Past Prize Recipients

For more information, see the list of winners below.

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. Read 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. Read 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. Read 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. Read 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. Read 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. Read 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.” Read 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. Read 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. Read 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. Read 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. Read more

The inaugural Inamori Ethics Prize was awarded in 2008 to physician-geneticist 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. Read more