Henry Crown Leadership Award
The Henry Crown Leadership Award was created to honor an outstanding leader whose achievements reflect the high standards of honor, integrity, industry, and philanthropy that characterized the life and career of Henry Crown. The award is presented annually by the Trustee of the Henry and Gladys Crown Charitable Trust Fund in cooperation with the Henry Crown Fellowship Program of the Aspen Institute.
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.
Past recipients of the award include:
- 2021 Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the National Institutes of Health
- 2019 Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of IBM
- 2018 William (Bill) F. Browder, Founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, head of the Global Magnitsky Justice Campaign
- 2017 Walter Isaacson, Professor of History at Tulane University and former President and CEO of the Aspen Institute
- 2016 Robert K. Steel, partner and CEO of Perella Weinberg Partners and former Deputy Mayor for Economic Development for the City of New York
- 2015 General (ret.) Stanley McChrystal, former Commander of the International Security Assistance Force and Commander of United States Forces Afghanistan
- 2014 Reed Hastings, Founder and CEO, Netflix
- 2013 Wynton Marsalis, Managing and Artistic Director, Jazz at Lincoln Center
- 2012 Gabrielle Giffords, former U.S. Representative
- 2011 Madeleine K. Albright, Chair, The Albright Stonebridge Group and former United States Secretary of State
- 2010 Vartan Gregorian, President, Carnegie Corporation of New York
- 2009 Jeffrey Bezos, President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of Amazon.com
- 2008 William Mayer, Partner, Park Avenue Equity Partners and former Chairman of the Aspen Institute Board of Trustees
- 2007 No award was presented in 2007
- 2006 Condoleezza Rice, former United States Secretary of State
- 2005 William Budinger, Founder, Rodel Inc.
- 2004 Michael Powell, former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, and member of the TripleCrown Class of Henry Crown Fellows. Michael was the first Henry Crown Fellow to receive this award
- 2003 Patty Stonesifer, Co-Chair and President of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- 2002 Jimmy Carter, thirty-ninth president of the United States
- 2001 Dr. William J. Perry, professor at Stanford University, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and co-director of the Preventative Defense Project. Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Perry served as the 19th Secretary of Defense for the United States from 1994 to 1997.
- 2000 Sen. George J. Mitchell, former Majority Leader of the United States Senate
- 1999 Gen. Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.), founding chairman of America’s Promise – The Alliance for Youth and former U.S. Secretary of State
- 1998 Norman R. Augustine, former vice chairman and chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin Corporation and Professor at Princeton University
- 1997 Robert W. Galvin, chairman of the executive committee of Motorola, Inc.