The Carnegie UK Trust has announced the 2013 winners of the Andrew Carnegie Medals of Philanthropy, which are awarded every two years to families and individuals around the world who, like Andrew Carnegie, have dedicated their private wealth to the public good. This year's winners are Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser of Qatar; Scottish entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter; U.S. mathematician and hedge fund founder Dr. James Simons and his wife, Dr. Marilyn Simons; Russian businessman and scientist Dr. Dmitry Zimin; and Dame Janet Frances Wolfson de Botton, CBE, on behalf of the Wolfson family, founders of the Wolfson Foundation.
The 2013 medalists have established and supported nonprofit organizations in the United States and abroad that span the fields of education, science, entrepreneurship, and the arts. Sheikha Moza bint Nasser serves as chairperson of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development, and from 2006 to 2012 served as vice chair of Qatar's Supreme Council of Health and as vice chair of the country's Supreme Education Council. She also helped launch the International Fund for Higher Education in Iraq; the Silatech initiative, which aims to address the growing challenge of youth employment in the Middle East and North Africa; and Education Above All, a policy research and advocacy organization concerned with protecting the right to education in conflict-affected areas.
Dame Janet Wolfson de Botton, chair of the London-based Wolfson Foundation since 2010, is the daughter of Lord Wolfson of Marylebone who, with his parents, established the foundation in 1955. The Wolfson Foundation supports and promotes excellence in the fields of science and medicine, health, education, and the arts and humanities, and, over the almost sixty years of its existence, has awarded more than £750 million in grants to some ten thousand projects, including £110 million in the last three years alone.
The co-founder and former president and CEO of the second-largest telecom business in Russia, Dr. Dmitry Zimin spent thirty-five years at leading scientific positions in one of the former Soviet Union's military-industrial establishment institutes. In 2001, he established the Dynasty Foundation, whose principal purpose is the funding and popularization of basic academic science in Russia.
Mathematician and hedge fund founder Dr. James H. Simons and his wife, Dr. Marilyn H. Simons, are the founders of the New York City-based Simons Foundation, which is dedicated to advancing the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences. The foundation's philanthropic activities include a major research initiative on the causes of autism and the establishment of an institute for research in mathematics and theoretical physics. The foundation is particularly interested in the relationship between the physical and life sciences and has established several endowed research programs at universities and institutions in the U.S. and abroad.
Sir Tom Hunter was knighted in 2005 for services to entrepreneurship and philanthropy. The son of a shop owner, Hunter started his first business, selling sports shoes from the back of a van, with a £5,000 loan from his father and built the business into Europe's largest independent sports retailer. Sir Tom and his wife, Lady Marion Hunter, went on to establish the Hunter Foundation, which is guided by the ideas that philanthropy is not a substitute for government investment and that the poorest individuals in society require a "hand up," not a "hand out."
"Andrew Carnegie was the greatest export of Scotland to America, and we are delighted he did not forget his beloved Scotland as he helped lay the foundation for modern philanthropy," said Carnegie Corporation of New York president Vartan Gregorian, who also serves as president and chairman of the Carnegie Medal Selection Committee. "As we of the Carnegie institutions celebrate his legacy, we all remember his admonition that with wealth comes responsibility. Our Medal of Philanthropy honorees have embraced that philosophy. The legacies of Andrew Carnegie and our honorees can be found in science, education, libraries, museums, and universities all over the world. They are a great tribute to humanity and its potential."