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.

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. was appointed the 16th Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate. He was sworn in on August 17, 2009. In 2017, President Donald Trump asked Dr. Collins to continue to serve as the NIH Director. President Joe Biden did the same in 2021. Dr. Collins is the only Presidentially appointed NIH Director to serve more than one administration. In this role, Dr. Collins oversees the work of the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world, spanning the spectrum from basic to clinical research. Dr. Collins is a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the international Human Genome Project, which culminated in April 2003 with the completion of a finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book. He served as director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at NIH from 1993-2008. Dr. Collins is an elected member of both the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2007, and received the National Medal of Science in 2009. In 2020, he was elected as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (UK) and was also named the 50th winner of the Templeton Prize, which celebrates scientific and spiritual curiosity.

Past recipients of the award include:

  • 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.