59th Street Bridge in New York City viewed through a branches with flowers in spring

The David Rockefeller
Bridging Leadership Award

Bridging leadership represents a paradigm shift in our approach to leadership: a movement away from less-inclusive forms of decision-making that have dominated much of human history.

In our increasingly interconnected world, this form of leadership is essential for creating the collaboration needed to solve local, national and global challenges.

The Bridging Leadership Award was first presented in 2003 to David Rockefeller, for whom it is now named.

Each year, philanthropists, social investors, and business, government, and nonprofit leaders gather to recognize leaders who exemplify this inclusive approach to solving complex problems.


David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award 2023
Tuesday, May 9 at the Guastavino's in New York City
Honoring Kluane Adamek, Yukon Regional Chief, Assembly of First Nations; Dr. Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland; and Jochen Zeitz, Chairman, President and CEO, Harley-Davidson, Inc.

David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award 2022
Wednesday May 11 at the Gotham Hall in New York City
With André Hoffmann, Vice Chairman, Roche Holding, Alyse Nelson, President, CEO & Co-Founder, Vital Voices Global Partnership, and Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation

David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award 2021
Tuesday, October 12 at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City
With Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, Co-chair, Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, and Cherie Nursalim, Special Advisor on Climate in the Government of Indonesia

David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award 2020
Tuesday, October 27 online
With Marc Benioff, Founder, Chair & CEO of Salesforce, Christiana Figueres, Founding Partner of Global Optimism, and Eddie Ndopu, the UN Secretary-General’s Global Advocate for Sustainable Development

David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award 2019
Tuesday, May 7 in New York City
With the Global Sustainability Network and Saru Jayaraman, co-founder of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United.

David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award 2018
Tuesday, May 8 in New York City
With Carlos Rodriguez-Pastor, founder, Innova Schools, Ernesto Garilao, President, Zuellig Family Foundation, and Corazon Soliman, former Secretary of Social Welfare and Development of the Philippines.

University for a Night 2017
Wednesday, May 10 in New York City
With Mo Ibrahim and Hadeel Ibrahim of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and Ma Jun of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs.

University for a Night 2016
Wednesday, May 4 in New York City
With Othman Benjelloun and Dr. Leïla Mezian Benjelloun of BMCE Bank Foundation and Kennedy Odede and Jessica Posner Odede of Shining Hope for Communities.

University for a Night 2015
Wednesday, May 6 in New York City
With Ratan N. Tata, Chair of the Sir Ratan Tata Trust and the Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust and former Chairman of the Tata Group, and Angélique Kidjo, West African singer and songwriter, activist, UNICEF International Goodwill Ambassador, and Founder of Batonga.

University for a Night 2014
Tuesday, April 8 in New York City
With Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, the Honorable Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance of Nigeria, and the Honorable Simão Jatene, Governor of the State of Pará, Brazil.

University for a Night in Europe 2013
Tuesday, October 8 in Geneva
With Güler Sabanci, Chair of Sabanci Holding and of the Sabanci Foundation.

University for a Night 2013
Monday, May 20 in New York City
With entrepreneur, philanthropist, and 108th Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg and composer, philanthropist, and author Peter Buffett.

University for a Night in Europe 2012
With His Highness the Aga Khan, Chair of the Aga Khan Development Network.

University for a Night in Africa 2012
With Mohammed “Mo” Ibrahim, Founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

University for a Night 2012
With Bill Clinton, Founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States.

University for a Night in Africa 2011
With Mamphela Ramphele.

University for a Night 2011
With Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, African Women’s Development Fund, and Jennifer and Peter Buffett, the NoVo Foundation.

University for a Night in Africa 2010
With Nahas Angula, Prime Minister of Namibia; Wendy and Raymond Ackerman, South African entrepreneurs and philanthropists; and Alice Mogwe, Director of Ditshwanelo - The Botswana Centre for Human Rights.

University for a Night 2010
With Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Unite, and Zainab Salbi, Founder of Women for Women International.

University for a Night in Africa 2009
With Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, African Women’s Development Fund and Synergos Senior Fellow; Achmat Dangor, Nelson Mandela Foundation and Synergos Senior Fellow; Graça Machel, Foundation for Community Development; and Precious Moloi-Motsepe, Synergos Southern Africa Board Member.

University for a Night 2009
With Kofi Annan, Seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations and Founder, Kofi Annan Foundation; Sheela Patel, Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres, Shack/Slum Dwellers International; and Guilherme Leal, Natura Cosméticos.

University for a Night 2008
With Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan; Fazle Hasan Abed of Bangladesh, BRAC; Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Laureate, Green Belt Movement; and Jeff Skoll, eBay, Skoll Foundation and Participant Media.

University for a Night 2007
With Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa, Bill Gates, Melinda French Gates and William H. Gates Sr., Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mariclaire Acosta, Organization of American States, Raymond Chambers, Malaria No More, and Rajesh Tandon, Society for Participatory Research in Asia.

University for a Night 2006
With Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, Ted Turner, United Nations Foundation, Charles A. Minor, Government of Liberia, E. Neville Isdell, The Coca-Cola Company, and Ingrid Srinath, Child Rights and You.

University for a Night 2005
With Corazon C. Aquino, Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Foundation and former President of the Philippines, James D. Wolfensohn, Special Envoy for Gaza Disengagement and former President of the World Bank, Hafsat Abiola-Costello, Kudirat Initiative for Democracy, Robert H. Dunn, Business for Social Responsibility, and Surakiart Sathirathai, Royal Thai Government.

University for a Night 2004
With John C. Whitehead, Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, and the Foundation for Community Development of Mozambique.

University for a Night 2003
With David Rockefeller; Bruce Klatsky, Phillips-Van Heusen; Corazon Juliano-Soliman, Social Welfare and Development of the Philippines; President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria; Graça Machel, the Foundation for Community Development of Mozambique; and Eveline Herfkens, the Millennium Development Goals Campaign.

University for a Night 2002
With William B. Harrison, Jr., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.; Helio Mattar, Abrinq Foundation for Children's Rights; Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, United Nations Population Fund; and Tokyo Sexwale, Mvelaphanda Holdings.

University for a Night 2001
With Maria Isabel Baquerizo de Noboa, First Lady of Ecuador; Marian Wright Edelman, Children's Defense Fund; Louise Frechette, The United Nations; and Phil Watts, Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies.

University for a Night 2000
With Ruth Cardoso, First Lady of Brazil; Richard A. McGinn, Lucent Technologies Inc.; Charles A. Heimbold, Jr., Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; and Mark Malloch Brown, United Nations Development Programme.

University for a Night 1999
With Michel Camdessus, International Monetary Fund; Esteban Moctezuma Barragán, Secretary of Social Development, Mexico and Sithembiso Nyoni, Minister of State for Economic Development, Zimbabwe.

Positions listed are those held at time of event.