2018 Andrew E. Rice Award

2018 Andrew E. Rice Award

For Leadership and Innovation by a Young Professional in International Development
Presented at SID-Washington's Annual Conference

Thank you for submitting your applications. The deadline for submission has now passed. The winner will be announced Monday, April 30, 2018.

Each year we present the Andrew E. Rice Award for Leadership and Innovation by a Young Professional in International Development (Rice Award) at our Annual Conference. This award recognizes the achievements of an exceptional young professional working in the field of international development. Previously named “The Truman Award,” the award was established in 2003 by Andrew E. Rice and Robert Berg to honor leadership, innovation, impact and commitment. It was renamed The Rice Award in 2011 to honor the memory and contributions of one of its chief architects.

The recipient of this award will demonstrate leadership and innovation, as well as tremendous promise for advancement in the field of international development. The selected winner will also recognize the importance of international development as a means of service to those who are most in need and will work towards sustainable, people-centered development.

2018 Rice Award Winner: Mr. Alpha Sennon  

We are proud to announce that Mr. Alpha Sennon is the winner of our 2018 Rice Award for Leadership and Innovation by a Young Professional in International Development! Mr. Sennon founded WHYFARM, a nonprofit organization in Trinidad and Tobago, focused on educating and engaging youth in agriculture. The name stands for We Help You- th Farm and the organization increases awareness of food security concerns around the world and expands the “future feeders of 2050” through agri-edutainment (agricultural education and entertainment). WHYFARM works with schools, organizes farm visits, and created a superhero, AGRIMAN, with a comic book, gadgets, a fan club, and more. By 2017, WHYFARM had launched in seven additional countries: Zambia, Rwanda, Nigeria, Kenya, Colombia, Cameroon and Haiti.

We commend him for his exemplary leadership in the field of development and we hope you will join us in celebrating his achievements at our Annual Conference on May 31st!

Honorable Mentions

In addition to Mr. Sennon, SID-Washington selected three Honorable Mention winners: Melissa Diamond, founder and executive director of A Global Voice for Autism, Davina Durgana, Senior Statistician and Global Slavery Index Co-Author, Walk Free Foundation, and Allan Odhiambo, CEO and Founder of Beacon Inc.


The Rice Award will be presented to the awardee at the Society for International Development’s Annual Conference in Washington, DC. While there will be only one winner, other notable candidates may be mentioned at the award presentation ceremony.

The award consists of:

  • An inscribed plaque recognizing the awardee;
  • A prize in the amount of $1,000;
  • A one-year, honorary membership to SID-Washington;
  • The opportunity to present your work at an upcoming SID-Washington event.

We have had many exceptional and inspiring awardees in the past. Last year's winner, Pascal Masuba, served as a child advocate for Search for Common Ground during the Sierra Leone decade civil war, and later founded Zenith Academy (a home remedial for school dropouts in Sierra Leone). In addition, he stood as co-founder and head of the Social Innovations unit of the African Changemakers Network (a platform that brings together outstanding young African changemakers).

In 2016, we awarded Nungari Mwangi, who conducted field research on cut flower value chains in Kenya and previously worked as a consultant for Dalberg Global Development Advisors, primarily working on agriculture strategies with the public sector. She has also worked closely with the Ministry of Agriculture in both Tanzania and Sudan and is working towards her PhD in Development Studies at the University of Cambridge. 

For a list of past winners, please click here.


Pascal Masuba, 2017 Andrew E. Rice Award Winner                                                                Nungari Mwangi, 2016 Andrew E. Rice Award Winner


  1. Age from 22 to 32 years old.

  2. Availability to either accept the Rice Award in-person at SID-W’s 2018 Annual Conference on May 31, 2018 or the ability to provide a pre-recorded video acceptance speech to be shown at the Annual Conference.

  3. At least two years of experience as a volunteer or paid young professional in international development including demonstrating exceptional commitment to improving the lives of people in developing countries.



