International House 2016 Awards Gala Honors American Express CEO Ken Chenault, Japan Society President Motoatsu Sakurai, and Philanthropist Kathleen Burns for Outstanding Contributions in Leadership

NEW YORK, June 13, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- International House, a premier residential community dedicated to training the next generation of global leaders, hosted its 2016 Awards Gala on Tuesday, June 7, 2016, in New York City.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

More than 200 trustees, residents, alumni and friends joined International House President Calvin Sims at the Rainbow Room in New York City to celebrate excellence in leadership by American Express Chairman and CEO Kenneth I. Chenault; Japan Society President Motoatsu Sakurai; and philanthropist and longtime International House Trustee Kathleen Burns. Each was recognized for exemplifying leadership based in respect, empathy and moral courage – the core values International House instills in its programming and imparts to the more than 65,000 current and former residents it serves.

Mr. Chenault, a former International House Trustee, accepted the Edmonds Award for Global Leadership, in recognition of outstanding contributions in international leadership and dedication to fostering next generation leaders.

“The need for global awareness and understanding has never been greater,” he noted. “Thanks to International House, the opportunities for young leaders to meet that challenge and to help change the world have never been better.”

Ambassador Sakurai was presented with the Edmonds Award for International Understanding by International House Board Chair Ambassador Frank G. Wisner. As a former Ambassador and Consul General of Japan to New York, Sakurai spoke of his experiences in building positive cross-cultural relationships.

“Over the past few decades, I have had the opportunity to observe U.S. and Japan relations unfold up close,” he said. “During this time, I have seen a profound deepening of understanding between the two countries not only at the government and business levels, but across much wider demographics…We should remember that the current international environment requires us to continuously nourish and cultivate exchanges at all levels, as is International House’s and Japan Society’s main mission.”

Ms. Burns was honored with the Dodge Award for Distinguished Trustee Service. International House has been part of Ms. Burns’ world since childhood through stories shared by her late uncle Bill Frohlich, who lived at I-House while attending Columbia University in the 1930s, and went on to serve on the Board of Trustees and play a role in the creation of the I-House Alumni Association.

“A unique aspect of the House has been the multi-generational family ties on the Board, something I’ve been honored to share with Bill [Rueckert], Peter O’Neill, Tom Hirschfeld, and so many others,” she told of her long-standing relationship with the organization. “Only a truly special place could engender such loyalty, love and respect. Since I have a small family, I am proud and happy to say that I consider the I-House community to be my second family, and everyone there my friends.”

In addition, I-House President Calvin Sims announced that a new International House scholarship has been created in honor of Kathleen Burns for those entering the health field, endowed by Trustee Barbara G. Heyman and her husband Stephen Heyman.

Sims went on to summarize the distinctive impact the International House experience has on its residents.

“The powerful mix of our values, our residential diversity, and our programming produces a set of lifelong skills in our residents that are differentiated and highly valued in an academic or commercial setting, anywhere in the world,” he explained. “Who better than our I-House residents can help their brothers and sisters navigate an increasingly diverse world?”

The International House Awards were established in 1990 by International House Honorary Trustee Daisy M. Soros, who met her late husband Paul at I-House in the 1950s while they were both residents. The Awards recognize notable individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to fostering global leadership and community building both within and well beyond its corridors. Previous honorees include American diplomat Richard Holdbrooke, opera legend and I-House Alumnus Leontyne Price, CNN Journalist and I-House Trustee Fareed Zakaria, and the Ford Foundation.

Mary and Sam Miller, Katie and Peter O’Neill, and Mandy and Adam Quinton served as Co-Chairs for this year’s Gala.

Founded by the Rockefeller and Dodge families in 1924, International House is a non-profit programmatic and residential center dedicated to fostering the next generation of global leaders. Each year, I-House serves as home to more than 750 carefully selected graduate students and young professionals from 100 countries, representing more than 70 leading universities, businesses, and cultural, non-profit, and government institutions. We provide unrivaled opportunities for residents to learn and thrive through daily interaction in a culturally, politically, and economically diverse community and through programs designed to encourage diversity of thought and experience. I-House is the destination of choice for the best and the brightest of the millennial generation who seek the skills necessary to navigate and lead the conversations that will shape our world. Learn more at

Contact: Heather Mangrum

Source: International House