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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.
Applicants come from every continent around the world and their work focuses on a wide range of sectors. To see a graphic depicting the variety of applications we have received, please click here.
Ms. Kanchan Amatya is the winner of our 2019 Rice Award for Leadership and Innovation by a Young Professional in International Development. Kanchan Amatya is a Nepalese social entrepreneur, women’s rights activist and UN Women’s Global Champion for Women’s Economic Empowerment with a deep interest in re-defining Asia’s growth and development. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Sustainable Fish Farming Initiative, an award winning social enterprise based in Nepal that empowers rural farmers to tackle poverty, ensure food and nutrition security, and improve natural resource management through sustainable aquaculture, microfinance and technology. Most recently, Kanchan worked with Women Thrive Alliance, where she helped to build a network of over 300 grassroots women’s rights advocates in 53 countries and supported their involvement in a plethora of SDG-era decision making processes at the United Nations. She previously co-led the Youth Assembly at the United Nations’ Resolution Committee and mentored its young delegates from 80+ countries from across Asia, Africa, Europe, Middle East, and South America.
We commend her for her exemplary leadership in the field of development and presented this award in celebration of her achievements at our Annual Conference on May 30, 2019.
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:
We have had many exceptional and inspiring awardees in the past. Our 2018 winner, Alpha Sennon, the founder of WHYFARM, a non-profit with the goal of rebranding the agricultural sector and tackling food and nutrition security both in his home country - in Trinidad and Tobago - as well as across the globe. Using an ‘agri-edutainment’ (agricultural education and entertainment) model, Alpha invented AgriMan: the world’s only Real-life Superhero. Passionate about all things ‘ag-related’, Alpha is the author of the AgriMan Agventures comic book developed toward increasing awareness of the global food crisis among children and to grow future farmers.
Our 2017 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).
For a list of past winners, please click here.
Alpha Sennon, 2018 Andrew E. Rice Award Winner Pascal Masuba, 2017 Andrew E. Rice Award Winner
Age from 22 to 32 years old.
Availability to either accept the Rice Award in-person at SID-W’s 2019 Annual Conference on May 30, 2019 or the ability to provide a pre-recorded video acceptance speech to be shown at the Annual Conference.
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.
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?
Describe your vision and experience leading people and change.
What are some qualitative and/or quantitative measures of the impact of your work in international development?
Demonstrate your commitment to upholding the ideals of sustainable, inclusive, just, equitable and participatory development.
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.
Candidates for the award must complete the application form (either online or in print) and may submit up to two one-page letters of recommendation/support describing:
The association with the candidate and the length of time associated with the candidate.
The qualities and experiences that make the candidate distinct in the criteria areas.
Why the person recommending/supporting his/her nomination believes the candidate should be selected for the Rice Award.
The selection committee is comprised of international development professionals drawn from across the international development community including senior practitioners and young professionals.
Please check again next year for our 2020 Andrew E. Rice Award
Please contact us if you would like to donate to the Rice Award. We thank you for your generosity for donations received.
If you have any questions or concerns, please email email@example.com or call 202-331-1317.
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.
Data on Rice Award Applications Over the Years