Celebrating Visionary Leaders

The year 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the Annenberg Foundation. From the very first grant given, the Directors of the Foundation have recognized that visionary leaders make a difference.

Visionary leaders stand out. They innovate, seeing old problems in a new way and focusing on achieving true long-term change. They motivate, inspiring others to join them through their passion and commitment. And they initiate, taking the first step towards change – and the next step and the next step – regardless of the obstacles they encounter.

The leaders pictured here are people of action and commitment. They represent the 3,100 grantees whose visions we’ve felt compelled to support over the last 25 years.

We thank them for their dedication to improving our world, and we look forward to continuing to find and support leaders like them during our next 25 years.

Kenny Asubel and Nina Simons

Kenny Ausubel & Nina Simons

Co-Founder and CEO (KA), Founding Director (NS),
Women’s Leadership Initiatives at Bioneers

Bioneers is an educational organization that highlights breakthrough solutions for restoring people and the planet.  Through its programming, Bioneers connects, inspires and educates people to act effectively by sharing practical environmental solutions and innovative social strategies for restoring the Earth’s imperiled ecosystems and healing human communities.

Tamika Butler

Tamika Butler

California Director, Young Invincibles

Young Invincibles expands opportunities for Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 in areas including higher education, health care and jobs. The organization ensures that young adults’ voices are heard through cutting-edge policy research and innovative campaigns, such as the Health Care Finder app, designed to inform and mobilize.

Geoffrey Canada

President and Chief Executive Officer, Harlem Children's Zone

A pioneer in the efforts to end the cycle of generational poverty, the Harlem Children’s Zone serves more than 17,000 children in a 100-block radius of Harlem. Programs support each child from birth all the way through college, then bring educated young adults back to enrich their community.

Mark Edwards

Dr. Mark Edwards

Superintendent, Mooresville Graded School District

Located in North Carolina, the Mooresville Graded School District provides education to 5,500 students. Since issuing laptops four years ago to fourth through twelfth graders, the District has achieved remarkable results. Its use of technology to customize instruction for each student has become the national model for digital schools.

Molly Forrest

Molly Forrest

Chief Executive Officer – President, Los Angeles Jewish Home

The Los Angeles Jewish Home works to enrich the physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being of people, regardless of financial ability. The organization has become one of the country’s leading residential care facilities for the elderly, providing model care programs that have been replicated in facilities across the United States.

Honore Gatera

Centre Manager, Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre

Located at a mass burial site from the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre promotes peace-building educational activities and contributes to the healing and rebuilding of a society. By offering online access to digitized archival materials, the Centre educates people worldwide about the dangers of prejudice and division.

Jane Goodall

Founder, Jane Goodall Institute

Established by the renowned primatologist, the Jane Goodall Institute empowers people to make a difference for all living things. The organization seeks to improve understanding and treatment of great apes, preserve great apes and their habitats, and create a worldwide network of young people who will responsibly care for them.

David Grunwald

President & CEO, Affordable Living for the Aging

Affordable Living for the Aging provides seniors in the Los Angeles community with affordable housing, services and connections to supportive services. The organization works to create national models for stabilizing seniors and to become the industry leader in areas including home-sharing, cooperative living, supportive housing and independent living.

Wes Jackson

Wes Jackson

President, Land Institute

The Land Institute strives to develop an agriculture as sustainable as the native ecosystems it displaced; to find a way of growing crops that rewards the farmer and the landscape more than the manufacturers of external inputs; and to protect irreplaceable soil and lessen dependence on fossil fuels and damaging synthetic chemicals.

Philippe Jordan

Philippe Jordan

Music Director, L'Opéra national de Paris

Each year, the Paris Opera presents close to 400 performances of opera, ballet and other concerts, to an audience totaling nearly 800,000. Additionally, the organization trains pre-professional opera singers and ballet dancers. Through the Education Department’s programs, children throughout Paris have the opportunity to experience live performances.

Iain Kerr & Roger Payne

Chief Executive Officer (IK), President (RP), Ocean Alliance

Ocean Alliance is a recognized global leader in research and education related to the conservation of whales and their ocean environment. The organization was the first to study live, free ranging whales, using this data to advise educators, policy makers and the general public on wise stewardship of the oceans.

Rechella Meekcoms Kryszek

[In Memoriam]
Holocaust Speaker and Educator,
Oregon Holocaust Resource Center

The Oregon Holocaust Resource Center provides an enduring reminder of the lessons of the Holocaust. The Center maintains the permanent Memorial and offers educational programs for students, teachers and the general public. Members of its Speakers Bureau share their stories with tens of thousands of students and teachers annually.

