F&ES Presents Its Highest Honor To Philanthropist Teresa Heinz

Note: Yale School of the Environment (YSE) was formerly known as the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES). News articles and events posted prior to July 1, 2020 refer to the School's name at that time.

heinz award Yale President Peter Salovey, Teresa Heinz, and F&ES Dean Peter Crane during the presentation of The Aldo Leopold Prize on Nov. 10.
Teresa Heinz, the philanthropist and longtime advocate for environmental awareness and literacy, has been named the recipient of The Aldo Leopold Award, the highest honor granted by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES). 
The Award will be presented during an event at Kroon Hall on Nov. 10, followed by a private dinner reception at the home of Yale President Peter Salovey.
“Teresa Heinz has been one of the world’s strongest and most effective advocates for responsible environmental stewardship for many years, calling critical attention to the link between the environment and public health,” said Salovey. “I am thrilled that the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies is recognizing her with its highest honor, and I personally look forward to welcoming her back to New Haven to celebrate the occasion.”
An active proponent for environmental issues in the U.S. and globally, Teresa Heinz is chair of The Heinz Endowments and the Heinz Family Philanthropies, which support various social and environmental causes.
Heinz is also co-founder of the Alliance to End Childhood Lead Poisoning (now called the Alliance for Healthy Homes), former chair of the board of trustees of the National Fund for the United States Botanic Garden, and has served on the board of trustees for the Winslow Foundation, which supports projects that tackle environmental and population issues. For nearly two decades, she has also sponsored annual conferences on “Women’s Health and the Environment.”
In 1992, she was a U.S. Delegate to the Rio Earth Summit, where she represented non-governmental organizations. A year later, along with her husband, Secretary of State John Kerry ’66 B.A. and environmentalist Anthony Cortese, she co-founded Second Nature, a nonprofit organization that brings sustainability education to college campuses. That same year, Teresa founded the Heinz Awards, in memory of her late husband, U.S. Sen. H. John Heinz ’60 B.A., which recognizes extraordinary accomplishments in fields that were meaningful to the late Senator, including the environment. 
“The Heinz Awards have a long track record of highlighting the work of some of the world’s most important environmental leaders, including members of the Yale community,” said F&ES Dean Peter Crane. “Teresa Heinz’s commitment to the environment, and especially her commitment to environmental education through such programs as Second Nature, has helped move us all toward the creation of a more sustainable society.”
I’ve devoted my life to advancing green chemistry, and I believe there is no better champion of green chemistry than Teresa Heinz.
— Paul Anastas
At F&ES, she has supported student scholarships and conferences. She also made a gift to establish The Teresa and H. John Heinz III Professorship in Chemistry for the Environment at Yale, with a preference that the position be filled by a scholar in environmental chemistry. The chair is currently held by Prof. Paul Anastas, who is also Director of the Yale Center for Green Chemistry and Engineering.
“I’ve devoted my life to advancing green chemistry, and I believe there is no better champion of green chemistry than Teresa Heinz,” said Anastas. “She has been working on chemical issues, including some of the most challenging issues of our time, such as endocrine disruption and the disruption of reproduction and development by chemical pollutants. Teresa has both inspired and enabled scientists, advocates, and those who really seek to bring about change.”
The Aldo Leopold Award, established in 2009 on the centennial of Leopold’s graduation from F&ES, recognizes individuals whose exceptional contributions to the protection of the environment, stewardship of “the land” as Leopold envisioned it, or in scholarship or writing in environmental ethics, ecology or a related field serve as a model to others and an inspiration to future generations.
Heinz is just the third person to receive the Award. Previous recipients were former F&ES Prof. F. Herbert Bormann, a preeminent plant ecologist whose research first called the world’s attention to the threat of acid rain; and Frances Beinecke ’71 B.A. ’74 M.F.S., longtime president of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
– Kevin Dennehy    kevin.dennehy@yale.edu    203 436-4842