The Aspen Institute is delighted to welcome back friends and supporters to the 38th Annual Awards Dinner on Thursday, November 3rd at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. After a two-year pause, it is a privilege to come together and applaud the significant work of the Aspen Institute and celebrate this year’s extraordinary honorees: Henry Crown Leadership Award recipients Jacklyn and Miguel Bezos and the Public Service Award recipient Elizabeth Alexander. Our honorees have demonstrated values-based leadership through their remarkable achievements and contributions to society, and we look forward to honoring them on our stage.
The Annual Awards Dinner is the Aspen Institute’s flagship fundraiser and largest generator of unrestricted funding for the Institute. Through the support of our committed friends and champions, the funds raised from this event ensure that the Aspen Institute can continue to drive actionable change towards a more free, just and equitable society. To purchase tickets, please click on the “register” button above, or connect with Senior Special Events Associate Dianna Shypailo at Dianna.Shypailo@aspeninstitute.org or (202) 736-3503.
About the Henry Crown Leadership Award Recipients:
Jacklyn (Jackie) Bezos is President and co-founder of the Bezos Family Foundation, which works to invest in the science of learning and the experiences that young people need to reach their full potential. For over 20 years, the Foundation’s grant investments and programs have promoted positive learning environments along the prenatal through high school continuum. “Education should ignite passion and foster awareness of the world beyond one’s own,” Jackie often says. “Ultimately, a good education is more about who you are than what you do.”
As President of the Foundation, Jackie helped pioneer three in-house programs: Bezos Scholars Program, which engages exceptional students and educators in a yearlong leadership development program that amplifies youth voices and action; Students Rebuild, a platform for students worldwide to take collective action on critical, global issues; and Vroom, a global effort that provides free, science-based tips and tools to help parents and caregivers turn everyday routines into brain-building moments.
She serves on the boards of Robin Hood Foundation, the American Museum of Natural History, and Character Lab, but her most prized title is that of “Captain of Chaos” with her 11 grandchildren.
Miguel (Mike) Bezos often says, “Your education is always yours – once you have it, it cannot be taken away.” Guided by this notion and a deeply held belief that all children deserve an opportunity to reach their full potential and contribute meaningfully to society, Mike co-founded the Bezos Family Foundation in 2000 with his wife Jackie, and their family who serve as directors. The Foundation champions the science of learning and its application in everyday life along the continuum from prenatal through high school.
Never shy to fill an unmet need, the Foundation runs three in-house programs: the Bezos Scholars Program, which engages exceptional students and educators in a yearlong leadership development program that amplifies youth voices and action; Students Rebuild, a platform for students worldwide to take collective action on critical, global issues; and Vroom, a global effort that provides free, science-based tips and tools to help parents and caregivers turn everyday routines into brain-building moments.
Mike’s professional career spanned over 32 years with Exxon Mobil in various engineering and managerial positions in the US and overseas. A native of Cuba, Mike immigrated to the United States as a teen and worked his way through the University of Albuquerque, where he completed his undergraduate degree. Mike serves on the boards of the Aspen Institute and the National Constitution Center, and is a board member emeritus of New Classrooms. Outside of his role at the Foundation, Mike enjoys spending time with his family, particularly his 11 grandchildren.
About the Public Service Award Recipient:
Elizabeth Alexander – decorated poet, educator, memoirist, scholar, and cultural advocate – is president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the nation’s largest funder in arts and culture, and humanities in higher education. Dr. Alexander has held distinguished professorships at Smith College, Columbia University, and Yale University, where she taught for 15 years. She is Chancellor Emeritus of the Academy of American Poets, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and serves on the Pulitzer Prize Board. Dr. Alexander composed and delivered “Praise Song for the Day” for the 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama, and is author or co-author of fifteen books. Her book of poems, American Sublime, and her memoir, The Light of the World, were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. Her latest book, released in 2022, is The Trayvon Generation.