Rice Award applicants must submit a two-page maximum (11 pt. font), single-sided personal statement responding to the following:
  1. How have you demonstrated creativity and innovation by developing new ideas and/or adapting successful solutions to problems and challenges, or optimizing unique opportunities, in advancing international development?

  2. Describe your vision and experience leading people and change.

  3. What are some qualitative and/or quantitative measures of the impact of your work in international development?

  4. Demonstrate your commitment to upholding the ideals of sustainable, inclusive, just, equitable and participatory development.

  5. How have you committed to advancing the profession of international development? (e.g., through knowledge advancement, participation in relevant professional organizations, institutional development, etc.)

Applicants must also submit a three page maximum, single-sided resume or c.v.

Documentation provided in addition to the application form, personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and c.v./resume will not be reviewed. 


Nomination Process

Candidates for the award must complete the application form (either online or in print) by Monday, March 26, 2018 and may submit up to two one-page letters of recommendation/support describing:

  1. The association with the candidate and the length of time associated with the candidate.

  2. The qualities and experiences that make the candidate distinct in the criteria areas.

  3. Why the person recommending/supporting his/her nomination believes the candidate should be selected for the Rice Award. 


Selection Process

The selection committee is comprised of international development professionals drawn from across the international development community including senior practitioners and young professionals.



The deadline for submission has now passed.

Winner notified: Monday, April 30, 2018

2018 Annual Conference: Thursday, May 31, 2018



Please contact us if you would like to donate to the Rice Award. We thank you for your generosity for donations received.


Contact Information

If you have any questions or concerns, please email riceaward@sidw.org or call 202-331-1317.


About Andrew E. Rice

Andrew E. Rice helped create the field of international development. In the decades following World War II, decolonization and the Cold War necessitated a new relationship between the Western and developing worlds. That’s when Andy began thinking and writing about the nature of this new relationship and organizing others to do the same.

Andy was introduced to internationalism early on, spending part of his childhood in Geneva, where his father was the U.S. representative to an agency of the League of Nations. After serving in intelligence during the War and obtaining his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Harvard, he moved to Washington to begin a 60-year career crafting public policy.

He began by joining or helping to form a series of advocacy organizations dedicated to an internationalist foreign policy incorporating aid for the underdeveloped world. These included Americans for Democratic Action, the American Veterans Committee and the Point Four Committee (this last named for foreign aid’s position in President Truman’s list of diplomatic priorities in his 1949 inaugural address).

He also began publishing a newsletter, “Doorway to the 20th Century,” to report on this brand new discipline. His longtime friend and colleague Bob Berg recently recalled, “In the pre-Internet age it was THE place to find the news--crisply written…with never a hint of bias.”

After stints as a staffer on both sides of Capitol Hill and obtaining his PhD from Syracuse University, Andy served on the academic committee that gave birth to the Peace Corps. He then joined the Kennedy Administration as an aide to Chester Bowles, a prominent diplomat to the developing world and early UN official.

Andy was a founder of the Society for International Development (SID) in 1957 and in 1962 became executive director, a position he held for 15 years. Bob Berg has described the scene from that era: “SID's office was filled with young people beavering away. Andy, always cool, friendly, professional and kind, kept it going in highly productive and effective ways.”

Andy’s career both reflected and shaped changes in the idea of international development. As the need for environmental sustainability grew clearer, he became board chair of the environmentally-focused Worldwatch Institute. Seeing the need to better educate the public on the importance of internationalism, he became an active member of the United Nations Association, serving as chair of the national capital chapter.

Alina Zyszkowski, one of countless young professionals Andy mentored over his career, said of him: “Andy Rice was a true visionary and a real friend to so many of us…Today we hear a lot about knowledge sharing and networking. Andy was making that happen through SID over 50 years ago.”

Andy once summed up his approach to international development: “I believe that the right path to a better world is expanding individual freedom combined with cooperative endeavor.” Through his ideas, hard work and, to quote a colleague, “friendly, humble and generous” personality, he moved us all down that path.