NEW YORK, NY, September 23
-- The Institute of International Education (IIE) presented Alcoa with the Opening Minds Corporate Leadership Award at IIE's 2008 International Education Awards Dinner tonight, honoring the company's commitment to training leaders in environmental conservation and sustainability. The Institute also presented Her Royal Highness Ghida Talal of Jordan with its Humanitarian Award for International Cooperation for her valuable contributions to IIE's Iraq Scholar Rescue project. Broadcaster Linda Vester, who had a Fulbright Fellowship to Egypt, served as mistress of ceremonies, and Thomas S. Johnson, Chairman of IIE's Board of Trustees and retired Chairman of the GreenPoint Bank, and IIE President and CEO Allan E. Goodman welcomed more than 300 business, education, government, foundation and policy leaders to the gala dinner at New York's recently reopened Plaza Hotel.
Alcoa's President and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld accepted the award on behalf of the company. IIE administers the Alcoa Foundation's Conservation and Sustainability Fellowship Program, created in 2005, which brings together NGO leaders and scholars in countries from Australia to Zambia in order to advance research and share innovative work in the conservation and sustainability field. The award recognized the commitment of Alcoa and its leadership to global philanthropy and corporate social responsibility and for Alcoa's pioneering leadership in addressing issues of environmental conservation and sustainability worldwide. According to Thomas A. Russo, Chairman of IIE's Executive Committee, "this innovative program is one of the reasons Alcoa has earned consistently high rankings in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and recognition from the World Economic Forum as one of the top sustainable companies in the world."
IIE presented its Humanitarian Award for International Cooperation to Her Royal Highness Princess Ghida Talal of Jordan for her humanitarian efforts and dedicated philanthropy. In presenting the award, Dr. Henry Kaufman and Dr. Henry Jarecki, IIE Board members and co-founders of IIE's Scholar Rescue Fund, acknowledged her dedicated efforts as board member of IIE's Scholar Rescue Fund and Chair of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation. "With her husband, HRH Prince Talal, the Princess has played a seminal role in launching the Iraq Scholar Rescue Project, which rescues persecuted scholars from Iraq and finds them safe haven at host universities within the Middle East region until they can safely return to rebuild their country."
The Iraq Scholar Rescue Project will offer refuge to 200 scholars. In addition to providing support to continue teaching and conducting research activities in safety, the scholars will stay engaged with their Iraqi students and colleagues who have lost access to critical academic resources. In so doing, the Iraq Scholar Rescue Project hopes to contribute to the preservation of Iraq's vital intellectual capital and ensure that, when conditions permit, these scholars will be able to return home to rebuild their once flourishing academic communities. Since 2002, The Scholar Rescue Fund has provided support and safe haven to over 200 scholars from 39 different countries around the world. Scholars from Sudan, Belarus, China, Ethiopia, Iraq, and Zimbabwe attended the IIE Gala. Dr. Hana Abdallah of Sudan spoke about how the SRF has provided her the opportunity to continue her work in medical microbiology as a Fellow at a U.S. university, conducting groundbreaking research on tuberculosis.
IIE's President and CEO Allan Goodman introduced special guest Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs James K. Glassman. IIE administers the Fulbright Student and Scholar programs, the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, which provides support for study abroad for students with financial need, the Hubert Humphrey Fellowships, and the International Visitor Leadership Program on behalf of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.
IIE Board member, Dinner Co-Chair and underwriter Mark A. Angelson, Chairman of MidOcean Partners and former President of R.R. Donnelley, spoke about the remarkable "compounding effect" IIE has in the world. "IIE enables thousands of students and scholars from almost every country to learn, teach, solve problems, and foster understanding in another country. These individuals return home to communicate and share their experiences with thousands of others. Increasing such international exchange opportunities is a key to not only a more peaceful world but a more prosperous one as well."
Benefit co-chairs also included: Maryam Panahy Ansary; Maria Livanos Cattaui (Board Member, Petroplus Holdings), Renee Fleming (Opera Soprano), Peter M. Gottsegen (Partner, CAI); Ruth Hinerfeld; S.A. Ibrahim;(CEO, Radian Group, Inc.); Henry G. Jarecki (Chairman, Falconwood Corporation); Thomas S. Johnson (Retired Chairman and CEO, GreenPoint Bank); Henry Kaufman (President, Henry Kaufman & Company); Laya Khadjavi (Managing Director, Morgan Stanley); Roya Khadjavi-Heidari, Michael G. Morris (CEO, American Electric Power); Thomas A. Russo; Alberto Vitale (Retired Chairman, Random House).