A former prime minister and physician, and an eminent pioneer in the field of decision analysis are recipients of the 2008 Richard E. Neustadt and Thomas C. Schelling Awards. The awards will be presented May 15 during a private dinner at the Charles Hotel hosted by Dean David T. Ellwood of the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS).
Gro Harlem Brundtland, former director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) and former prime minister of Norway, will receive the Richard E. Neustadt Award, bestowed annually to an individual who has created powerful solutions to public problems, drawing on research and intellectual ideas as appropriate. Past recipients include Judith Gueron (2005), Muhammad Yunus (2006), and Justice Richard J. Goldstone (2007).
Howard Raiffa, the Frank P. Ramsey Professor of Managerial Economics Emeritus at Harvard University, will be presented with the Thomas C. Schelling Award, bestowed annually to an individual whose remarkable intellectual work has had a transformative impact on public policy. Past recipients include Judge Richard Posner (2005), Daniel Kahneman (2006), and Jagdish Bhagwati (2007).
Each recipient will be awarded a $25,000 prize.
The David Rubenstein Fund for Kennedy School Excellence has provided funding for the awards. The fund was established in 2004 by a generous $10 million gift from Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of the Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms.
“These awards are given in the names of two people who were central to the creation of the modern Kennedy School,” said Dean Ellwood. “It is in their spirit that we recognize this year’s remarkable recipients, both of whom have dedicated their professional careers to the pursuit of knowledge and serving the public. We are proud to honor their extraordinary contributions to our nation and our world.”
Brundtland is recognized for her enormous contributions on both the national and international stage. A medical doctor and master of public health (M.P.H.), Brundtland spent 10 years as a physician and scientist in the Norwegian public health system. She was named minister of the environment in 1974, and gained international recognition during the 1980s, championing the principle of sustainable development while serving as chair of the World Commission of Environment and Development. In 1981, at the age of 41, she was appointed prime minister of Norway for the first time. Overall, she served as head of the government for more than 10 years, stepping down in 1996. She served as director-general of WHO from 1998-2006, and now serves as a special envoy on climate change for United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Raiffa is recognized for his lifetime of work in the field of decision analysis. A mathematician by training, Raiffa is an originator of the now famous “decision tree,” and has done extensive research on developing techniques to help decision makers think more systematically about complex choices involving uncertainties and tradeoffs. As a scientific adviser to McGeorge Bundy, White House assistant for national security under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, Raiffa helped negotiate the creation of an East-West think tank with the aim of reducing Cold War tensions. He became a professor in 1960 and in 1964 was named to the Ramsey chair, a joint chair held by both the Harvard Business School and HKS.
The 2008 Neustadt and Schelling Awards Selection Committee is composed of:
• Vartan Gregorian (chairman), president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. He served as president of Brown University from 1989-1997; was a founding dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania and ultimately its provost; and served as president of the New York Public Library.
• R. Glenn Hubbard, Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics, and dean of the Columbia University Business School; former chairman of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisors.
• Donna Shalala, professor of political science and president of the University of Miami; former U.S. secretary of health and human services.
• Paul Volcker, former North American chairman of the Trilateral Commission; former chairman of the Board of Governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve System.
• Shirley Williams, member of Parliament in the British House of Lords; former public service professor of elective politics at HKS.
Richard Neustadt was the Douglas Dillon Professor of Government. An eminent presidential scholar and adviser to three U.S. presidents, Neustadt served as founding director of the Institute of Politics from 1965-1971. He served as associate dean of the Kennedy School until 1975. He died in November 2003.
Thomas Schelling, Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Political Economy Emeritus, is internationally renowned for his work on game theory, specifically in regards to the dangers of nuclear war. He received the 2005 Nobel Prize for Economics. Schelling has held various positions in the White House and the Executive Office of the President, and is now Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy.