This post was written by Hatchet reporter Sarah Haque.
The 80th annual Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards honored the accomplishments of six alumni Thursday night.
Jeremy Gosbee, the president of the GW Alumni Association, opened the evening with remarks about how a quality education and strong networks can have a positive impact on today’s world.
“Our alumni are making history each and every day,” Gosbee said. “They are changing the world through innovative research and exemplary public service. Our alumni remind us where a valuable education, a GW education, can lead us.”
University President Steven Knapp also offered welcoming remarks, reiterating the idea that the University’s extensive alumni network is an extraordinary asset of the GW community and that the achievements of alumni is a testament to the invaluable experience of a GW education.
“Our most important contribution, without a question, is our alumni,” Knapp said. “It is through our alumni, above all, alumni, like ones whose stories we will hear tonight, that we really are making history.”
Here are the evening’s honorees:
1. Corinne E. Bell, Law JD ‘78
The first recipient of the night, Corinne E. Bell, graduated from the law school in 1978 and is currently co-head of Jones Day’s New York Office’s Business Restructuring & Reorganization Practice and manages the firm’s European Distress Investing Initiative. She has handled many monumental cases, like Detroit’s Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceeding, and was instrumental in the reorganization of large companies like Chrysler.
In her remarks, Bell mentioned the strong influence that GW continues to have on her life today.
“No matter where I’ve gone, it always seems to come back to Washington and GW,” Bell said.
2. Andrew J. Nahmias, SMHS MD ‘57R
The second recipient, Andre Nahmias, was born in Alexandria, Egypt and migrated to the U.S. in pursuit of education. Nahmias expanded his education and training at institutions like University of Texas, Boston University, University of Michigan and GW.
He focused on his passion for child advocacy as a professor of pediatrics at Emory University and founded the International Interdisciplinary AIDS Foundation in Geneva in 1984.
“I am very grateful to GW for launching me in my life career,” Nahmias said.
3. Baroness Joanna Shields, OBE, GWSB MBA ‘87
Dean of the business school Linda Livingstone presented the third award to Baroness Joanna Shields, a parliamentarian serving her second term as Under-Secretary of State and Minister for Internet Safety & Security in the UK.
“You are a role model for how business leaders can lead globally and responsibly and make significant and meaningful differences in society,” Livingstone said.
Shields serves as a Life Peer in the House of Lords and fights against online crimes, such as child exploitation and cyber hate. She founded WePROTECT, a global alliance to eliminate child abuse online which is currently supported by more than 70 countries, 20 technology companies, and several NGOs.
As a technological pioneer, Shields reflected on her graduate experience as a student at the business school and her involvement in cutting-edge research on digital printing.
“I will never forget the moment I saw that image from the front line of that war in Lebanon appear through the digital printing press at Gannett News across the river, and I said, ‘This is it. This is going to change the world,’” Shields said.
4. Daniel H. Weiss, CCAS BA ‘79
The fourth recipient, Daniel H. Weiss is the fifth president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and has served as president of Haverford College, Lafayette College and as the James B. Knapp Dean of the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts & Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University.
“It is true, as many of us have said this evening and probably every year, how much GW has meant to us,” Weiss said. “I can say honestly and candidly that GW has given me the life that I have gotten to live.”
5. Lt. General Nadja Y. West, SMHS MD ‘88
Lieutenant General Nadja West is the 44th Surgeon General of the U.S. Army and Commanding General of the US Army Medical Command. After completing a bachelors degree in engineering from West Point, West continued her education with a Doctorate of Medicine from SMHS.
“West Point taught me what it means to be an American soldier, but GW taught me what it meant, or what it means, to be a compassionate healer,” West said.
6. Hussain Nadim, ESIA BA ‘10
The final award of the night, the 2016 Recent Alumni Achievement Award, was presented by adjunct professor Ambassador Karl F. Inderfurth to Hussain Nadim. Nadim is a senior expert on Pakistan at the United States Institute of Peace.
Throughout the course of his short career, Nadim has also been a special assistant to the federal minister of Pakistan, a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center and an adjunct fellow at the International Center for the Study of Radicalization at King’s College London.
“I did have one thing that was important, that was passion. Passion to bring about a change,” Nadim said.