Social Capital

The 2019 John P. McNulty Prize Laureates

July 16, 2019  • Aspen Global Leadership Network

Today, the Aspen Institute and Anne Welsh McNulty announced the 12th annual John P. McNulty Prize Laureates, five extraordinary individuals who have leveraged their expertise, experience and networks to build and lead transformative social impact ventures.


The efforts of the 2019 Laureates have expanded opportunity across diverse communities and regions. Whether it’s a living wage for workers and ethical choices for consumers, giving strivers a path into the future economy, dismantling cultural misogyny, or giving moms and communities the tools to fight climate change, these ventures represent the best uses of human energy and ingenuity.

“They are creating virtuous cycles of positive impact.”
— Anne Welsh McNulty

“We live in a world of equal humanity and unequal opportunity. Srikumar Misra, Joshin Rhagubar, Maria Pacheco, Alexandra Kissling, and Kelsey Wirth are leaders creatively using their talents and resources to remove hurdles that keep communities, families, and individuals from improving their circumstances.” said Anne Welsh McNulty, President of the McNulty Foundation and Trustee of the Aspen Institute, “They are creating virtuous cycles of positive impact.”

The announcement will be celebrated on July 24 at the Resnick Aspen Action Forum. Watch the Laureates pitch their bold ideas at 6:00pm MDT on July 25. The McNulty Foundation gives the Prize annually to honor the visionary work of Fellows of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Each Laureate will receive $25,000 to further their venture. An international jury, including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, international statesman Olara Otunnu, development expert Brizio Biondi-Morra, and Ford Foundation president Darren Walker will select the McNulty Prize winner, whose venture will receive $100,000, and be recognized in November in New York City.

Read on to learn about the timely and impactful work of these inspiring leaders.


Mothers Out Front | Kelsey Wirth | United States

Former executive Kelsey Wirth (Henry Crown Fellowship Program) is tapping an unlikely force against climate change, and mobilizing a grassroots movement to influence decision-makers and lead the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.

“In this moment in time, when concern about climate change is intensifying, momentum is building, and women are stepping up like never before. It is time for transformational change, driven by a mass mobilization of citizen action. We need organized constituencies, broad-based and powerful enough to convince decision makers to take bold action.” – Kelsey Wirth

Milk Mantra | Srikumar Misra | India

Global executive turned entrepreneur Srikumar Misra (Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship) is transforming livelihoods for rural farmers in Eastern India, while disrupting India’s massive dairy market with ethical sourcing and a socially conscious, innovation-led business model.

“Milk Mantra is not just a dairy company, it is a pioneering venture that creates innovative products that consumers love, and has responsible impact baked into its DNA. We have created scalable impact – improving the lives of a quarter million poor farmer families in India.” – Srikumar Misra

Vital Voices Central America | Maria Pacheco & Alexandra Kissling | Central America

Initiated by Maria Pacheco (Central America Leadership Initiative) and carried on by Alexandra Kissling (Central America Leadership Initiative), a coalition of Central Americans are tackling gender inequality across the region through economic, social and political empowerment, ultimately changing the narrative about the role of women and gender in society.

“We are women leaders with a clear vision on gender and its impact, that know how to build bridges with different sectors and with men. We understand the problem as a human issue, more than as a gender issue.” – Alexandra Kissling

CiTi | Joshin Raghubar | South Africa

Entrepreneur Joshin Raghubar (Africa Leadership Initiative – South Africa) is driving the technology and entrepreneurial ecosystem in Cape Town and beyond, and working across government, business and society to build an inclusive, future-proof economy.

“Shackled by decades of systemic exclusion and an uneven education system, South Africa remains one of the world’s most unequal societies. CiTi’s mission is to create a future-proof, inclusive society by using innovation and technology to positively transform our present and protect our future.” – Joshin Raghubar