The 2013 Andrew Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy
The recipients of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy, the award which recognises those who use their private wealth for public good, was announced by the Carnegie UK Trust, on behalf of the international family of Carnegie institutions. The philanthropic activities of the 2013 Carnegie medallists span the globe and include support for education, science, entrepreneurship and the arts.
The 2013 medal recipients were: Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science Community Development and one of Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women; Sir Tom Hunter, the British entrepreneur whom the Sunday Times called Scotland’s first home-grown billionaire; Dr James Harris Simons – along with his wife, economist Dr Marilyn Simons – the American mathematician who founded one of the world’s most successful hedge fund companies; Dr Dmitry Zimin, the co-founder of the second-largest telecom business in Russia; and Dame Janet Frances Wolfson de Botton CBE on behalf of the Wolfson family, founders of the Wolfson Foundation. Often described as the ‘Nobel Prize for philanthropy’, the Carnegie Medal is awarded biannually to some of the world’s leading philanthropists.
Previous winners include Walter Annenberg and Leonore Annenberg, the Rockefeller Family, the Gates Family, the Sainsbury Family, the Cadbury Family, George Soros, Sir Tom Farmer CVO and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The Medal is awarded on behalf of the network of more than 20 organisations Andrew Carnegie endowed in America and in Europe. You can read about past winners here and view their speeches here.
The 2013 recipients received their medals at a ceremony held at the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, on Thursday 17 October 2013. This was only the second time the ceremony was held outside the United States, both times in Scotland, having been last hosted by the Scottish Parliament in 2005. The 2013 event also marked the centennial of the establishment of the Carnegie UK Trust.
Pierre Omidyar, the entrepreneur and philanthropist best known as the founder and chairman of eBay, and a recipient of the 2011 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy, was the keynote speaker at the highly prestigious event.
Vartan Gregorian, President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and Chairman of the Carnegie Medal Selection Committee, said: ‘Andrew Carnegie was the greatest export of Scotland to America, and we are delighted he did not forget his beloved Scotland as he helped lay the foundation for modern philanthropy. As we of the Carnegie institutions celebrate his legacy, we all remember his admonition that with wealth comes responsibility. Our Medal of Philanthropy honorees have embraced that philosophy. The legacies of Andrew Carnegie and our honorees can be found in science, education, libraries, museums, and universities all over the world. They are a great tribute to humanity and its potential.’
Today the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy is the most celebrated award in global philanthropy. It was established in 2001 to mark the centennial of Andrew Carnegie’s retirement from business and the beginning of his efforts to reinvest his wealth in a way that would ‘do real and permanent good in this world.’
Medallists are selected by an international selection committee comprising representatives from six major Carnegie institutions. The 2013 selection committee included: William Thomson, (Honorary President, Carnegie UK Trust and great grandson of Andrew Carnegie), Vartan Gregorian, (President, Carnegie Corporation of New York), Jessica Mathews, (President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), Andrew Miller, (Secretary, Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland), Mark Laskow, (President, Carnegie Hero Fund Commission), Richard Meserve (President, Carnegie Institute of Science) and Martyn Evans (Chief Executive, Carnegie UK Trust).
Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser
Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser plays a key role in supporting Qatar’s National Vision—a far-reaching agenda to transform Qatar into a thriving, knowledge-based society by 2030. Sheikha Moza is a driving force behind education and social reforms in her country aimed at preparing Qataris to compete in the global economy while building strong families and communities at home. She is also spearheading projects throughout the world to promote peace and human development. She serves as Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, a private non-profit organization founded in 1995. Her Highness also serves as the Vice Chair of the Supreme Council of Health and served as the Vice Chair of the Supreme Education Council from 2006–2012, enacting major, top-down reforms of Qatar’s public schools and healthcare system. In addition, Her Highness is chair of the Sidra Medical and Research Centre, a new training and research hospital that is envisaged to become a leading institution for women and children’s specialty care. Sheikha Moza has launched multiple projects including the International Fund for Higher Education in Iraq, the Silatech initiative to address the growing challenge of youth employment in the Middle East and North Africa, and Education Above All, a policy research and advocacy organization concerned with a single policy area: protecting the right to education in conflict-affected areas. Her Highness has played an active role with the United Nations for many years, including an appointment in 2003 as UNESCO’s Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education; in 2008 she was appointed by the Secretary General of the UN as Alliance of Civilizations Ambassador; and in 2010 she became a member of the UN Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group with a special emphasis on universal primary education.
