NEW YORK, September 26, 2013—At the Institute of International Education’s Opening Minds Awards Gala on September 23rd at New York’s Cipriani Wall Street, more than 450 business, education, government, foundation and policy leaders celebrated the Institute’s mission of Opening Minds to the World® and recognized the 2013 award recipients’ role in advancing U.S.-Brazil educational exchange.
Her Excellency, Ms. Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil, was awarded the Henry Kaufman Prize for her emphasis on international education as a key driver of progress in Brazil. Created by the Institute of International Education’s Board of Trustees in honor of Dr. Henry Kaufman, IIE’s Chairman Emeritus, the Prize honors a national leader or public official for his or her work in promoting international education at the tertiary level. Brazil’s Education Minister, Aloizio Mercadante, accepted the award on Ms. Rousseff’s behalf. The prize honored her vision in establishing the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program. The program is a landmark initiative of the Brazilian government to grant over 100,000 scholarships for the best science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students from Brazil to study abroad at the world’s best universities. This prestigious scholarship program, administered by IIE in the United States, is funded by the government of Brazil and the private sector to strengthen science and technology skills and foster innovation and international cooperation in the country’s future workforce. To date, more than 4,000 students have studied at over 300 U.S. colleges and universities, and more than 1,000 of the students have undertaken internships at leading corporations and organizations. Many of the companies hosting interns served as sponsors of the event, including International Paper, Praxair, AbbVie, Chevron, Monsanto and Fitesa, as did a number of the universities most active in the program, including Rice University, New York Institute of Technology, St. Johns University and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
In accepting the award on Ms. Rousseff’s behalf, Mr. Mercadante said, “I consider this award an honor for the Brazilian people, who are the true protagonists of the economic achievements that our country has made.” He also affirmed the Brazilian Government’s long-term commitment to education citing a recently passed law through which 65 percent of oil royalties will be devoted to education over the next 35 years. “We want to transform a non-renewable wealth into a permanent wealth, which is the education of a nation.”
IIE President and CEO Allan E. Goodman lauded the key role that programs like the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program and the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright program play in furthering peace and progress globally. “America’s Fulbright program and Brazil’s Ciencia Sem Fronteiras program share a common vision when it comes to having the beneficiaries return to their home countries. Both are examples of the kind of brain circulation that wins Nobel Prizes, builds new cities and serves societies by what people learn from and about each other. Both contribute to improving the communities in which we live and, in the process, make the world we share a less dangerous place.”
Praxair, Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stephen F. Angel accepted IIE’s Opening Minds Corporate Leadership Award on behalf of his company in recognition of its leading role both on the Brazil – U.S. Business Council and as one of the founding corporate partners of the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program. Praxair has hosted 10 interns in each of the first two years of the program and has funded 10 scholarships each year for students. The students from Brazil that have interned at Praxair studied at campuses across the United States, including North Carolina State University, Auburn University, Clemson University, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Mr. Angel highlighted the importance of the Brazil program in nurturing top talent in STEM fields. “The Brazil Scientific Mobility Program provides STEM students the opportunity to learn from some of our nation’s best colleges and corporations – and it provides us with the opportunity to identify and recruit top talent early in their careers,” said Mr. Angel. “Our ongoing partnership with the program is critical to our ability to continue to hire the best and the brightest in all of our businesses around the world.”
Jeffrey Beers, a world renowned architect and designer, received The Fritz Redlich Alumni Award, which recognizes an outstanding alumnus of IIE-administered programs every year. Jeffrey Beers is Founder and CEO of Jeffrey Beers International (JBI). After applying for a Fulbright Fellowship while a student at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1979, Beers traveled to Brazil with a goal of investigating how the arts and architecture could have a more symbiotic relationship. In Brazil, he worked in the office of legendary architect Oscar Niemeyer. Upon returning to New York, Beers accepted a position as a Project Architect with I.M. Pei & Partners, where he managed hotel and entertainment properties throughout the world. In 1986, he founded his own firm. Since then, the award-winning studio has received recognition for its outstanding hospitality design as well as Beers’ ability to unite artistry and strategy to create highly successful spaces, from hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs to retail outlets, residences, and offices. He has undertaken projects in Asia, Europe, North and South America, and the Middle East, and is currently involved in the landmark restoration of the Gloria Palace Hotel in Rio de Janeiro.
The gala was attended by distinguished representatives of governments around the world: the 18th President of Portugal, Jorge Sampaio; U.S. Congresswoman Nita Lowey; The Honorable Henry Kissinger; Ambassador John Negroponte; and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Burkina Faso, Djibril Bassole.
The Angelson Family provided generous underwriting for the event. The Honorary Co-chairs of the Gala were: Maryam Panahy Ansary; Seth R. Bergstein, Managing Director, Head of Global Services Group, Investment Banking, Morgan Stanley; George J. Donnelly, Managing Partner, Lilo Ventures; Scott Freidheim, Chief Executive Officer, Europe, Investcorp International Ltd.; Peter M. Gottsegen, Partner, CAI ; Ruth Hinerfeld; S.A. Ibrahim, Chief Executive Officer, Radian Group Inc.; Henry G. Jarecki, Chairman, Board of Directors, The Falconwood Corporation; Thomas S. Johnson, Former Chairman and CEO, GreenPoint Financial Corp.; Henry Kaufman, President, Henry Kaufman & Company, Inc.; Laya Khadjavi, Senior Advisor, ICE Canyon LLC; Laurence C. Morse, Managing Partner, Fairview Capital Partners, Inc.; Thomas A. Russo, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, American International Group, Inc. and Linda Vester, Former Broadcast Journalist.
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 19 international offices and affiliates worldwide and more than 1,200 college and university members. More than 60 Fulbright alumni, IIE alumni, IIE trustees and advisers have received Nobel Prizes.