Inamori Ethics Prize Recipients

Previous Inamori Ethics Prize Winners from 2008 to 2023

As part of its mission to foster ethical leadership around the world, the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence presents the Inamori Ethics Prize Ceremony annually to an individual who has demonstrated exemplary ethical leadership. The Inamori Ethics Prize honors outstanding international ethical leaders whose actions and influence have greatly improved the condition of humankind.

Enjoy Inamori Ethics Prize event videos, photos, and transcripts for each winner!

Journalist, free-press and human rights advocate, Myroslava Gongadze, received the 2023 Inamori Ethics Prize.Her commitment to upholding justice and ensuring civil liberties—for people in Ukraine and around the world—and her persistent efforts to seek and speak the truth are an inspiration. Learn more

The Inamori Ethics Prize was not awarded in 2022. Instead, we spent a year in conversation exploring inequalities in healthcare. Please see our 2022-2023 Conversations on JUSTICE series for event videos, student reports, and resources, including a conversation with Jeff Eastman, CEO of Remote Area Medical, which was founded and led by the late Stan Brok, 2010 Inamori Ethics Prize recipient.

Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, a leading figure in international justice, humanitarian law, and human rights and the first woman to serve as president of the International Criminal Court (ICC), was awarded the 2020 Inamori Ethics Prize in 2021. Judge Fernández is the first Latinx Inamori Ethics Prize recipient and the first from South America. Learn more

During the 2020-21 academic year, the Inamori Center provided space for conversations on a topic of consequence: JUSTICE. We were able to draw on the insight and expertise of Inamori Ethics Prize winners (Judge Silvia Fernández, LeVar Burton, Farouk El-Baz, Marian Wright Edelman) as well as top scholars and practitioners in a thematic series of events and programming addressing the topic of JUSTICE from multiple perspectives, locally and globally. Learn more

Renowned actor Levar Burton was awarded the Inamori Ethics Prize in 2019 for his work with children’s literacy and AIDS research. He is the first recipient to be awarded the prize for ethical leadership in the Arts. Learn more

Space scientist and geologist Dr. Farouk El-Baz was awarded the Inamori Ethics Prize in 2018 for his work in geology and clear water advocacy. He has advised leaders around the globe, especially in Africa, on how to decrease dependence on strained water sources. Learn more

Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Washington, D.C.-based Children’s Defense Fund was awarded the Inamori Ethics Prize in 2017 for defending children’s rights and the disadvantaged. She has championed policies and programs to lift children from poverty, protect them from abuse and neglect and ensure their access to health care and quality education. Learn more

Peter Eigen is the founder of Transparency International and a pioneer of the global fight against corruption. He received the Inamori Ethics Prize in 2016 for developing and leading groundbreaking initiatives to improve governance and raise awareness of the devastating effects of corruption on economic growth, social welfare and justice. Learn more

Martha Nussbaum is a leading intellectual and philosopher who was awarded the Inamori Ethics Prize in 2015 for her research on moral and political theory, education, social equality, feminism, and ethics. Learn more

Physician and human rights activist Dr. Denis Mukwege received the Inamori Ethics Prize in 2014 for tirelessly working with and for women who have suffered excruciatingly traumatic and violent attacks in the name of war. He founded and works in Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, where he specializes in the treatment of women who have been raped by armed rebels. Learn more

Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, was awarded the Inamori Ethics Prize in 2013 for serving as a pioneer in corporate social responsibility. Chouinard has consistently made business decisions solely for the sake of the environment in his goal to, “create the best quality with the least impact.” Learn more

Environmentalist David Suzuki received the Inamori Ethics Prize in 2012 for his global leadership on issues of sustainable ecology and climate justice. In 1990, he co-founded the David Suzuki Foundation whose main missions are transforming the economy, protecting the climate, reconnecting with nature, and building communities of individuals who live healthier, more fulfilled and just lives. Learn more

Human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa received the Inamori Ethics Prize in 2011 for spending the last 20 years defending journalists and resisting government corruption in her home country of Zimbabwe. She also champions social causes such as eradicating AIDS and poverty, protecting the rights of women and children, and helping poor farmers wrongfully evicted from their land by the government. Learn more

Stan Brock was awarded the Inamori Ethics Prize in 2010 for his humanitarian and conservation efforts. He founded Remote Area Medical (RAM) to deliver free health care services to the United States and isolated regions around the world. Learn more

Former U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights Mary Robinson received the Inamori Ethics Prize in 2009 for her work as an advocate for global human rights, health care, sustainability and corporate responsibility. Most recently, Robinson founded the nonprofit organization Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative to promote equitable trade, humane practices in the work environment, corporate responsibility and women's leadership. Learn more

The inaugural Inamori Ethics Prize was awarded in 2008 to physician-geneticist Dr. Francis S. Collins, who was recognized for his principled leadership of the Human Genome Project and understanding of the project’s potential for improvement of humankind. Learn more