Sir Tom Hunter
Sir Tom Hunter was knighted in 2005 for services to entrepreneurship and philanthropy. A long-term advocate of ‘giving back’ Tom has championed the cause of philanthropy in Europe. The son of a local shop owner, Tom started his first business selling sports shoes from the back of a van with a £5,000 loan from his dad, building this business into Europe’s largest independent sports retailer and eventually selling it in 1998 for £290m. Tom and his wife, Lady Marion Hunter went on to establish The Hunter Foundation (THF). At the core of their philanthropy are two key principles – that philanthropy is not a substitute for government investment and that the poorest of the poor require a ‘hand up’ not a ‘hand out’. In the UK, investments tend towards partnerships with government in enterprise and entrepreneurial initiatives, typically in a ‘pilot, prove, adopt’ mode where THF deploys risk capital against key performance indicators for innovative programmes and if proven the Government adopts the funding and programme. In 2000 THF endowed the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at Strathclyde to support research and teaching in entrepreneurship across the university and Scotland as a whole. In turn the Foundation worked actively, and continues to do so, to support enterprise and entrepreneurship throughout the education system working in Schools, Colleges and Universities. THF has also invested in large scale campaigning on major global issues having underwritten the Make Poverty History campaign and Live 8. Internationally THF has in large part focused on partnering with the Clinton Foundation in a joint endeavour, the Clinton Hunter Development Initiative (CHDI) to develop in partnership with Government innovative solutions to support country growth.
Dr. James H. Simons and Marilyn H. Simons
The Simons Foundation is an organisation dedicated to advancing the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences. Jim Simons chairs the Foundation and Marilyn Simons is its President. The Foundation’s philanthropic activities include a major research initiative on the causes of autism, and the establishment of an institute for research in mathematics and theoretical physics. The Foundation is particularly interested in the growing interface between the physical and life sciences and has established and endowed several such research programs at universities and institutions both in the US and abroad.
Jim Simons is Board Chair of Renaissance Technologies LLC, a highly quantitative investment firm, from which he retired in 2009 having founded the company and serving as its CEO for over thirty years. Previously he was chairman of the Mathematics Department at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Jim Simons is also the founder and Chairman of Math for America, a nonprofit organization with a mission to significantly improve math education in our nation’s public schools. He serves as Trustee of Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Institute for Advanced Study, Rockefeller University, and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley. He is also a member of the Board of the MIT Corporation and Chair Emeritus of the Stony Brook Foundation.
Marilyn Simons has actively championed and worked on behalf of many nonprofit organizations in New York City and her native Long Island. She is currently vice chairman of the board of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. In addition, she has been involved in improving academic options for children with special needs and youth in underserved communities. She is treasurer and former president of the Learning Spring School, a New York City school for children with diagnoses on the autism spectrum. She is also a member of the board of trustees at the East Harlem Tutorial Program, an after-school program in New York City.
Dmitry Borisovich Zimin
Honorary President of Joint Stock Company VimpelCom (trade mark “Beeline”) Dr. Zimin played the leading role in organizing the company as an efficient and rapidly developing enterprise and the first Russian Federation company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (November 15, 1996). Dr. Zimin is a graduate of the Moscow Aviation Institute (1957). Then during 35 years Dr. Zimin occupied leading scientific positions in one of the USSR military-industrial establishment institutes. He received his Scientific Degrees of Candidate of Technical Sciences, corresponding to PhD (1963) and Doctor of Technical Sciences, the highest scientific degree in Russia (1984). Dr Zimin is a winner of Scientific Prize of the Soviet Academy of Sciences (1965) and the Russian Federation State Prize (1993). He was the founder of VimpelCom’s and served as the President and Chief Executive Officer from 1992 until May 2001. In 2001 Dr. Zimin established the Dynasty Foundation. The principal purpose of the Dynasty fund is the backing and popularization of Russian academic fundamental science.
Dame Janet Wolfson de Botton on behalf of the Wolfson Family
Dame Janet Wolfson de Botton has been Chairman of the Wolfson Foundation since 2010. She is the daughter of Lord Wolfson of Marylebone who, with his parents, established the Foundation in 1955. Dame Janet is a collector of contemporary art and was a Director of Christie’s International between 1994 and 1998, Trustee of Tate 1992-2002 and the Chairman of Council for Tate Modern 1999 -2002. In 1996 she donated 60 contemporary works of art to Tate – a gift which has been described as being “crucial to the development of Tate Modern”. The Wolfson Foundation supports and promotes excellence in the fields of science and medicine, health, education and the arts & humanities. All funding is based on expert peer review and the Board comprises family members and academic experts. Over £750 million (some £1.25 billion in real terms) has been awarded in grants to some 10,000 projects over the last 58 years, including £110 million in the last three years alone.