The University of Chicago has a long tradition of honoring distinguished and committed alumni who have shaped the world and strengthened our global alumni community. On Nov. 8, the Alumni Association and the Alumni Board will honor seven alumni for their scholarly and professional achievements by bestowing the Alumni Medal, Alumni Professional Achievement Awards and Early Career Achievement Awards.
One of the University’s highest alumni honors, the Alumni Medal recognizes achievement of an exceptional nature in any field, vocational or voluntary, covering an entire career. Traditionally, the medal has not been given in recognition of a single remarkable achievement but has been reserved for those alumni who have attained and maintained extremely high stations in their chosen fields of endeavor and in their service to society. This year’s winner is Piotr Steinkeller, PhD’77.
Steinkeller has been teaching in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University since 1981. He is a leading Assyriologist and has authored, coauthored or edited 10 books and some 140 articles. His academic interests center on ancient Mesopotamia during the third millennium BCE. Most of his work in that area is concerned with the aspects of the socioeconomic life of Mesopotamia during that stage of its history, such as social stratification, labor, agriculture, taxation, law, trade, material culture and the history of the ancient Mesopotamian natural environment. A former scholar at UChicago’s Oriental Institute, he also has written extensively about the political history of early Mesopotamia and Iran, the historical geography of Middle Asia, and the development of the Sumero-Akkadian religion.
Alumni Professional Achievement Awards
Alumni Professional Achievement Award recipients are accomplished luminaries in any professional field. These alumni’s achievements have brought distinction to themselves, credit to the University and real benefit to their communities. This year’s winners include:
Otis Webb Brawley, SB’81, MD’85, is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Oncology and Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University and the former chief medical and scientific officer of the American Cancer Society. He is an authority on cancer screening and prevention and leads a broad research effort of cancer health disparities at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, focusing on how to close racial, economic and social disparities in the prevention, detection and treatment of cancer.
Bill Browder, AB’85, was the largest foreign investor in Russia until 2005, when he was denied entry to the country for exposing corruption in Russian state-owned companies. In 2009 his Russian lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, was killed in a Moscow prison after uncovering and exposing a $230 million fraud committed by Russian government officials. Browder has spent the last eight years conducting a global campaign to impose visa bans and asset freezes on individual human rights abusers, particularly those who played a role in Magnitsky’s false arrest, torture and death. The United States was the first country to impose these sanctions with the passage of the 2012 Magnitsky Act. In February 2015 Browder published The New York Times best-seller Red Notice, which recounts his experience in Russia and his ongoing fight for justice for Magnitsky.
Jaime Chico Pardo, MBA’74, is considered one of the leading businessmen in Mexico. In 2006, he was appointed chairman of Telmex and cochairman of IDEAL, a publicly listed company in the business of investing and managing infrastructure assets in Latin America. He was vice chairman and CEO of Telmex, a position he held since 1995. Prior to joining Telmex he was chairman and CEO of Grupo Condumex; CEO of Euzkadi/General Tire of Mexico; and operating partner of the investment bank Fimbursa. Before joining Grupo Carso, he developed a career in international banking at Banamex and started an investment bank, IFI de México, in 1984. In 2011 he started a new venture with the incorporation of Grupo Enesa, a private equity fund specializing in the energy and health care sectors.
Lucy A. Williams, JD’74, is a professor of law at Northeastern University Law School, faculty director of its Center for Public Interest Advocacy and Collaboration, and co-director of its Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy. She previously practiced law for 17 years on behalf of people on the West Side of Chicago and later at Massachusetts Law Reform Institute. Williams has served as a fellow of the Comparative Research Programme on Poverty in Norway, is the convener of the “Community of Practice on International Poverty Law” under the auspices of the World Bank’s Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development, and serves on the advisory board of Nazdeek, a legal capacity-building organization committed to bringing access to justice closer to marginalized communities in India.
Early Career Achievement Awards
The Early Career Achievement Award winners similarly demonstrate outstanding achievements and recognize professional achievement or creative leadership in any field by alumni aged 40 or younger. This year’s winners include:
An Emmy Award-winning journalist, Rebecca Jarvis, AB’03, is ABC News’ chief business, technology and economics correspondent. She is also the host and creator of The Dropout, a top-rated podcast which chronicles the rise and fall of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes; and the host and creator of the highly acclaimed podcast No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis, which features game-changing women. Jarvis reports for all ABC News programs including Good Morning America, World News Tonight with David Muir, Nightline, 20/20 and This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
Carl Streed Jr., SB’07, is an assistant professor of medicine in the Section of General Internal Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and research lead in the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery at Boston Medical Center. He earned his medical degree from Johns Hopkins, where he advocated for the inclusion of sexual and gender minority (SGM) health, increased the visibility and value of SGM communities through community advocacy, and achieved transgender equity in health insurance coverage. Nationally, he has chaired the American Medical Association Advisory Committee on LGBTQ Issues and served on the board of GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality.