Carnegie Names Nine Philanthropists as Recipients of the 2017 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy

Monday, June 26, 2017

Carnegie Names Nine Philanthropists as Recipients of the 2017 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy

The international family of Carnegie institutions named nine exceptional philanthropists as recipients of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy today in recognition of their outstanding and innovative leadership in philanthropy, celebrating Andrew Carnegie's philanthropic ideals.

The 2017 honorees are:

  • Mei Hing Chak China; HeungKong Charitable Foundation
  • H. F. (Gerry) and Marguerite Lenfest U.S.A.; Lenfest Foundation
  • Azim Premji India; Azim Premji Foundation
  • Julian Robertson U.S.A.; Robertson Foundation
  • Jeff Skoll U.S.A.; Skoll Foundation
  • Kristine McDivitt Tompkins U.S.A.; Tompkins Conservation
  • Shelby White U.S.A.; Leon Levy Foundation
  • Sir James D. Wolfensohn U.S.A. and Australia; Wolfensohn Center for Development

"The recipients of the 2017 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy were selected for their distinguished and longstanding contributions to the public good," said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York. "The medal reflects Andrew Carnegie's enduring legacy of philanthropy and is rooted in two core principles. First: with wealth comes responsibility. Second: individuals, whether guided by religious, civic, humanistic, or democratic aspirations, have the transformative power to use wealth for the betterment of humankind."

"Just as our founder demonstrated," Gregorian continued, "the recipients inspire a culture of giving through their leadership, providing a model for the next generation of philanthropists."

The Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy was established in 2001 and is awarded every two years to individuals whose philanthropic work embodies the ideals of Andrew Carnegie's vision, serving as a continuous inspiration to others. Having amassed what was then the greatest fortune on earth, the legendary American industrialist decided to give it all away with the stated goal of doing "real and permanent good in this world."

The 22 Carnegie institutions in the United States and Europe nominate the medalists, and a selection committee representing seven of those institutions makes the final selection. The honorees are recognized as catalysts for good whose philanthropy has had a significant and lasting impact on a particular field, nation, or community of people.

The Carnegie institutions will award the medals during a formal ceremony at The New York Public Library's Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on October 3, 2017. Carnegie Corporation of New York will host the private event. Katty Kay, anchor of BBC World News America, will serve as master of ceremonies.

The Medal Selection Committee includes:

William Thomson CBE, Honorary Chair Former Chair and Honorary President, Carnegie United Kingdom Trust
Vartan Gregorian, Chair President, Carnegie Corporation of New York
Anthony S. Bryk President, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
William J. Burns President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Nora Rundell Chief Executive, Carnegie Dunfermline and Hero Fund Trusts
Matthew Scott President, Carnegie Institution for Science
Andy Walker Secretary and Treasurer, Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland

To learn more about the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy (including current and past honorees), the Carnegie family of institutions, and Andrew Carnegie the man, please visit our website at, and follow us on Twitter @CarnegieMedal #CMOP

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