Veterinarians International Presidential Award Recipients
The VIP award is given to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional impact in the areas of human, animal, and/or environmental health.
Dr. Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall was born on April 3, 1934, in London, England. From earliest childhood, she was fascinated by animals and the Africa she discovered in the storybooks of Tarzan and Dr. Doolittle.
In 1957, she traveled to the Kenyan farm of a friend’s parents and met the famed anthropologist and paleontologist Dr. Louis Leakey. In 1960, at his invitation, she began her landmark study of chimpanzee behavior in what is now Tanzania. Her field research at what was then called Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve – most notably, her discovery that chimpanzees make and use tools – revolutionized the world of primatology and redefined the relationship between humans and animals.
In 1977, Dr. Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) to advance her vision and work around the world and for generations to come. JGI continues to work at Gombe Stream Research Center and is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. It is widely recognized for building on Dr. Goodall’s groundbreaking community-centered approach to conservation and development programs in Africa, and for Roots & Shoots, the global environmental and humanitarian youth program.
Dr. Goodall founded Roots & Shoots in 1991 with a group of Tanzanian students. The youth program connects more than 150,000 young people in nearly 100 countries, equipping them to take action to make the world a better place for people, animals, and the environment.
Today, she travels an average 300 days per year, speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees, other environmental crises, and her reasons for hope. In her speeches and books, she emphasizes the interconnectedness of all living things and the collective power of individual action, urging her audiences to recognize their personal responsibility and ability to effect change. “Every individual matters,” she says. “Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.”
Her eloquent ability to raise public awareness and understanding has become instrumental in her work to save chimpanzees from extinction. She is the author of numerous books that have engaged an international readership in her life with chimpanzees. Her life and work are the subject of numerous television documentaries, as well as the 2002 film Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees, and the 2010 documentary, Jane’s Journey. Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet has produced a number of features on Dr. Goodall, including Jane Goodall’s Return to Gombe, Jane Goodall’s State of the Great Ape, When Animals Talk, Jane Goodall’s Heroes, and Almost Human.
Dr. Goodall is the recipient of many honors, including the Medal of Tanzania, the National Geographic Society’s Hubbard Medal, Japan’s prestigious Kyoto Prize, the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science, the UNESCO 60th Anniversary Medal, and the Gandhi/King Award for Nonviolence. In April 2002, Secretary General Kofi Annan named Dr. Goodall a United Nations Messenger of Peace. In a 2004 ceremony at Buckingham Palace, she became a Dame Commander of the British Empire. In 2006, she received France’s highest recognition, the Legion of Honor.
For more information, please visit www.janegoodall.org.
Cornelia Guest has been passionate about animals and nature since she was a child. Her passion is reflected in every aspect of her life including her philanthropy, animal activism and business enterprises.
In 2009 she founded Cornelia Guest Events and Cornelia Guest Cookies, catering high-end charity and entertainment events with healthy, vegan dishes. Her mission is to encourage and inspire people to be conscious of the dietary
choices they make in their daily lives.
Cornelia has a line of cruelty-free bags, which she won the Fashion Group’s prestigious Rising Star Award for. Her bags are available on her website and in boutiques around the country. Her first book, “Simple Pleasures”
(Weinstein Company) is on stands and includes original recipes, decorating and party tips, and photos from throughout her life. She participated inthe Food Network’s hit show, Rachel v Guy and does correspondent work for EXTRA and Town & Country.
Cornelia has been able to use her media attention and professional contacts to support Humane Society of New York, and was named by Donna Karan as one of the Women Who Inspire. She was the face of PETA’s I’d Rather Go Naked
campaign, advocating against wearing fur. She was named Project Gravitas’s “Women of the Month” and helped designed a line of cruelty-free leather jackets and most recently partnered with Fabulous Furs to create a line of faux fur jackets. She also founded the Artemis Farm Rescue in 2016.
In 2017 she made the transition into acting and founded Cornelia Guest Productions. She can currently be seen in the Showtime series “Twin Peaks.”
Based in Sag Harbor NY Penni Ludwig spends much of her time weaving through the back roads, avoiding much of the summer Hamptons traffic hunting down hurt animals for the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center as one of their many on call volunteers. Her huge love for animals and conservation has grown across the globe. Working with African Parks for the largest translocation of African Elephants through Malawi. Sponsoring the first lions to return to Rwanda since their population was wiped out post-genocide, they have since had cubs of their own and the lion population in Rwanda is growing. Building fresh water wells in Sierra Leone to working with the World Heritage Foundation in India to maintain the UNESCO sites. Most recently Penni has been working with the passionate and dynamic team from Veterinarians International to establish the first mobile veterinary elephant clinic to serve the elephants in Surin, Thailand as a tremendous first step towards improving the lives of all the elephants and their mahout caretakers across Thailand. When not traveling with different charities and organizations or searching through brush for an injured turkey you can find her in her gold-smithing studio making jewelry.
