The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, in Agoura Hills, California, has announced the death of Judy M. Miller, who served as vice president and director of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize for eighteen years.
Starting in 1998, Miller oversaw all aspects of the Hilton Humanitarian Prize — at $2 million, the world's largest humanitarian award — from the nomination and evaluation process to the final selection of recipients by an independent international panel of jurors. In 2015, on the twentieth anniversary of the prize, which is awarded to organizations judged to have made extraordinary contributions to alleviating human suffering, the foundation created the Hilton Prize Coalition, a network of laureates and other humanitarian organizations, and launched two new initiatives.
Last fall, in an interview with Foundation Center's Glasspockets initiative, Miller said that over the years it had become clear there was value in further developing the network Hilton prize-winners had begun to form on their own and that strengthening those bonds could only magnify their organizations' efforts to alleviate human suffering. "Given today's global challenges, often many issues are simply too large or complex for any single organization to handle, particularly in such areas as disaster response, where collaboration in the field is essential for impact and efficiency," said Miller. "We recognized the unique opportunity for our laureates to join forces in the field because they already know and respect each other's accomplishments, and each organization's work is very diverse so they can address multiple areas of need."
Miller, who had a four-decade career in communications and marketing before joining the foundation, was a pioneering advocate for women's rights. In 1975, she became the first woman executive to work for a major Japanese corporation; in 1981, she was the first woman to work openly with men in Saudi Arabia, and she later represented the King Faisal Foundation's annual King Faisal International Prize. Miller also served for eight years as commissioner of the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power and received several awards for her work to improve the lives of women and girls.