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Bill Drayton of Ashoka Wins Harvard Award

Submitted by: Ashoka: Innovators for the Public

Categories: Ratings & Awards, Academia

Posted: May 08, 2012 – 03:01 PM EST


ARLINGTON, VA, May 08 /CSRwire/ - Ashoka CEO and founder Bill Drayton received the Harvard Kennedy School’s prestigious Richard E. Neustadt Award for Public Policy last week. The Neustadt Award is presented annually to a key social innovator whose work draws upon research and intellectual ideas in order to develop solutions to public problems.  At the awards ceremony in Cambridge on May 3rd, the Neustadt Award recognized Drayton’s lifelong commitment to fostering a global movement of social entrepreneurs through his work at Ashoka.  As innovators for the public, Ashoka addresses social problems by investing in social entrepreneurs, an approach that creates opportunities for global collaboration that facilitate high-impact social solutions. 

Drayton received the Neustadt Award in conjunction with the Kennedy School’s Thomas C. Schelling Award for Public Policy. The Schelling Award is conferred on an individual whose unprecedented intellectual work has had a transformative impact on public policy.  This year’s Schelling recipient is Amartya Sen, a Nobel Prize winner in economic sciences.

“The Schelling and Neustadt awards are given in the names of two people who were instrumental in the creation of the modern Kennedy School,” noted Kennedy School dean David T. Ellwood. “It is in their spirit that we recognize this year’s extraordinary recipients, both of whom have dedicated their lives and careers to the pursuit of knowledge and serving the public good. We are proud to honor their remarkable contributions to our nation and our world.”

“It is a great honor to receive an award named after an individual who is a pioneer in his own right.  Richard Neustadt inspired a generation of students to service, in the same way that we at Ashoka are working to inspire a world of changemakers.” 

Drayton is a graduate of Harvard College who earned his M.A. from Oxford and a J.D. from Yale Law School. His professional achievements include helping the Environmental Protection Agency launch the emissions-trading program that eventually became the basis for the Kyoto Protocol; founding the 30-year-old Ashoka Innovators for the Public, which now supports 3,000 Fellows in more than 80 countries on all five major continents; and chairing Youth Venture’s global community of Changemakers. Drayton has also been named one of America’s 25 best leaders by both U.S. News & World Report and the Harvard Kennedy School.

The Neustadt Award is named for the late Richard E. Neustadt, a professor of government at Harvard and noted political scientist who specialized in American presidential scholarship. He also served as one of the founders of the modern Kennedy School and founding director of Harvard’s Institute of Politics.

About Ashoka

Founded in 1980, Ashoka is the world’s working community of nearly 3000 leading social entrepreneurs in over 80 countries. It champions the most important new social change ideas and supports the entrepreneurs behind them by helping them get started, grow, succeed, and collaborate. As Ashoka expands its capability to integrate and connect entrepreneurs around the world, it builds an entrepreneurial infrastructure that is supporting the fast-growing needs of the citizen sector. Ashoka’s vision is to create change today, for an Everyone A Changemaker™ society to become the reality of tomorrow. For more information, visit www.ashoka.org.

For more information, please contact:

Tina Choi Director-Global Media and Communications
Phone: +44 20 8816 7988


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