Omidyar, Pamela and Pierre

Pamela and Pierre Omidyar

Year

Affiliation

Areas of Focus

Education | Environment | Peace Building | Income Inequality | Governance

Our view is fairly simple. We have more money than our family will ever need. There’s no need to hold onto it when it can be put to use today, to help solve some of the world’s most intractable problems.

Andrew Carnegie believed in strategic philanthropy. In his words, “The main consideration should be to help those who will help themselves … to give those who desire to rise the aids by which they may rise.” Pamela and Pierre Omidyar’s philanthropic activities would surely meet with Mr. Carnegie’s approval. Direct experience has shown them the life-changing possibilities of one person’s great idea. Guided by their belief in the inherent capability of all people and the power of markets—which inspired the creation of eBay and enabled people to develop trust through transparent trading practices—they launched their own far-reaching efforts to make the world a better place.

Approaching philanthropy with an entrepreneurial mindset and an innovative toolset, they embraced “impact investing” long before the term was coined. Today, they have contributed more than $1 billion to provide opportunities for people who might otherwise be overlooked. Together, they established Omidyar Network, investing in for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that catalyze social, economic, and political change through areas such as microfinance, entrepreneurship and property rights. Pamela Omidyar’s desire to curb injustice and create lasting global peace led her and Pierre to create and support the independent grantmaking organization Humanity United, to end mass atrocities and modern-day slavery. They created the nonprofit HopeLab, harnessing the power of technology to improve the health of young people by combining rigorous research with innovative solutions.

The impact of the Omidyar’s work is felt around the world but also at home in Hawaii, where their generous gift to the Hawaii Community Foundation and the creation of the Ulupono Initiative are sparking new ways of thinking about philanthropy. They have donated $100 million to Tufts University, their alma mater. The Omidyar-Tufts Microfinance Fund, which represents the largest single gift ever made to the university, aims to demonstrate the potential of institutional investment in microfinance funds. Their support and unique view of the world was instrumental in the creation of Tufts’ Tisch College of Public Service, heralded for its holistic and pervasive approach to citizenship and public service. The generous support they provide to critical-care organizations during times of natural disaster and civil unrest has meant the difference between life and death for untold numbers of men, women and children.

We honor Pamela and Pierre Omidyar as rising leaders in philanthropy. We salute their altruism and ingenuity, and we eagerly await the exciting accomplishments their future holds.

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Li Ka-shing

Li Ka-shing

Year

Affiliation

Areas of Focus

Education | Health | Disaster Relief

Your life is meaningful if you can honestly say that you have done your best to do some good.

Li Ka-shing, is an extraordinary philanthropist. Like Andrew Carnegie in his time, Li is forging new paths of benevolence, demonstrating the power of using great private wealth for public good. Although he oversees two multinational groups with 250,000 employees in fifty-two nations, his true calling is running his foundation. Calling it his “third son,” he has pledged to give one-third of his fortune to support its endeavors worldwide. As he has said, “To be able to contribute to society and help those in need to build a better life—that is the ultimate meaning in life.”

His early years were filled with hardship. At the age of twelve, he was forced to flee with his family to Hong Kong to escape the perils of war. Soon after, his father died of tuberculosis and, as the eldest son, he had to abandon school to become the family’s provider, an experience that gave him a deep appreciation of the need for better educational opportunities and health care. When he was only fourteen years old, he was laboring sixteen hours a day in a plastics manufacturing company. But by age twenty-two, he had his own factory that, in time, became the largest maker and exporter of plastics in Hong Kong. Today, as the chairman of the immensely successful global corporations, Cheung Kong Holdings and Hutchison Whampoa, he devotes much of his time and wealth to helping others.

The Li Ka Shing Foundation, which you established in 1980, has provided more than $1.6 billion to support creative, constructive, and sustainable projects in education, health care, culture, and the arts. Shantou University, which he founded in 1981 in his hometown, is meant to engineer reforms in China’s education. His far-reaching altruism reflects his faith in the power of combined efforts, the importance of those who are too often overlooked, and the responsibility to lift one another up. As his foundation has grown, he has introduced Asia to a culture of giving. He serves as an example to others so that they may join him in a new spirit of philanthropy that will transcend the traditional values requiring wealth to pass through lineage.

