Joseph Wins Gardner Prize for Social Entrepreneurship

Ambassador James Joseph, professor of the practice of PPS, was awarded the John Gardner Prize for Social Entrepreneurship at the first Encore Career Summit at Stanford University, Dec. 5-8, in Palo Alto, Calif.

The prize was awarded by Civic Ventures, a national think tank on work and social purpose. Civic Ventures hosted the summit, designed to inspire and recognize those discovering new ways of working in the second half of life for the benefit of their communities.

Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Civic Ventures, presented the award to Joseph before his talk, “Leadership in the Second Half of Life,” the closing speech at the summit. “Like Gardner, Jim Joseph has had a career ascending one peak of social innovation after another,” said Freedman.

The prize is named for John Gardner, who served as secretary of Health, Education and Welfare in the Johnson administration, helped launch Medicare, and founded the nonprofit Common Cause. It includes a $10,000 cash award and other support for social innovation.

Joseph was honored for his lifetime of social service and work in developing new programs in civic engagement and leadership. He is the founding executive director of the United States–Southern Africa Center for Leadership and Public Values at Duke University and the University of Cape Town. The center has graduated more than 100 emerging leaders who now occupy senior positions in the United States and Southern Africa. The center is also completing the first year of a leadership program for mid-career leaders in Louisiana, in partnership with the College of Business at Southern University in Baton Rouge.

Ambassador Joseph has served four U.S. presidents. He was appointed to the number two position in the Department of the Interior by President Jimmy Carter. He was a member of the advisory committee to the Agency for International Development under President Ronald Reagan, and was appointed an incorporating director of the Points of Light Foundation by President G.H.W. Bush. During the Clinton administration, Joseph was the first and only American ambassador to present his credentials to President Nelson Mandela.