Samantha Power | As the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations and a member of President Obama’s Cabinet, Ambassador Power works to advance US interests and address pressing challenges to global peace, security, and prosperity. She has focused on issues including LGBT and women’s rights, the promotion of religious freedom and the protection of religious minorities, human trafficking, and democracy and human rights. She is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide.
Arthur K. Asbury | The Van Meter Professor of Neurology Emeritus at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine is renowned for his clinical and experimental studies of peripheral neuropathies, particularly those seen with chronic kidney failure, and in patients with diabetes mellitus and Guillain-Barré syndrome. He held many leadership roles at Penn after his arrival in 1973—as Chair of Neurology, Interim Dean and Executive Vice President of Penn’s Medical Center, and Vice Dean for Research and for Faculty Affairs.
Lee C. Bollinger | One of the country’s foremost First Amendment scholars, Bollinger has served since 2002 as Columbia University’s 19th president. He speaks and writes frequently about the value of racial, cultural, and socio-economic diversity to American society, and on the freedom of speech and press. From 1996 to 2002, as president of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, he led the school’s historic litigation in Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger, US Supreme Court decisions that upheld and clarified the importance of diversity as a compelling justification for affirmative action in higher education.
Joan Myers Brown | A former dancer, choreographer, and director, Brown is the founder and Executive Artistic Director of the Philadelphia School of Dance Arts and the Philadelphia Dance Company (aka PHILADANCO). For decades, she has worked on behalf of dancers seeking opportunities in professional mainstream dance, providing scholarships, housing, and more. A native Philadelphian, Brown founded the International Association of Blacks in Dance and the International Conference of Black Dance Companies.
Rita Moreno | A performing artist and star of film, stage, and television, Moreno is one of only a very few “EGOT” winners, having received all four of the entertainment industry’s most prestigious awards: the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. A native of Puerto Rico, Moreno has also been widely recognized by generations of children for her work on the highly regarded educational program The Electric Company, and for her appearances on Sesame Street and The Muppet Show.
Ellen Ochoa | A veteran astronaut and the 11th director of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman to go to space when she served on a nine-day mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1993. She went on to log nearly 1,000 hours in space over four missions as a mission specialist, flight engineer, and payload commander.
Cass R. Sunstein | An American legal scholar in the fields of constitutional, administrative, and environmental law, as well as law and behavioral economics, Sunstein has testified before congressional committees on many subjects, and has been involved in constitution-making and law reform activities in a number of nations. From 2009 to 2012, he served as the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.