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Cambridge, MA — A federal judge and a respected social policy writer and scholar were honored during the inaugural Richard E. Neustadt and Thomas C. Schelling Awards ceremonies Friday night at The Charles Hotel. The event was hosted by Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Judith M. Gueron, immediate past President of the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC), was presented with the Richard E. Neustadt Award, bestowed annually to an individual who has created powerful solutions to public problems, drawing on research and intellectual ideas as appropriate.
Judge Richard A. Posner, who serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Court in Chicago, was presented with the Thomas C. Schelling Award, bestowed annually to an individual whose remarkable intellectual work has had a transformative impact on public policy.
Both recipients were awarded a $25,000 prize.
Funding for the awards has been provided by the David Rubenstein Fund for Kennedy School Excellence. The fund was established in 2004 by a generous $10 million gift from David M. Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of the Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms.
“The Kennedy School could not have picked more appropriate inaugural winners for the Neustadt and Schelling Awards,” Rubenstein commented. “The public policy world is very much in their debt for extraordinary work over many years.”
"These awards are designed to recognize people who achieve the highest standard of excellence and public service. We honor people who use reason, exceptional wisdom, and evidence to understand and solve public problems." said Kennedy School Dean David Ellwood.
Judith M. Gueron joined MDRC as founding research director in 1974, and served as its president from 1986 through August 2004. Under her leadership, MDRC, with its mission to design and evaluate education, employment and social welfare programs, became one of the nation’s most prominent public policy organizations. A Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, Gueron is a nationally recognized expert on employment and training, poverty, and family assistance. She received her B.A. summa cum laude from Radcliffe College in 1963 and her Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 1971.
Richard A. Posner was appointed Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 1981, and served as Chief Judge from 1993-2000. He also currently serves as Senior Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School. Prior to his appointment to the Court, Posner worked for several years in Washington during the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations. During his career, Posner has authored 30 books and more than 300 articles and book reviews. His academic work has included studies in the economics of criminal law, labor law, and intellectual property; in jurisprudence, law and literature; and in the economics of sexuality and old age. Posner graduated summa cum laude from Yale College in 1959; and he graduated first in his class from Harvard Law School in 1962, magna cum laude.
Richard E. Neustadt and Thomas C. Schelling are considered founding fathers of the Kennedy School of Government.
Neustadt, Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Emeritus, was an eminent presidential scholar and advisor to three U.S. presidents who served as founding director of the Institute of Politics from 1965-71. He served as associate dean of the Kennedy School until 1975. He died in November 2003.
Schelling, Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Political Economy, Emeritus, was a founding faculty member of the Kennedy School in 1969. His work on game theory, specifically in regards to the dangers of nuclear war, is internationally renowned. He has held various positions in the White House and the Executive Office of the President, and is now Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy.