In every nation there are great men and women who have, by the strength of their character and their own accomplishments, become ingrained in the citizenry’s consciousness. They are thinkers, doers, and risk-takers who have overcome adversity, found success, and stood up for the common good. We label them public servants and corporate citizens—in essence, they are leaders. Their legacies reflect the values of the United States' 28th President, Woodrow Wilson, a leader who believed that, "There is no higher religion than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest creed."
Since 1998, the Wilson Center has recognized such exemplary individuals with the Woodrow Wilson Awards. At dinner ceremonies held from Toronto to Tokyo and San Francisco to São Paulo, the Wilson Center honors those who through thoughtful discussion, generous philanthropy, and selfless service have made the world a better place for all of us.
The Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service
The Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service is given to individuals who have served with distinction in public life and have shown a special commitment to seeking out informed opinions and thoughtful views. Recipients of this award share Woodrow Wilson’s steadfast belief in public discourse, scholarship, and the extension of the benefits of knowledge in the United States and around the world. They have poured their time, talents, and resources into improving the lives and futures of others and in so doing have inspired us all. Honorees include policymakers, philanthropists, scientists, civic and religious leaders, and celebrities who have excelled in their fields while leaving a deep, positive impact on their communities and the world at large.
The Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship
The Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship is given to those executives who, by their examples and their business practices, have shown a deep concern for the common good beyond the bottom line. These corporate leaders have inherited Woodrow Wilson's commitment to scholarship, public discourse, and the promotion of knowledge both at home and abroad. They work tirelessly in the service of their belief that private firms should be good citizens in their own neighborhoods and in the world at large. They understand that good citizenship can come in many forms, such as promoting renewed growth and vigor in economically disadvantaged towns and neighborhoods, supporting the arts, encouraging ties between different sectors of society, promoting international cooperation and understanding, and improving education at all levels. Recipients of this prestigious award recognize the unique, enlightened role they can play in improving society in general, while at the same time advancing the long-term interests of their firms, employees, and shareholders.