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Honorees for the Award for Ethical Leadership

In 2017, the three recipients for the Award for Ethical Leadership were Jan Karski, a Polish resistance courier and diplomat during World War II; Johnson & Johnson, the world’s largest healthcare company; and David Marwell, a historian and director emeritus of the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.

Jan Karski

Jan Karski had twice infiltrated Warsaw’s Jewish Ghetto and posed as a Ukrainian guard at the Izbica transit camp, all so that he could be a reliable witness to the crimes being committed by the Nazis. Karski’s final mission was to spread the word in the West about what he had seen. He personally delivered his eyewitness account—and an urgent appeal for intervention—to British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden and to U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt. Sadly, his message largely fell on deaf ears. After World War II, Karski earned his Ph.D. at Georgetown University, where he subsequently taught for 40 years at the School of Foreign Service. He died in 2000. In 2012, he was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. Andrzej Rojek, chairman of The Jan Karski Educational Foundation accepted this award.

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson has an impressive track record of preventing, treating and curing some of the most devastating and complex diseases of our time. Johnson & Johnson was recognized for its companywide focus on ethical action, following the credo crafted by Robert Wood Johnson in 1943, which challenges the firm to put the needs and well-being of the people they serve first. In particular, FASPE noted Johnson & Johnson’s groundbreaking ethical work in the area of Compassionate Use which seeks to make investigative medicines available on a fair, rational and ethical basis; and its leadership in the Yale Open Data Access (YODA) Project which advocates for the responsible sharing of clinical research data. Johnson & Johnson has been recognized as a leader in the field by Fortune magazine, InterbrandHealth and IDEA Pharma. Joanne Waldstreicher, MD and Chief Medical Officer at Johnson & Johnson, accepted the award on the company’s behalf.

David G. Marwell

David G. Marwell spent nine years at the Office of Special Investigations, in the U.S. Department of Justice, where, as Chief of Investigative Research, he conducted research in support of the investigation and prosecution of Nazi war criminals in the United States. As part of this effort, Marwell played major roles in the Klaus Barbie and Josef Mengele investigations. Marwell subsequently served as the director of the Berlin Document Center; executive director of the JFK Assassination Records Review Board; associate director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC; and the executive director of the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust from 2000 to 2015. In his time leading the Museum of Jewish Heritage, Marwell played an instrumental role in the development of FASPE. Marwell is currently writing a book, to be published by W.W. Norton & Company, about Josef Mengele and the Mengele investigation.

Previous Honorees

Previous honorees include the car manufacturer Audi, which was recognized for its commitment to corporate responsibility and sustainability, as well as for its 2014 comprehensive inquiry into the actions of its predecessor, Auto Union, under National Socialism; and the Blessed Bernhard Lichtenberg (1875–1943), a German Roman Catholic priest and theologian who died while in Nazi custody for his preaching and publishing in support of Jews, the mentally ill and others persecuted by the Nazis. Lichtenberg has been beatified by the Catholic Church and granted the title of Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem.