Thomas S. Johnson

Press Release

2011 IIE Gala Awards Dinner in New York

Institute of International Education Celebrates International and Interfaith Understanding at its October 4th Awards Dinner

Gala 2011 website

Awards presented to Renowned Artist and Fulbright Alumnus Dale Chihuly, Business Leader Thomas S. Johnson, Philanthropist Angelica Berrie

NEW YORK—At the Institute of International Education's awards gala on October 4th at New York’s Cipriani Wall Street, more than 400 business, education, government, foundation and policy leaders celebrated the 2011 award winners’ commitment to the Institute’s mission of Opening Minds to the World.®

The evening also included a live auction featuring a piece of artwork by the artist, a luxurious getaway to a private island in the British Virgin Islands, and an exclusive stay in a palatial villa on the Croatian coast.

IIE presented New York business leader and philanthropist Thomas S. Johnson with the Stephen P. Duggan Award For Mutual Understanding in recognition of Mr. Johnson’s dedication to fostering understanding among people of different cultures, which he considers a central priority in his life. Mr. Johnson is the Chairman of IIE’s Board of Trustees.

A leader in the New York banking community for nearly 40 years who retired as Chairman and CEO of GreenPoint Financial Corporation, Mr. Johnson is a past president of both Chemical Bank and Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co. and has served on numerous corporate and not-for-profit boards. He currently chairs the U.S.-Japan Foundation and serves on the boards the Inner City Scholarship Fund, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum Foundation. Early in his career, as a recent graduate of Harvard Business School, he helped to found the first business school in Asia, at Ateneo de Manila University. He was instrumental in developing the faculty and curriculum and establishing the program that grew to become the Asian Institute of Management.

Through his philanthropic giving to IIE, Mr. Johnson has greatly strengthened two core programs – the Fulbright Program and the Scholar Rescue Fund – and has set powerful examples that have inspired others. His leadership gift to IIE’s Fulbright Legacy Fund was key to the completion of the $10 million campaign for this fund, which supports strategic projects advancing the mission and reach of the Fulbright Student and Scholar Programs that IIE administers for the U.S. Department of State.

Mr. Johnson has furthered IIE’s mission of rescuing threatened scholars by dedicating the Scott M. Johnson Memorial Fund at Trinity College to hosting scholars who are assisted by IIE’s Scholar Rescue Fund. The Scott Johnson Memorial Fund, named for Mr. Johnson’s son who perished in the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center, has enabled Trinity to provide an academic safe haven for three scholars to date, from Zimbabwe, Iran, and Uzbekistan, and has set a very powerful and promising example to other host universities. In addition, Mr. Johnson has devoted time and resources to IIE programs that encourage interfaith cooperation and understanding, including serving as Chairman of the Victor J. Goldberg Prize for Peace in the Middle East.

“I am absolutely convinced that if more thought-leaders and political leaders could have international experiences, there would be more tolerance and appreciation for different cultures and maybe less inclination to have wars,” Mr. Johnson says. “Extreme nationalism doesn’t survive when you have the opportunity to develop intimate relationships with people unlike yourself.”

World-renowned artist Dale Chihuly received IIE’s Fritz Redlich Alumni Award in recognition of his distinguished career in creating art across many different cultures. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Ambassador J. Adam Ereli joined IIE president Allan Goodman in presenting the award, in recognition of Mr. Chihuly’s status as an alumnus of the Fulbright Program, the nation’s flagship educational exchange.

Mr. Chihuly was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to work at the Venini factory in Venice, Italy in 1968, after graduating from the University of Washington and studying glass at the University of Wisconsin and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). He credits his Fulbright experience in Venice, where he observed the team approach to blowing glass, with being critical to the way he works today. In 1971, Chihuly cofounded Pilchuck Glass School in Washington. With this international glass center, Chihuly has led the avant-garde in the development of glass as a fine art. His work is included in over two hundred museum collections worldwide. He has been the recipient of many awards, including ten honorary doctorates and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and has had exhibitions throughout the United States and around the world.

IIE presented its Women’s Global Leadership Award to philanthropist Angelica Berrie, in recognition of her commitment to supporting future leaders and advancing interfaith understanding worldwide. She has been instrumental in establishing the Pope John Paul II Center for Interreligious Studies at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome. This important interfaith initiative, implemented in partnership with IIE, provides the next generation of global religious leaders with a comprehensive understanding of and dedication to interfaith issues. It includes support for the Berrie Fellows Program, which provides graduate fellowships for interreligious study, the work of the Center’s director, interfaith leader Rabbi Jack Bemporad, and a visiting lectureship in interreligious studies. In addition, Ms. Berrie’s philanthropy supports an Israel Study Tour for the Fellows and facilitates an annual interfaith lecture by prestigious Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and Protestant leaders.

Former news anchor and Fulbright alumna Linda Vester was Mistress of Ceremonies for the event, which was generously underwritten by the Angelson Family Foundation.

The Gala co-chairs included: Mark A. Angelson – Deputy Mayor of Chicago; Maryam Panahy Ansary – IIE Trustee; Denise V. Benmosche – IIE Scholar Rescue Fund Board Member; Amy C. Brandt – CEO, Vantium Capital, Inc; Barbara Debs; Richard Debs – Trustee, IIE; Peter M. Gottsegen – Senior Partner, CAI Partners; Ruth Hinerfeld – IIE Trustee; S.A. Ibrahim – CEO, Radian Group Inc.; Henry G. Jarecki – Chairman, The Falconwood Corporation; Henry Kaufman – President, Henry Kaufman & Company, Inc.; Ilan Kaufthal – Senior Advisor, Irving Place Capital; Laya Khadjavi – Former Managing Director/Head of Global Markets, Morgan Stanley/Smith Barney; Thomas A. Russo – Executive Vice President and General Counsel, American International Group, Inc.

About the Institute of International Education

The Institute of International Education (IIE), a private not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. IIE designs and implements over 250 programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government and private sources. These programs include the Fulbright Student and Scholar programs, the Gilman International Scholarship Program, and the Humphrey Fellowships, administered for the U.S. Department of State, as well as corporate and foundation training and scholarship programs. IIE also conducts policy research, provides advice and counseling on international educational opportunities abroad, and provides emergency support to students and scholars in danger. The Institute of International Education has a network of 18 international offices worldwide and more than 1,000 college and university members.


IIE Gala Information

High resolution photos of the honorees are available upon request.

Visit Gala 2011 website 

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