Alex Morales

President & CEO, The Children's Bureau of Southern California

The Children’s Bureau of Southern California provides vulnerable children with the foundation necessary to become caring and productive adults through state-of-the-art child abuse prevention and treatment services. Children’s Bureau developed the Family Assessment Form, a nationally-used evaluation tool; and the organization’s research and evaluation findings inform and improve practices nationwide.

Wu Qing

Founder, Beijing Cultural Development Center for Rural Women

The Beijing Cultural Development Center for Rural Women promotes the advancement and personal development of China’s rural women through educational programs. Serving 40,000 women and children annually, the organization encourages political participation, establishes access to health and educational services, and upholds civil and labor rights for this often isolated population.

The Beijing Cultural Development Center for Rural Women promotes the advancement and personal development of China’s rural women through educational programs. Serving 40,000 women and children annually, the organization encourages political participation, establishes access to health and educational services, and upholds civil and labor rights for this often isolated population.

Joel Reynolds

Joel Reynolds

Western Director, Senior Attorney,
Natural Resources Defense Council

One of the nation’s most effective environmental action groups, the Natural Resources Defense Council combines the power of 1.4 million members with the expertise of more than 350 lawyers, scientists and other professionals. The organization works to safeguard the Earth and to solve today’s most pressing environmental issues.

Christophe Rousset

Christophe Rousset

Founder, Ensemble Les Talens Lyriques

Harpsichordist and conductor Christophe Rousset formed the instrumental and vocal music ensemble Les Talens Lyriques twenty years ago. Exploring an extensive repertoire from Early Baroque to the Romantics, the ensemble performs great masterpieces and unpublished works. Additionally, they introduce students to music through numerous workshops and innovative teaching residencies.

Pujya Saraswatiji

Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji

Founder/Chairman, India Heritage Research Foundation

The India Heritage Research Foundation improves the quality of life for thousands through its humanitarian programs, which include schools, women’s vocational training, medical clinics, orphanages, environmental projects and rural development programs. The Foundation’s first-ever Encyclopedia of Hinduism is a comprehensive reference not only for Hindu scholars, but for people worldwide.

Gudrun Schleirmacher

Dr. Gudrun Schleiermacher

Pediatric Oncologist/Researcher, Institut Curie

The Institut Curie brings together more than 3,200 researchers, physicians and healthcare staff dedicated to defeating cancer. The Institut combines France’s largest oncology research center with two state-of-the-art hospitals that have pioneered many scientific and medical innovations. The Institut is recognized worldwide as a leader in the development of new treatments against cancer.

Cynthia Sewell

Cynthia Sewell

President/Chief Executive Officer, New Horizons

New Horizons empowers adults with developmental disabilities to fulfill their dreams through a wide range of residential, employment and social opportunities. The organization is Los Angeles County’s largest provider of supported employment services, a program in which people with developmental disabilities work in the community in a variety of businesses.

Dr. Mimi Silbert

President & CEO, Delancey Street Foundation

Delancey Street Foundation provides residential, educational and rehabilitation services to ex-convicts, former substance abusers and others in need. While at Delancey Street, residents earn a high school equivalency degree, are trained in three different marketable skills and develop social and interpersonal skills that allow them to live successfully in mainstream society.

Sam Sullivan & Lynn Zanatta

Co-Founder & CEO (SS), Co-Founder (LZ),
Global Civic Policy Society

Located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, the Global Civic Policy Society encourages a more educated citizenry. The organization’s televised speaker series informs and inspires, a free app that teaches greeting phrases in multiple languages promotes multiculturalism, and online archives of early City Council minutes stimulate interest in Vancouver’s history.

Sally Tallant

Sally Tallant

Artistic Director & Chief Executive Officer,
Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art

Every two years the city of Liverpool is host to the largest international contemporary art festival in the UK. The Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art commissions leading and emerging artists to make artworks presented in diverse locations citywide. An integrated program of learning, talks and events creates a dynamic year-round experience.

Juhad Turk

Jihad Turk

President, Bayan Claremont

As a uniquely American and non-sectarian graduate school, Bayan Claremont educates men and women as Islamic religious leaders, scholars and educators. Combining traditional Islamic scholarship, contemporary best practices in community engagement and education on interfaith cooperation, Bayan Claremont represents an important next step in Islamic education in the American context.

Lisa Watson

Chief Executive Officer, Downtown Women's Center

An advocate of ending homelessness for women, the Downtown Women’s Center provides permanent supportive housing and a safe and healthy community. In Los Angeles’ Skid Row, the Center is the only facility exclusive to women, serving their specific needs. It is nationally recognized as a model for its unique programs.

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