The School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) presented its third annual global leadership awards March 4th to Madeleine K. Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State and Ambassador to the United Nations; Richard M. Smith, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Newsweek magazine; and to the Community Service Society of New York, an organization devoted to defeating the issues of poverty and strengthening the New York community.
Madeleine Albright is a Columbia University class of 1968 alumna, who earned a master's and a Ph.D. in public law and government. Columbia recognized Albright for her leadership role within the United Nations and at the Department of State, as well as her impact in shaping world events of the 20th and early 21st centuries.
"We could think of no better honoree for the Andrew Wellington Cordier Award for Distinguished Public Service than Madeleine Albright," said Lisa Anderson, SIPA Dean. "From her time spent at SIPA's Harriman Institute, to serving as history's highest ranking woman in our government, she has demonstrated her strong commitment to public service and to developing constructive U.S. policies abroad."
Richard Smith receives the Harvey Picker Award for Distinguished Public Service. "Rick has made Newsweek a premier global publication, bolstering the role of the fourth estate in our public discourse and setting a standard of excellence in journalism," confirmed Anderson. "It is enormously satisfying to know he graced SIPA's halls as an International Fellow in the late 1960s."
Two Columbia alumni, James Rubin, former Assistant Secretary at the Department of State (SIPA '84), and Michael Hoffman, SIPA Board Member (SIPA '73) presented the awards to Albright and Smith.
Each year SIPA also bestows an award on a non-profit, advocacy-based organization making a significant difference in bettering the lives of local, national or international communities. This year, David R. Jones, President of the Community Service Society (CSS) of New York, accepted the Schuyler C. Wallace Award for Distinguished Public Service from David N. Dinkins, former Mayor of New York City and Professor in the Practice of Public Affairs at SIPA.
"CSS is making an enormous contribution," said Anderson. "Daily, the organization marshals support for New Yorkers in need through a combination of advocacy and direct services in the areas of healthcare, housing, income security and the labor market. Given SIPA's mission of educating the next generation of public policy leaders, I am proud to see many of our graduates land at this remarkable institution."
Past SIPA global leadership honorees include Senator George Mitchell, Ted Turner, Human Rights Watch, former President of Columbia University George Rupp, Ambassador-at-Large for Argentina Martin Varsavsky, and The Nature Conservancy.