Christie Brinkley – August 2016
Christie Brinkley has appeared on more than 500 magazine covers worldwide. She is also an artist, writer, photographer, designer, actress, philanthropist & environmentalist.
As a passionate humanitarian, Christie, along with her model daughter, Sailor Brinkley-Cook, traveled to South Africa and Kenya in 2013, in support of The First Lady of Kenya’s “Hands Off Our Elephant” Campaign and Anti- Elephant and Rhino Poaching Campaigns of The United States and South Africa. Christie was also one of the leaders in the worlds first International March for Elephants in New York City of October 2013.
She has also received many honors for her work protecting our health and the environment. She sits on the Board of Directors of The Global Security Institute and Radiation and Public Health Project, whose aim is to promote security thru the elimination of nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants. She has spoken on their behalf at both the United Nations, and the U.S. Senate. She wants all kids to get an education and to that end, has created a Scholarship Fund at Ross School in EH, NY.
Lifetime Achievement Award – August 2016
Richard Lair has lived and worked with Asian elephants, and has been a member of the IUCN/SSC AsESG, the UN’s Asian Elephant Specialist Group for over 30 years. He wrote the first scientific paper on the numbers and status of Thai domesticated elephants, and in 1997 wrote Gone Astray: The Care and Management of the Asian Elephant in Domesticity, for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. He is working on a review of Thai law on both wild and domesticated elephants. Richard Lair has been interviewed on many television shows (BBC, Animal Planet, National Geographic, The Daily Show) and his work has been featured in TIME magazine, the New York Times, and others
Andy Sabin is a passionate environmentalist and dedicated philanthropist. As president and CEO of Sabin Metal Corporation and founder of Sabin Commodities, Andy has used his business acumen to fund important environmental projects throughout the world and most especially on the East End of Long Island where he is a substantial supporter of the YMCA in East Hampton.
Andy’s passion to preserve our air, water, flora and fauna earned him the title of “Salamander Commander” when he was the first to document the endangered Eastern Tiger Salamander on Long Island. Two frogs have been named for Andy: Centrolene sabini also known as the Sabin Glass Frog and Aphantophryne sabini, a frog species endemic to Papua New Guinea. A recently discovered Rhampholean sabinii pigmy chameleon will be named for Andy in 2015.
In 1988, Andy created the South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center our of his concern for the area’s fragile ecosystem, to increase public awareness of this issue and to share the joy of learning about and exploring nature.
As a trustee and treasurer of the Evan Frankel Foundation, Andy made grants in excess of $18 million for the humanities and the environment. He realized Evan Frankel’s vision to create a cemetery connected to the Jewish Center of the Hamptons that is a quiet place of spirituality and natural beauty.
In 2008 with the goal of making his philanthropy more impactful, Andy established the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation inspiring his family to become more involved in philanthropy. Each year the ASFF makes more than 200 grants that focus on the environment and preservation of amphibian and reptilian species and their habitats.
Andy’s philanthropy is extensive and includes funding cancer research at MD Anderson Cancer Center and genetic research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. In addition the ASFF has funded the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, the Emmet Center in Climate Change at UCLA School of Law, The Yale Center for Business and Environment with an annual $25,000 prize for the most promising sustainable related start-up and a significant number of scholarships at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Science to international graduate students who commit to continue their work back in their home countries.
Andy is a great friend of Veterinarians International where his loyal support has been integral to our continued success.
Gerald Barad is a second generation hotelier, co-owner of the Triumph Hotels brand and has been an active investor in commercial and multifamily residential real estate in New York City for over 20 years.
In February 2014, with his business partner Shimmie Horn, Barad united seven iconic boutique properties to form the Triumph Hotels brand: The Iroquois New York in Midtown, Hotel Chandler in the Flatiron District, Hotel Belleclaire on the Upper West Side, the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Tribeca, The Evelyn Hotel in NoMad, The Hotel Edison in Times Square and the Washington Jefferson Hotel in the Theater District.
In addition to his prominent role in New York City hotels, Barad is the founder of Generations Against Genocide, a non-profit organization that draws upon the lessons of the Holocaust to bring attention to the plight of genocide victims worldwide.
In Sept 2014 Barad opened Castillo Rojo, an iconic local mansion converted into a boutique hotel in Santiago, Chile. While in Chile he noticed the plight of free roaming dogs and felt compelled to try to make a difference. After meeting Dr. Magda, Barad decided to become one of the founding members and supporters of VI. His contribution enabled VI to fund the salaries of 2 veterinarians, and purchase $8000 of medical supplies for our Chilean partner, the Global Alliance for Animals and People in 2015.
Barad received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Emory University and a graduate degree in social work from the University of Southern California.