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Mission: Possible — Highlights from Our 16th Annual Gala

Published November 18, 2019

On Monday, November 11th, 2019, over 300 representatives of New York’s world-class scientific ecosystem gathered at Cipriani 25 Broadway to celebrate the Academy’s 16th annual Gala.

Academy President and CEO Ellis Rubinstein opened the event by announcing the Academy’s new partnership with Generation Unlimited (GenU), an inspirational initiative to empower over a billion young people with the skills they’ll need to become productive and engaged global citizens. He then introduced special guest Henrietta Fore, the Executive Director of UNICEF, who spoke about the vital role GenU will play in advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. In her remarks, Fore welcomed the new partnership with the Academy, and cited its Junior Academy program as an example of how we can combine technology with professional mentoring and skilling to support young people at scale, at a fraction of the cost of traditional education systems.


“There's simply no better investment in the future than investment in today's young people.”

— UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore


Following dinner, the Academy’s Chief Scientific Officer for Scientific Programs and Awards, Dr. Brooke Grindlinger, announced the honorees of the 2019 Blavatnik Regional Awards for Young Scientists. Dr. Grindlinger then welcomed each honoree to the podium, where the Blavatnik Family Foundation’s Peter Thorén presented them with their personalized medals.

After the awards ceremony, the Honorable Jerry Hultin, current Chair of the Academy’s Board of Governors, led a toast to Academy President and CEO Ellis Rubinstein. He was joined by Nobel Laureate and Academy Chair Emeritus Torsten Wiesel; Academy Chair Emeritus John Sexton; Academy Chair Emeritus Nancy Zimpher; and real estate developer Larry Silverstein, all of whom shared brief anecdotes about Ellis’s 17 extraordinary years of leadership at the Academy.

A photo album from the evening’s festivities can be found here.

Your Mission — should you choose to accept it — is to help the Academy close the Skills Gap by expanding STEM mentoring and education programs around the world!