In his dedication to social progress, innovation, and creativity, he lives by Andrew Carnegie’s words, which could well be his own: “There is nothing inherently valuable in mere money worth striving for, unless it is to be administered as a sacred trust for the good of others.” For his sacrifice of time, energy, and resources to helping others regardless of race, class, or circumstance, we honor Li Ka-shing and offer our sincere thanks.

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Kavli, Fred

Fred Kavli

Year

Affiliation

Areas of Focus

Science

I had long planned to start a foundation. I wanted to do something with long-range benefit to humanity. Starting a business and making a lot of money doesn’t make for a fulfilling life.

Fred Kavli, is a philanthropist of rare vision, determination and faith. He established The Kavli Foundation, which is dedicated to the goals of advancing science for the benefit of humanity and promoting public understanding of, and support for, scientists and their work. Through this institution, he awards three $1 million Kavli Prizes every two years for outstanding achievement in nanoscience, astrophysics, and neuroscience. By shining a light on these fields, which he considers especially promising for the 21st century, and by supporting bold research at a stage too early to yield tangible or predictable results, he demonstrated how the sciences should be nurtured and protected in order to move forward. Recognizing that scientific discovery requires patience, persistence, and willingness to accept the risk of failure, his foundation takes the long view, trusting that breakthroughs will come and will lead to a better world and a better life for all.

In his teenage years, during the Nazi occupation of his country, he undertook his first business venture and used the earnings to finance his education. After earning his degree, Kavli emigrated and put his entrepreneurial and scientific expertise to work in the United States, eventually founding the Kavlico Corporation, one of the world’s largest suppliers of sensors for aeronautic, automotive, and industrial applications. At the pinnacle of his success, he selflessly channeled the experiences and achievements of his lifetime into a campaign to further scientific research and education with the potential for positive and lasting impact on the human condition.

Kavli has written of his respect for Andrew Carnegie and of his feelings that his spirit and service wove philanthropy into the very fabric of the United States. Carnegie also shared Kavli’s appreciation of science, as this excerpt from a 1906 speech makes clear: “The recent discoveries that have startled the world are sublime, and appeal with intense force to the imaginative faculties of man. The scientific man of today lives in an atmosphere of wonder, arousing all his higher powers and compelling reverence.” Like Andrew Carnegie, Kavli is a global benefactor, sponsoring research institutes and scientific programs at leading universities in China, the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Like Andrew Carnegie, having provided for his family, Kavli put the remainder of his assets into The Kavli Foundation. We are filled with gratitude and admiration for Kavli’s inspired philanthropy. We prize his dedication to work that has fostered a passion for knowledge in generations of people, and promises to do so for generations to come.

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Lauder, Jo Carole and Ronald

Jo Carole and Ronald Lauder

Year

Affiliation

Areas of Focus

Education | Peace Building

For more than four decades Jo Carole and Ronald Lauder have been among the country’s preeminent supporters of the arts and civic causes, with an impressive portfolio of worldwide philanthropic and professional accomplishments. Ronald Lauder, as founder and chairman of Clinique Laboratories, Central European Media Enterprises, and RWL Water Group, business endeavors span the globe. The art world also knows him as a leading patron and collector. He is the founder and president of the Neue Galerie, a museum dedicated to German and Austrian art and one of New York City’s most popular institutions. In his decades-long involvement with New York’s Museum of Modern Art, he served as chairman of the board for ten years and continues to offer his guidance as honorary chairman.

His philanthropy demonstrates a deep commitment to his Jewish heritage. Following his years as the U.S. Ambassador to Austria, he established the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation in Central and Eastern Europe, which reaches more than 3,000 young people each year with its message of education, empowerment, and engagement. Among other activities, the foundation provides core support for some thirty schools and kindergartens, and facilitates preservation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau site. As president of the World Jewish Congress, he travels the globe on behalf of Jewish communities from South America to Southeast Asia. He has been president of the Jewish National Fund since 1999, and has served as chairman of several key organizations serving the Jewish people, among them the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the International Public Committee of the World Jewish Restitution Organization. He also serve on the boards of other organizations too numerous to cite.

