May 4, 2009—"International exchange and educational programs like Fulbright, EMDAP, and others implemented by IIE play a critical role in bridging cultural divides and helping to restore the mutually respectful and constructive partnerships we need to address the ever broadening range of critical global challenges facing us all," said Her Majesty Queen Noor.
Learn more about the New Leaders Benefit
Her Majesty, Chair of the King Hussein Foundation, made these remarks while addressing an audience of 220 leading executives, diplomats, and philanthropists at the Institute of International Education (IIE) New Leaders Benefit "A Celebration of Fulbright," held on Monday, May 4 at Jumeirah Essex House in New York City. Honorees were Nathan Collett, Filmmaker and U.S. Fulbright to Kenya, and Alberto Vitale, Former Chairman & CEO of Random House and Italian Fulbright Alumnus.
Sponsored by Sandell Asset Management, the dinner brought together an impressive group of leaders - including IIE New Leaders Group co-founders Marianne Boesky, Doug Londal, Patrick McCloskey, Tom Sandell and Michael Rockefeller and Goldman Sachs philanthropy executive Dina Habib Powell - to raise awareness of the critical importance today of fostering mutual understanding between the United States and other countries around the world. The event also included 24 grantees of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. Department of State's flagship international educational exchange program administered by IIE since 1946, who are working on projects to advance international cooperation and address some of the more intractable problems of our time, such as poverty, disease, conflict, and violence.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I do not have to tell you we are living in challenging times. But, the fact is, this is our time, our only time…to do everything we can do to increase mutual cooperation and respect at every single level throughout the world," said Tom Sandell, President of the New Leaders Group, as he welcomed the guests.
The highlight of the evening was a special address by Her Majesty Queen Noor who gave remarks about the importance of international cooperation and developing young global leaders: "I am so heartened by the inspiring commitment of so many of our generation Y's/ the "Millenials" to reach outside of themselves, beyond their own self interest to contribute to the welfare of others, to sacrifice and invest in a more sustainable, healthy, hopeful future for coming generations. And their pivotal role in the selection of new visionary leadership for this country has provided a staunch partner I believe in achieving these goals. "
Her Majesty presented Nathan Collett with the third annual IIE New Leaders Group Award for Mutual Understanding, in recognition of his innovative use of media to encourage an open dialogue between the youth of urban slums in Nairobi and the youth of the USA. In accepting his award, Nathan remarked: "Mutual understanding across the boundaries of continents, nations, social class, religions and cultures takes time and collaboration. Thanks to IIE, the Fulbright Program and the New Leaders Group, a profound understanding between Kenya and the USA has been developed."
Also joining the event that evening was special guest Dina Habib Powell, Former Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, member of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, and Global Head of Corporate Engagement at Goldman Sachs.
To help the Institute pay tribute to Alberto Vitale, Dina unveiled an IIE Alumni Stamp featuring Vitale and honoring him for his outstanding achievements.
Over 50 years ago, Vitale came to the U.S. from Italy on a Fulbright fellowship to pursue a business degree at the University of Pennsylvania. During one mid-term break, he decided to write to 20 controllers and CFOs of a broad array of companies - including DuPont, IBM, GE - to ask if he could visit with them to learn about their financial and administrative organizations and systems. He received 20 affirmative replies and attributed this welcoming reception, and later his future success, to his Fulbright Fellowship.
Addressing the audience, Vitale noted: "The Fulbright Program and IIE are very close to my heart and have been instrumental in shaping both my personal and business life. Fulbright is empowering, opens doors, and is highly respected everywhere."
For over 90 years, IIE's mission has been to promote international cooperation and to develop leaders who are able to tackle the urgent problems of our world, such as poverty, disease, and terrorism, which can only be resolved on a global basis. Founded in 2002, the IIE New Leaders Group is helping to bring new energy and vision to this mission, which is more important today than ever before.
About the Institute of International Education
An independent non-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE is among the world's largest and most experienced international education and training organizations. More than 20,000 individuals from 175 countries participate in over 250 IIE programs each year. These programs include the renowned Fulbright Program, which IIE administers on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. IIE also has the privilege to serve as an administrative partner for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women program. A total of 60 IIE grantees have won the Nobel Prize.
About IIE New Leaders Group
Comprised of extraordinary emerging leaders in diverse fields, the IIE New Leaders Group brings new vision, energy and ideas to the work of IIE by encouraging young leaders to actively advance global cooperation and promote mutual understanding.
Learn more about the IIE New Leaders Group