The 2011 James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award
James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award recipient Jeff Skoll. Jeff Skoll, a preeminent visionary and champion of global peace and prosperity, will be honored this fall by The Tech Awards, a signature program of The Tech Museum, for his unending quest to find the answers to some of humanity's most pressing challenges ranging from climate change to water scarcity to nuclear proliferation.
Jeff Skoll will be honored on October 20 in Santa Clara, Calif., at the Santa Clara Convention Center during The Tech Awards gala, an annual celebration presented by Applied Materials. In addition to the humanitarian award, 15 laureates will be honored at the gala for creating innovative technology solutions to address some of the most urgent issues facing our planet.
Presented by Applied Materials, The James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award honors individuals whose broad vision and leadership help to combat today's critical issues. Skoll joins an august roster of award recipients that includes education and cross-cultural dialogue advocate Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, Nobel Laureate and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Applied's Chairman Emeritus James C. Morgan, who inspired the award.
"The Global Humanitarian Award is personally very meaningful to me for two primary reasons. Even when I was a young engineer, I really believed that technology could help improve people's lives. It's the great enabler. It gives voice to the voiceless, it empowers people, and it connects them," Skoll said. "The second reason is the company that it keeps. When I look at the list of past recipients, these are all people who I've worked with directly, and I deeply respect the work they're doing. So, it's very humbling to be considered alongside these great humanitarians."
Skoll was the first full-time employee and first president of eBay, the world's largest on-line marketplace, headquartered in Silicon Valley. He went on to create the Skoll Foundation in 1999, which quickly became the leading foundation for social entrepreneurship. Its flagship program, the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship, currently supports 81 leading social entrepreneurs whose work serves the neediest populations in more than 100 countries.
In 2009, Skoll founded the Skoll Global Threats Fund, whose initial focus includes five global issues - climate change, water scarcity, pandemics, nuclear proliferation and the Middle East conflict.
According to The Tech Museum officials, Skoll's unselfish work for the greater good of humanity made him this year's best candidate for this coveted award. "Jeff Skoll personifies the true essence of the Global Humanitarian Award," said museum board member and Interim President Mike Hackworth. "His work around the world is effective, empowering and far-reaching. We should all aspire to contribute with Jeff Skoll's incredible commitment and persistence."
Skoll will accept the top honor at the Santa Clara Convention Center on October 20 during The Tech Awards gala, presented by Applied Materials, in association with the Center for Science, Technology and Society at Santa Clara University. The award will be presented at a ceremony that also recognizes 15 innovators from around the world who apply technology in creative and practical ways to solve entrenched problems in health, education, environment, economic development, and equality. Since the inception of The Tech Awards program in 2000, 230 laureates have been recognized.
"Each year, the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award is given to a leader who motivates others to take action. Jeff's personal commitment to philanthropy and his passion for helping people by creating thought-provoking films is worthy of this high recognition." said Mike Splinter Chairman and CEO of Applied Materials.
Skoll also founded Participant Media in 2004. Participant's films partner with advocacy campaigns to engage social action on issues addressed in their award-winning films. Skoll has served as an executive producer on more than 25 films including The Kite Runner, An Inconvenient Truth and Waiting for Superman, which have collectively received four Academy Awards and 18 nominations.
"The Tech community has incredible innovations, ideas, and ingenuity," Skoll said. "By uniting us in our collective self interest, we can make a better world for everyone."