Jo Carole Lauder, too, is an outstanding supporter of the arts. She works tirelessly as chairman of the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies, which works directly with the Department of State to enhance the image of the United States abroad through American art in our embassies. Her degree in fine arts has been continuously called upon in her many significant roles, including leadership of the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art as president and now president emerita. Her enduring commitment to MoMA includes service on its Contemporary Arts Council, as well as fundraising and other important committees, and she serves on the boards of other leading art institutions here and abroad. She has worked on several documentaries about significant people and places in the American arts. In addition, she devotes her time to Mount Sinai Medical Center, fundraising and serving on the board of trustees. She and her husband are major contributors to the Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder Newborn Intensive Care Unit and the Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder Center for Maternity Care.

Jo Carole and Ronald Lauder, have no doubt discovered, as Andrew Carnegie did, that “the happiness of giving happiness is far sweeter than the pleasure direct.” For discovering so many ways to give happiness to people from their city and around the world, we gratefully commend you both.

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Lauder, Evelyn and Leonard

Evelyn and Leonard Lauder

Year

Affiliation

Areas of Focus

Arts | Health | World Diplomacy

The most helpful piece of advice that I could give to anybody is to select a charity, or create a charity, that you really feel passionate about and if you do, don’t give up.

Evelyn and Leonard Lauder’s passion for improving people’s lives is legendary especially in New York City, their home. It was here in 1946 that Mr. Lauder’s mother, Estée Lauder, started the family business with four products and a belief in the possibility of beauty for all women. Later, explaining the company’s extraordinary success, she said, “I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it” – a remark that could have come straight from Andrew Carnegie, a renowned self-starter himself. Like his mother, Mr. Lauder gave his best to the company for more than fifty years, which has expanded so that there are now more than twenty-nine brands available in 140 countries. In addition to business acumen, perhaps his passion for beautiful art and his willingness to work tirelessly for a worthy cause are also legacies from Estée Lauder herself.

As a connoisseur of contemporary art, Leonard Lauder is Chairman Emeritus and a major benefactor of the Whitney Museum of American Art, donating millions in important works of art as well as monetary support and acting as an avid fundraiser. He is also a leader outside the art world: the Co-Founder and Chairman of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, a generous donor to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a trustee of the Aspen Institute, and a member of the President’s Council of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital. Together with Evelyn he gave $50 million to establish the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, which offers advanced outpatient services for cancer diagnosis and breast cancer detection and treatment.

Evelyn Lauder, is a marvel. Not only is she senior corporate vice president of The Estée Lauder Companies, she is also a dedicated philanthropist, especially in the fight against breast cancer. She is the founding chairman of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which has raised more than $330 million and supports researchers across the United States and around the world. She famously helped invent the pink ribbon, now an iconic symbol of breast health, and oversaw the distribution of close to 115 million pink ribbons worldwide. To focus global attention on breast cancer prevention, she also spearheaded the Global Landmarks Illumination Initiative. Now, during the month of October, pink lights shine on dozens of buildings and historic landmarks, from the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower to the Empire State Building. Many women around the world are alive and healthy today because of her unwavering commitment to this fight.

A century ago, Andrew Carnegie expressed no doubt about what mattered in life, and his words hold true today: “A man’s first duty is to make a competence and be independent,” he said. “But his whole duty does not end here…. It is his duty to contribute to the general good of the community in which he lives.” Evelyn and Leonard Lauder, for countless contributions to our community and the world, we offer our sincere admiration and thanks.

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Druckenmiller, Fiona and Stanley

Fiona and Stanley Druckenmiller

Year

Affiliation

Druckenmiller Foundation

Areas of Focus

Health | Education | Child Welfare | Income Inequality

Once you make a lot of money, it’s incredibly enjoyable to give it away. It’s a way to satisfy the soul.

Fiona and Stanley Druckenmiller exemplify the art of quiet philanthropy. Although they shun publicity, the institutions that benefit from their abundant support heartily commend their generosity. The causes they have adopted—medical research, education and the alleviation of poverty—are ever in need.

Perhaps Stanley Druckenmiller’s Pittsburgh roots led him to be inspired by Andrew Carnegie. Like him, Druckenmiller is known for being fiercely competitive in business (and golf), setting the highest possible standards and pulling out all the stops to succeed. He resembles Carnegie in achieving success at a young age, in his willingness to take significant risks to reap extraordinary returns, and, happily, in his eagerness to use the fruits of his success to make a difference in people’s lives. After many years of generous support to various causes, Druckenmiller went even further, donating an additional $705 million to his family foundation. These funds have already begun to flow out to worthy institutions. One early beneficiary was the Harlem Children’s Zone, an outstanding organization he helped build. He chairs the board of this community-based nonprofit, which serves approximately 17,000 children, combating poverty through education, health care, and job training.

Fiona Druckenmiller, has also had a stellar financial career, and devotes great time and effort to the family’s philanthropy. A trustee of New York University’s Langone Medical Center and a constant advocate for its work, she joined her husband in giving $100 million to launch its Neuroscience Institute, because, as she noted, “Breakthroughs in neuroscience and stem cell research will yield huge benefits in both quality and length of life…. The brain is one of the last great frontiers in medicine, and advances in related research could help both the individual and society function at a higher level.” An ordained interfaith reverend, she is also a member of the leadership council of the New York Stem Cell Foundation and has served on the board of many organizations devoted to education, the arts, human rights, and medical research.

We wholeheartedly applaud Fiona and Stanley Druckenmiller because of the sacrifices they have made, the care and concern they lavish on the causes they espouse, and the example they set by giving of their wealth in the same adventurous spirit with which they earned it.

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Danforth Family, The

The Danforth Family

Year

Affiliation

Areas of Focus

Science

Andrew Carnegie predicted that the day would come when we would not care how much wealth a man possessed, but how well he has served his fellows: “what he has done to make the world or the little spot where he was born a little better than he found it.” The Danforth family, we are told, have been inspired by Carnegie to live as he believed and to help make a better world.

In serving the city of St. Louis and the nation through three generations, the Danforth family exemplifies the very best that a determined individual and an outstanding family can accomplish for the benefit of others. It was eighty-four years ago that William H. Danforth, a pioneer of industry who founded Ralston Purina Company, along with his wife, Adda, and children, Donald and Dorothy, created the Danforth Foundation. Working through this foundation, the family began the practice of giving unstintingly of its time and wealth for the betterment of communities and institutions in their home city of St. Louis, and for the improvement of education throughout the United States.

The mission of the foundation has evolved to meet an ever-changing inventory of local and national needs. But what has never changed is the family’s generosity, manifested in more than $1.2 billion provided through some 4,700 grants that have touched the lives of tens of thousands of Americans. In 1998, knowing that the foundation was not intended to extend into perpetuity, with great foresight the family undertook a new philanthropic venture, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. They dedicated the center to improving nutrition and helping to feed the hungry, to preserving and enhancing the environment, and to making their city the world center for plant science. The foundation’s final endowment grant of $70 million was given to the Plant Science Center to help fulfill that promise.

Dr. William Danforth, is recognized as an esteemed physician and exceptional professor of medicine and as the chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis, an institution he guided to national stature and to which he remains committed today. John Danforth, is a dedicated public servant, who for eighteen years was a preeminent senator from the state of Missouri. A gifted statesman, he was appointed special envoy to Sudan and later represented the United States as Ambassador to the United Nations, where he focused on ending the twenty-year civil war in Sudan. Dr. William Danforth and Senator John Danforth, are acknowledged for their individual accomplishments as well as the family’s longstanding and exemplary work in philanthropy.

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Crown Family, The

The Crown Family

Year

Affiliation

Areas of Focus

Arts | Education | Environment | Health

The Crown family is honored for their exceptional philanthropic achievements over the course of seventy-five years. The family embodies the time-honored values of hard work and helping the less fortunate, part of an admirable and enduring inheritance. Like Andrew Carnegie, the family forebears, Arie and Ida Crown, came to this country in the 19th century in search of a better life.

A believer in character, friendship, honor, and integrity, Henry Crown insisted that in America anything was possible—if you were willing to work for it. Demonstrating remarkable talent and ingenuity, along with a tremendous work ethic, Henry and his brothers launched the Material Service Corporation in 1919, which survived the Great Depression to become one of the most successful enterprises in America.

Beginning in 1947, the family has annually dedicated significant resources to philanthropy. In gratitude for opportunities only possible in the United States, they have given back abundantly to country and community. They have increased their philanthropy in pace with the family’s continued success, supporting numerous national and international organizations.

The Crown family’s generosity has extended to the arts, civic affairs, education, environmental projects, health, human services, and Jewish causes. From numerous basic research programs at Israeli institutions to the public school system in Chicago, their concern for others extends to more than 600 institutions annually. While their outreach is broad, their efforts consistently focus on building opportunities for others and addressing the needs of individuals at risk.

Through the decades, the family’s legacy of commitment to the care of others has been passed on to their children and grandchildren. Today even the great-grandchildren of Arie and Ida Crown are involved in helping to ensure continuation of the work all four generations have embraced as a core value of the family. We greatly esteem the social contract of engagement, trust, and participation by which they address the need for social change. On behalf of the many individuals and organizations that benefit from
their unflagging generosity, we honor the kindness and the steadfast commitment of the Crown family.

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Koç Family, The

The Koç Family

Year

Affiliation

Areas of Focus

Education | Health | Arts

The late Vehbi Koç, the patriarch of the Koç family, founded his businesses upon the belief that his successes should go hand-in-hand with the prosperity of Turkey and the well-being of its people. This deeply held conviction fueled Vehbi Koç’s achievements as an entrepreneur and a humanitarian. We honor Rahmi Koç as the representative of the entire Koç family, which continues his father’s great legacy of giving.

Andrew Carnegie believed that wealth is a sacred trust that must be used for the good of the community and Rahmi Koç’s commitments epitomize this ideal. We recognize him for his exemplary philanthropic accomplishments in the fields of education, health and culture.

Through the work of the Vehbi Koç Foundation, the first private foundation in Turkey and now one of Europe’s largest, he has sought to improve the quality of Turkey’s healthcare system, to advance the country’s education and to promote the cultural resources of Turkey through the many museums and research centers charged with protecting the country’s heritage. Alongside the Foundation’s investments, the Koç group of companies carries out multiple philanthropic initiatives. In addition, the family has supported many primary and secondary schools and founded Koç University, whose laudable mission is to provide Turkey’s young people with a world-class education, to advance the frontiers of knowledge and to benefit Turkey and humanity at large. Here in New York City, there will soon be a major announcement about their giving in the field of the arts. Koç family, we salute you for your continuing and outstanding philanthropy.

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Weill, Joan and Sanford

Joan and Sanford Weill

Year

Affiliation

Areas of Focus

Peace Building | Health | Education

The more we can do to create a better society, that benefits more people, the better chance we have that our society will continue to grow and prosper.

Joan and Sanford Weill are honored today for their remarkable philanthropic contributions to medicine, education, and the arts. They have donated many hundreds of millions of dollars that have helped to heal suffering patients, teach knowledge-hungry students and transmit music to generations of grateful music lovers. Their largesse has helped revitalize esteemed institutions including New York’s Carnegie Hall, a member of our own Carnegie family, as well as the Weill Cornell Medical College and Graduate School of Medical Sciences and the Weill Bugando Medical Complex in Tanzania, which proudly bear their name.

Joan Weill is an indefatigable supporter of cultural, civic and philanthropic endeavors. Her generosity, along with her distinguished record of service, has benefitted a host of institutions, including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Foundation and Citymeals-on-Wheel, to name but two.

Sanford Weill has drawn on his vast experience as a leader in our country’s financial sectors to launch such impressive initiatives as a joint public-private sector partnership with the New York City Board of Education that established the Academy of Finance to prepare high school students for careers in financial services. He is the founder and chairman of the National Academy Foundation, which oversees more than 500 career-themed academies.

But that is not all. According to a recent issue of BusinessWeek, Weill giving has totaled more than $800 million. Their generosity, along with their distinguished record of service, has benefitted numerous organizations including Sidra, a teaching hospital to be completed in 2011 in Qatar; New York Presbyterian Hospital and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

If Andrew Carnegie were alive today, he would thank Joan and Sanford Weill for their imaginative giving, a testament to the fact that we cannot take our wealth with us because shrouds have no pockets.

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