The 2019 award recipients were announced on August 12, 2019, at Andrew Carnegie’s ancestral home in Dunfermline, Scotland, during a commemoration of the centenary of Carnegie’s death. The Carnegie family of institutions will award the medals during a formal ceremony hosted at The New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on October 16, 2019.
Inaugurated on December 10, 2001, by representatives from 22 of the institutions that Andrew Carnegie founded throughout the world, the medal was established at the centennial observance of the start of Mr. Carnegie’s official career as a philanthropist and is awarded every two years.
The goal of the medal is to celebrate Andrew Carnegie’s vision of philanthropy and legacy of giving by recognizing philanthropists whose generosity is having impact and inspiring others to join them in making the world a smarter, cleaner, healthier, safer, and better place for all.
The medalists are individuals who share Andrew Carnegie’s philanthropic ideals of doing “real and permanent good in this world,” and are selected based on their roles as catalysts for good, seeking to create a world of positive change. Between 2001 and 2015, more than fifty philanthropists have been honored with the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy.
The criteria for selection are threefold: medalists must have a vision of philanthropy that reflects the ideals and breadth of Andrew Carnegie’s philanthropy; the work of the philanthropist must have a sustainable track record; and the medalists must have made a significant impact on a particular field, nation, or group of people, either nationally or internationally.
The selection process consists of nominations from the leadership of the Carnegie family of 22 institutions founded by Andrew Carnegie. The selection committee is comprised of four members of the steering committee that organized the inaugural medal—Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Carnegie Institution for Science, and the Carnegie Trusts for the Universities of Scotland—along with two additional Carnegie institutions, which rotate onto the committee at each award cycle. William Thomson, great-grandson of Andrew Carnegie and former chair of the Carnegie UK Trust, is honorary chair of the selection committee. Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York, serves as chair of the committee.
Each recipient is presented with a bronze medal and a portrait bust of Andrew Carnegie —an original work of art cast in bronze and created exclusively for the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy.