Microsoft Alumni Foundation Announces 2011 Integral Fellows Award Winners

Bill and Melinda Gates present three nonprofit leaders with grants and support from the Microsoft Alumni Foundation
Nov 17, 2011 3:10 PM ET

(3BL Media / theCSRfeed) Seattle, WA – November 17, 2011 – Last night, at the Microsoft Alumni Foundation 2011 Celebration, Bill and Melinda Gates recognized the nominees, finalists and three award-winning Microsoft alumni as the 2011 Integral Fellows.  This is the third annual Foundation celebration honoring former Microsoft employees who have used their talents, time, and resources to make a meaningful difference in the daily lives of others. The Integral Fellows Awards Program winners receive an unrestricted $25,000 grant for their nonprofit organizations and access to the talents and skills of other alumni to help support their ongoing efforts.

“As a catalytic organization, the job of the Microsoft Alumni Foundation is to connect, inspire, and build a community of philanthropists,” said Marylou Brannan, Executive Director, of the Microsoft Alumni Foundation.  “We celebrate this year’s Integral Fellows winners and all the Microsoft alumni nominees for the work they and their nonprofit organizations are doing.  It is through their dedication and innovation that they are helping to change people’s lives.”

The three award winners and their nonprofit organizations are:

  • Oliver Hurst-Hiller -, Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President. Oliver is passionate about getting critical learning resources to students in high-need communities and empowering front-line educators to be innovators in the classroom.

  • Tom Ikeda – Densho, Founder and Executive Director. After digging deeper into the struggles and sacrifices barely mentioned in the history books, in 1996 Tom made the commitment to share the untold stories of Japanese Americans and founded Densho.

  • David Risher – Worldreader, Co-Founder. During a visit to the Perpetuo Socorro girl’s orphanage in Guayaquil, Ecuador, David observed piles of books inside its semi-abandoned library, and in that moment, David realized the profound impact that e-readers could have on the way the developing world learns to read.

The distinguished panel of judges included:

  • Phyllis Campbell, Chairman, Pacific Northwest Operations, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

  • William Drayton, Founder and CEO, Ashoka

  • Sanjay Gupta, Chief Medical Correspondent, CNN

  • Beth Kanter,  Author, NonProfit Social Media Innovator, Co-founder and partner, Zoetica

  • Eric Liu, Author, Educator and Civic Entrepreneur, Guiding Lights Network

  • Pierre Omidyar, Founder and Chairman, eBay Inc.

  • Tom Tierney, Co-founder and Chairman, The Bridgespan Group

Rigorous evaluation of the finalists recognized achievements that embody the values of the Microsoft Alumni Foundation: innovation; entrepreneurship; effectiveness; collaboration and integrity.  Additional criteria in selecting the winners included: the ability to create something extraordinary out of limited resources; selflessness; passion; smarts; need; and, scalability.

“It’s terrific to see such remarkable philanthropy and community service coming from our Microsoft Alumni,” said Jeff Raikes, CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  “The list of nominees for this award is a tremendous reminder of what great things can come when creativity, drive and passion are directed at problems facing our world.”

About the 2011 Integral Fellows Awards Program winners’ nonprofit organizations:

  • (New York, New York) - is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in engages the public in public schools by giving people a simple, accountable and personal way to address educational inequity. They envision a nation where children in every community have the tools and experiences needed for an excellent education.  Here's how it works: public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on Requests range from pencils for a poetry writing unit, to violins for a school recital, to microscope slides for a biology class. Then, browse project requests and give any amount to the one that inspires you. Once a project reaches its funding goal, delivers the materials to the school. Contributors get photos of their project taking place, a thank-you letter from the teacher, and a cost report showing how each dollar was spent.

  • Densho (Seattle, Washington)- Densho is a Japanese term meaning "to pass on to the next generation," or to leave a legacy. The legacy Densho offers is an American story with ongoing relevance: during World War II, the United States government incarcerated innocent people solely because of their ancestry. Densho uses digital technology to preserve and make accessible primary source materials on the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans.  Densho documents and makes available irreplaceable firsthand accounts, coupled with historical images and teacher resources, to explore principles of democracy and promote equal justice for all. Densho encourages use of the online resources to expand awareness of our country's diverse history, to stimulate critical thinking, to develop ethical decision-making skills, and to help ensure that democratic principles are upheld now and in the future. 

  • Worldreader (Seattle, Washington) – Worldreader’s mission is to make digital books available to all in the developing world, enabling millions of people to improve their lives.  They identify schools, train teachers, work with communities, and partner with publishers to bring millions of books to underserved children and families in the developing world. Worldreader measures success through increased reading rates, local content development, and business creation. Withemerging e-book technology sharply reducing the cost and complexity of delivering reading material everywhere, Worldreader is developing the systems and partnerships to get e-readers --- and the life-changing, power-creating ideas contained in e-books --- into the hands and minds of people in the developing world, where profit-seeking entities are not focused. 

About the Foundation:  The Microsoft Alumni Foundation was established to catalyze the collective power of the Microsoft Alumni family and leverage our resources to make a difference for others. Launched in 2007, the Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public nonprofit organization with its worldwide headquarters based in Bellevue, Washington, USA. Board members include: Jeff Raikes; Chuck Hirsch; Akhtar Badshah; Paul Shoemaker; Tony Audino; Sharon Maghie; Carla Lewis; Craig Bruya; Dawn Trudeau; and, Brad Smith.  The Executive Director is Microsoft Alumna Marylou Brannan.

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