SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Tuesday, December 11, 2012, San Francisco's top government and corporate leaders met at the Meridian Global Leadership Awards to honor two of the Bay Area's most distinguished leaders – Hon. William H. Draper, III, Managing Director, Draper Richards L.P. and Joseph W. Saunders, Executive Chairman, Visa Inc.
Held at the Julia Morgan Ballroom in downtown San Francisco, the Meridian Global Leadership Awards reception and dinner was attended by former Mayor of San Francisco Hon. Willie Brown; Chairman, President & CEO of Wells Fargo & Company, John Stumpf; and Co-Founder & CEO of Kiva Inc, Matt Flannery. The event was chaired by Janet Lamkin, President of Bank of America, California and Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, President of Charles Schwab Foundation; with lead sponsors Visa Inc., Bank of America Corporation, Dignity Health, and Wells Fargo & Company.
The Meridian Global Leadership Awards series honors global leaders from the public and private sectors who harness the power of exchange to better their communities and the world; and enhance the position of the United States as a leader in the international community.
Hon. William H. Draper, III, Managing Director of Draper Richards L.P., was awarded the Meridian Global Citizen Award for his career of international engagement in business, philanthropy, and government service. Mr. Draper is one of America's first venture capitalists. He is also former President and Chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States and former Head of the United Nations Development Program. Through those roles, Mr. Draper has helped redefine models for international investment, philanthropy, and social entrepreneurship. Organizations such as Kiva, Taproot, and Global Heath Corps have benefited from his programs. Through his business career, he has helped start some of the world's most influential and innovative companies with a focus on technology as a way to connect people and ideas. He has also been instrumental in creating paths for mentorship and growth for start-up companies throughout the United States. Mr. Draper is the author of "The Startup Game: Inside the Partnership Between Venture Capitalists and Entrepreneurs."Joseph W. Saunders, Executive Chairman and former Chief Executive Officer of Visa Inc., was awarded the Meridian Corporate Leader Award for his deep commitment to corporate citizenship and philanthropy; and his devotion to supporting and empowering a new generation of leaders. Internationally regarded as one of the most innovative and philanthropic businessmen of this generation, Mr. Saunders was instrumental in Visa's partnership with Meridian International Center and the U.S. Department of State, for the creation of Volunteerism: United We Serve. This exchange program brought 103 civil leaders from 95 countries to the United States in April 2010, to understand the importance of service and volunteerism in creating a strong civil society. Under Mr. Saunders' leadership, Visa has focused on fostering economic reliance among low-income individuals and communities, primarily through financial literacy and access to finance. Visa is also involved in electronic banking campaigns which benefit residents of Uganda, Nicaragua, Mexico, Brazil, East Africa and India. Mr. Saunders is also Chairman of the Board of Teach For All. Ambassador Stuart Holliday, President and CEO of Meridian International Center described the Meridian Global Leadership Awards as "a flagship event for leaders who have exemplified the qualities of Global Leadership. Both Mr. Draper and Mr. Saunders have displayed these qualities. They have reached across geographic, cultural and sector boundaries in order to build relationships and develop solutions which have led to a better quality of life for individuals, communities and countries around the world." William H. Draper III and Joseph W. Saunders join other distinguished leaders who have also received Meridian Awards, including Ambassador Craig Stapleton, Senior Advisor to Stone Point Capital; Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, Vice President of the Institutional Clients Group for Citigroup; Ambassador Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, Special Representative for Global Partnership, U.S. Department of State; Ambassador Nancy Brinker, Founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure; Ambassador Tom Korogolos, Strategic Advisor, DLA Piper; Secretary Ann McLaughlin Korogolos, Former U.S. Secretary of Labor; and Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO of Gallup. Members of the Honorary Committee of the Meridian Global Leadership Awards include Hon. Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State; Hon. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA); Hon. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); Hon. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA); and Hon. Dennis J. Herrera, City Attorney of San Francisco. The Global Leadership Awards in San Francisco will be followed by the Meridian Global Leadership Dinner which is scheduled for the Spring of 2013. About Meridian International Center Headquartered in Washington D.C., Meridian International Center is a leading non-partisan, public diplomacy institution dedicated to strengthening international understanding and global engagement. Meridian works with the U.S. State Department and U.S. embassies worldwide to create lasting international partnerships through leadership and cultural exchanges. Meridian also connects U.S. and foreign governments with the private sector to respond to global challenges and sustain impact. CONTACT: Monique McSween, +1-202-939-5882 SOURCE Meridian International Center