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World Affairs Council-Washington, DC to honor the Jane Goodall Institute, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Marymount University, Blackboard Inc. and Republic of Colombia at annual HONORS: Global Education Gala

Dr. Jane Goodall to deliver keynote address at the 37th annual HONORS: Gala on March 29, 2017 in Washington, DC

WASHINGTON, DC (November 10, 2016) -- The World Affairs Council-Washington, DC (WAC-DC) annual HONORS: Global Education Gala is an event that recognizes organizations who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to global education, international affairs, and global communications. On March 29, 2017, WAC-DC will present five honorees with Awards that exemplify the mission of the Council, which is to empower educators and students to effectively compete, communicate, and lead in our diverse multicultural nation and worldwide.

“The Council, founded in 1980 is a non-partisan, educational organization dedicated to informing and educating Americans about the international events and issues that impact the United States and its relations with the world,” said Pat Gross, co-founder and former Chairman of the World Affairs Council-Washington, DC. “The HONORS: Gala is about recognizing and saluting organizations, who share our overall program mission priorities.”

Marymount University will receive the Educator of the Year Award and it will be accepted by Dr. Matthew Shank, President. “It is a tremendous honor for, and a testament to, our dedicated faculty, staff and students who strive daily to achieve the values of our vision that include  intellectual curiosity, service to others and global perspective,” said President Shank.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting will receive the Global Communications Award that will be accepted by Pat Harrison, President and CEO. “CPB’s support for public media journalism through NPR’s international reporting, Public Radio International, and PBS’s FRONTLINE and NewsHour programs helps to address the need of individuals in the United States and beyond to be informed, educated and connected to the world around them,” said Ms. Harrison. “This is an honor we accept on behalf of public media’s dedicated reporters and producers who provide trusted, accurate, fair, balanced, and objective coverage of international news.”

Blackboard Inc. will receive the Global Education Award. It will be accepted by the Chairman, CEO and President, Bill Ballhaus. “At Blackboard, we are passionate about education and understand the profound difference it can make in individuals’ lives and in society as a whole,” said Mr. Ballhaus. “That’s why we are committed to partnering with the global education community to drive student success.”

The Republic of Colombia will receive the Distinguished Diplomatic Service Award and it will be accepted by H.E. Juan Carlos Pinzón, Ambassador to the United States. “Colombia is a nation transformed and on the path to securing a stable and lasting peace that will ensure prosperity for future generations,” said Ambassador Pinzón. “We are deeply humbled by this recognition, and we look forward to building on our global dialogue and exchange of ideas with the World Affairs Council.”

The Keynote Address will be delivered by Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder – the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace, who will also receive the 2017 Global Ambassador Award. “The Jane Goodall Institute works to inspire people to take action to benefit other people, animals and the world we all share,” said Dr. Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute.  “We each have the power to make a difference every day and to be an ambassador of positive change for our world.  I am honored to receive the Global Ambassador Award from the World Affairs Council-Washington, DC in recognition of this work." 

Please join us as we honor international leaders in global education, international affairs and global communications. For reservations, sponsorship and program details, call 202.293.1051 or email for additional information.

Kristin Roach, Director-Global Communications,, 202-293-1051
Tony R. Culley-Foster, President and CEO,, 202-293-1051


The World Affairs Council-Washington DC is a non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to facilitating collaboration throughout the global education and international affairs community by developing informed geo-political insights and critical thinking with a global perspective; and providing programs to educate, enlighten and empower students, educators, professionals, the American public and international community. To learn more about the World Affairs Council-Washington, DC, and our social media sites, visit

Dr. Matthew D. Shank is Marymount University’s sixth president; taking office on July 1, 2011. Before coming to Marymount, Dr. Shank served for three years as dean of the School of Business Administration and professor of Marketing at the University of Dayton. During his tenure there, he led the revision of the MBA curriculum, created two Academic Centers of Excellence, established an MBA concentration and certificate in Cybersecurity, led the School through a successful AACSB reaffirmation, and designed a “Business and Marianist Values” Living/Learning Community for first-year students. He established a Center for Academic Success to provide student support in the areas of advising and career services; created a strategic diversity plan for the School; and started a nonprofit, student-run consulting business. Dr. Shank also raised more than $12 million for scholarships, centers, and programs within the School of Business. Prior to joining the University of Dayton, Dr. Shank was a faculty member at Northern Kentucky University, as chair of the Department of Management and Marketing.

Patricia de Stacy Harrison is the president and chief executive officer of The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the leading funder of public radio and public television programming for the American people. To formalize this commitment, Ms. Harrison established the first Diversity and Innovation Fund for public media — radio, television, online and mobile. Prior to joining CPB in 2005, Ms. Harrison served as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs and Acting Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. A former entrepreneur, Ms. Harrison is a frequent speaker and writer on the subjects of leadership, communication strategy and constituency building. Ms. Harrison received her B.A. from American University, Washington D.C., and an honorary doctorate from the American University of Rome in 2002.

Dr. William (Bill) Ballhaus is the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Blackboard, Inc. With his experience leading global technology businesses, Bill is deeply committed to developing an industry-leading suite of solutions and products serving students and educators, and innovating on their behalf to expand student reach and improve learning outcomes within the education community. Prior to joining Blackboard, he served as President and CEO of SRA International, where he fostered a culture of innovation that emphasized anticipating customer needs, and enhanced the company’s portfolio in cyber security, cloud computing, mobilization, agile system development, ERP and data analytics. Previously, Bill served as President and CEO of DynCorp International and he has also held senior leadership positions at BAE Systems, Boeing, and Hughes. Bill holds a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Davis and Master’s and Doctorate degrees in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University and he’s earned a Master’s degree in business administration from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA.

His Excellency Juan Carlos Pinzón serves as Ambassador of Colombia to the United States and he presented his Letters of Credence to the President of the United States on August 3, 2015. Throughout his career, Pinzón has been a leader in both the public and private sectors. Most recently, he served as Minister of Defense of Colombia for nearly four years. Under his leadership, the Armed Forces dealt the most severe blows to terrorist organizations, highly degrading their capabilities, structure and leadership, which was critical to President Santos’ Peace Strategy. Prior to serving as Defense Minister, Pinzón was Chief of Staff to President Juan Manuel Santos (2010–2011) and Vice Minister of Defense (2006-2009); he has also held positions as Senior Advisor to the Executive Director of the World Bank, Vice President of the Colombian Banking Association, Assistant Vice President of Investment Banking at Citibank, Private Secretary and Chief of Staff for the Ministry of Finance, and Economist for Colombia at Citigroup. He holds a Master of Science in Economics from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, and has completed advanced courses in international relations and strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University, and in science and technology at Harvard University.

Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE is founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace. Dr. Goodall dreamed of living in Africa with the animals from a very early age. Contrary to popular belief that women would not do well in the continent, her mother encouraged her to pursue her education. It was during her time in Kenya that she was hired as an assistant to Dr. Louis Leakey and she traveled with Louis and Mary Leakey to Olduvai Gorge for a fossil-hunting expedition. In 1965 National Geographic did a television documentary about Goodall, which promoted her international prominence and quieted her doubters; England’s Cambridge University awarded her an honorary doctorate that same year. In 1977, Jane founded the Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, Education, and Conservation; today she focuses her attention on a passionate campaign for chimpanzee conservation and research and she speaks against the nonessential use of chimps for medical research. While traveling the world, she gives speeches and raises money for the half-dozen chimpanzee refuges she has established in Africa.

Michael Norris (Chairman of the Board– World Affairs Council-Washington, DC, a Board member of Sodexo-Magic) is a strong advocate for the new performance frontier: Quality of Life and is committed to developing the next generation of STEM leaders – both women and men – and helping to prepare all young people entering the workforce to be successful. Before joining Sodexo, Mr. Norris spent nearly a decade with Loews Cineplex Entertainment US. Mr. Norris oversaw the repositioning of the brand to become the leading theater chain in top markets across the globe. Mr. Norris holds an M.B.A from the University of East London, London, England.

Patrick Gross (Co-Founder – World Affairs Council-Washington, DC and 2017 HONORS: Gala Chairman) is Chairman of The Lovell Group, a business and technology advisory and investment firm. Previously, he spent three decades as principal executive officer of American Management Systems, Inc. He founded AMS in 190 with four colleagues from the Office of the Secretary of Defense and built it to a $ 1 billion company with 8,000 professionals throughout North America and Europe. He is currently a director of three NYSE companies: Capital One Financial Corporation, Waste Management, Inc, and Rosetta Stone and three NASDAQ companies: Career Education Corporation, Taleo Corporation, and Liquidity Services, Inc. He is also an investor and director of numerous private, venture funded technology based firms. His other leadership positions include Trustee and Cochairman of the Policy and Impact Committee of the Committee for Economic Development, Trustee of the Aspen Institute, Director of the Jamestown Foundation and the Foreign Policy Association. He is a Trustee of the Federal City Council and a Director of DC Preparatory Academy, a charter school system. He is an elected member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Washington Institute for Foreign Affairs, and the Economic Club of Washington, DC.