July 30, 2002 - U.S. Newswire: Peace Corps Pioneer Harris Wofford to Receive Leadership Award

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By Admin1 (admin) on Wednesday, July 31, 2002 - 11:43 pm: Edit Post

Peace Corps Pioneer Harris Wofford to Receive Leadership Award

Read and comment on this Press Release from U.S. Newswire on Peace Corps Pioneer, first Ethiopia Country Director and former Senator Harris Wofford's recent award of a Leadership Award at:

Citizen Service Pioneer Harris Wofford to Receive the 2002 John W. Gardner Leadership Award from Ind...*

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Citizen Service Pioneer Harris Wofford to Receive the 2002 John W. Gardner Leadership Award from Ind...

Jul 30, 2002 - U.S. Newswire

WASHINGTON, July 30 /U.S. Newswire/ -- INDEPENDENT SECTOR has named Harris Wofford, a lifelong advocate for citizen service, as the 2002 recipient of the John W. Gardner Leadership Award. Wofford will receive the award and $10,000 at INDEPENDENT SECTOR's Annual Conference on October 28 in Cleveland, Ohio.

The John W. Gardner Leadership Award honors Harris Wofford for his commitment to public service. Wofford has dedicated his life to the goal of making citizen service a common expectation and experience for all Americans. He has held leadership positions in government, academia and the nonprofit sector. Wofford will be the first recipient of the Award since the demise of John Gardner earlier this year.

Several presidents have called Wofford into the service of his country, beginning with the Eisenhower administration where he served as counsel to the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh on the first U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. After helping launch the Peace Corps in 1961, Wofford held the post of special assistant to President John F. Kennedy, as well as chairman of the White House Sub-Cabinet Group on Civil Rights. Under the Johnson administration, he served as the Peace Corps Associate Director.

As a United States Senator from Pennsylvania from 1991 to 1994, he played a key role in constructing and working to pass legislation that created AmeriCorps, the Learn and Serve America program and the Corporation for National and Community Service. Appointed by President Clinton as the CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, from 1995 to 2001, Wofford was at the forefront of strengthening and encouraging volunteer service and civic engagement. In 1997, he played an instrumental role in organizing the Presidents' Summit for America's Future, which launched the America's Promise campaign for children and youth.

In 2002, he was named chairman of America's Promise.

"Harris Wofford leads the kind of life that committed individuals aspire to achieve. His distinguished career in education, law, politics and public service places him directly in the John Gardner tradition. It is only fitting that Mr. Wofford be the first recipient of the Award since John Gardner's death," said Sara E. Melendez, president and CEO of INDEPENDENT SECTOR.

Wofford has been both a law professor and president of the State University of New York at Old Westbury and of Bryn Mawr College. In the 1970s, he formed and chaired a panel to study the idea of national service, which produced the landmark report, Youth and the Needs of the Nation.

As Pennsylvania's Secretary of Labor and Industry in 1987, he established and led the Office of Citizen Service under Governor Casey, the first statewide comprehensive service program in the nation, which promoted school-based service-learning and youth corps programs. While in the governor's cabinet, he worked with a bipartisan group of the National Governors Association and with members of Congress to develop what would become the National and Community Service Act of 1990.

In 2000, Wofford convened and chaired the Working Group on Human Needs and Faith-Based Community Initiatives, a group of religious leaders, lawyers and First Amendment experts whose goal was to discover commonalities for the private sector and government to work together to meet community needs. The Working Group produced the report, Finding Common Ground.

Created in 1985, the John W. Gardner Leadership Award recognizes an American working in or with the voluntary sector, institutions and causes whose work has national or international impact in his or her field and contributes to the common good.

The award is named in honor of the Founding Chairperson and Chairperson Emeritus of INDEPENDENT SECTOR, John W. Gardner (1912- 2002). Gardner had an illustrious career in the nonprofit sector, education and politics. He had been President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York; Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare under President Johnson; and Founding Chairperson of Common Cause. He also served as a Consulting Professor at the School of Education at Stanford University.

Since 1999, the John W. Gardner Leadership Award has been supported by the William Randolph Hearst Foundations.


INDEPENDENT SECTOR is a nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition of more than 700 national nonprofit organizations, foundations, and corporate philanthropy programs, collectively representing tens of thousands of charitable groups in every state across the nation. Our mission is to promote, strengthen, and advance the nonprofit and philanthropic community to foster private initiative for the public good.


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