Finalists for John P. McNulty Prize Announced

June 12, 2009

Contact: Jamie Shor
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Finalists for John P. McNulty Prize Announced
Annual $100,000 Award Recognizes Visionary Programs Around the Globe

Washington, DC, June 12, 2009 – The Aspen Institute and Institute Trustee Anne Welsh McNulty today announced the finalists for the second annual John P. McNulty Prize.  The $100,000 award, named in memory of Goldman Sachs executive and Aspen Institute Trustee John P. McNulty, celebrates extraordinary young leaders making creative, effective and lasting contributions to their communities.

“These young leaders are taking on the world’s most intractable issues with boundless energy and enthusiasm,” said Anne Welsh McNulty.  “It is very gratifying for my children and me to remember and honor my husband John by recognizing and celebrating the talent and dedication of these individuals.”

The prize seeks to galvanize efforts to address the foremost social, economic and political challenges of our time by recognizing the best of the exceptional leadership projects undertaken by the fellows of the Aspen Global Leadership Initiatives around the world. The finalists were announced at ACT II, the Aspen Institute’s Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN) biannual gathering of 160 past and present “Fellows” from 23 countries.

The winner of the John P. McNulty Prize will be selected by an international panel that includes Madeleine Albright, former US Secretary of State, Sir Richard Branson, entrepreneur, and Olara Otunnu, the international statesman from Uganda.  The prize will be awarded in November.

The finalists…

Ricardo Terán
Central America Leadership Initiative

After being raised and educated outside of his native Nicaragua due to civil war, Ricardo returned to co-found Agora with the conviction that small business entrepreneurs creating jobs in competitive, growth-oriented companies are the keys to attacking poverty and generating broad-based wealth in poor countries. Agora provides the in-depth consulting and support needed to launch successful, socially responsible enterprises, while their Venture Fund provides long-term strategic capital. Over the next three years Agora will expand operations to serve hundreds of growing businesses in Central America and Mexico.

Patrick Awuah
Africa Leadership Initiative

After making his fortune at Microsoft, Patrick returned to his native Ghana and founded the first liberal arts college in the African nation – Ashesi University. Following his Aspen experience, he implemented a curriculum designed to educate students to be ethical leaders aware of the need to give back to their community. Six years later, the University has grown from 30 to 350 students and has quickly gained a reputation for innovation and quality education in Africa. It educates students to be confident, critical thinkers with the preparation and skills necessary to fight poverty, war and misunderstanding and the desire to transform the continent.

William Bynum
Henry Crown Fellowship

A nationally recognized community banking executive, Bill founded Hope Community Credit Union to serve the “unbanked” of the Mississippi Delta and has helped thousands to get the resources they need to rebuild their lives and homes following Hurricane Katrina. Hope offers access to affordable financial tools including commercial loans, mortgages, and rebuilding assistance to the nation’s poorest region and currently has more than 27,000 members, 75% from low-wealth communities.  Its success in strengthening communities, building assets and improving lives over the last decade has made Hope one of the nation’s leading community development organizations.

LIBRAS DE AMOR – El Salvador
Alejandro Poma
Central America Leadership Initiative

A director of one of El Salvador’s largest conglomerates and Libras de Amor (LDA) founder, Alejandro believes that investing in nutrition is the most cost-effective and sustainable way to alleviate poverty. By educating and guaranteeing appropriate nutrition to the most at-risk pregnant women and infants, LDA lays the foundation for children to develop to their full intellectual and physical capacity and to lead healthy, productive lives. LDA serves 65,000 people and has reduced malnutrition by an average of 4% a year since 2004. Through an innovative campaign, LDA has motivated thousands of people to join a national crusade to overcome malnutrition.

James Whitaker
Henry Crown Fellowship

At the heart of filmmaker Jim Whitaker’s Project Rebirth is a unique film chronicling the strength of the human spirit coping with disaster: the aftermath of September 11, 2001, to be released in 2010. Moving beyond the film, Jim seeks to aid victims of traumatic events, as well as first responders and to improve specialized care and support during and after major disasters with a Project Rebirth Center, currently Rebirth-based educational and therapeutic content is being distributed through strategic partnerships with world-renowned research institutions and global service organizations.

For more information about John McNulty’s legacy of leadership, a video featuring the 2008 winner and the latest news, please visit

The Aspen Global Leadership Network The Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN) is a growing, worldwide community of entrepreneurial leaders from business, government and the nonprofit sector — currently, 950 “Fellows” from 43 countries — who share a commitment to effective, enlightened leadership and to using their extraordinary creativity, energy and resources to tackle the foremost societal challenges of our times. All share the common experience of participating in the Aspen Institute’s Henry Crown Fellowship or one of the dozen leadership initiatives it has inspired in the United States, Africa, Central America, India and the Middle East.

The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, DC, Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and has an international network of partners.


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