Sustainable architect Bob Berkebile and his co-founders at the firm BNIM, have been awarded the highest honor the architecture industry bestows for their long, distinguished history. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) awarded the Kansas City practice its 2011 Architecture Firm Award for advancing the design of sustainable architecture and becoming "a preeminent force fundamentally reshaping the built environment." The award ceremony will take place during the organization’s annual conference in New Orleans in May.

Mr. Berkebile received a 15th Heinz Award for his role in promoting green building design within his practice and for becoming a nation-wide force that set the standard for other firms to follow through the establishment in 1990 of the first AIA Committee on the Environment. That committee eventually led to the founding of the influential U.S. Green Building Council, which oversees the LEED rating system that encourages sustainability and efficiency in all building practices. The awards committee cited Mr. Berkebile's efforts in setting into motion the gears that would lead to the establishment of the transformational LEED rating system.


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