EMP Awards

The Emerging Markets Program launches the Dr. Clifton R. Wharton Emerging Markets Annual Award

Find out more:
About the Award
About Dr. Clifton R. Wharton  
Selection Criteria
Nomination Procedure

award ceremony

About the Award top

The Wharton Emerging Markets Award was created in 2007 in honor of the outstanding work of Dr. Clifton R. Wharton in the areas of philanthropy, higher education, business and public policy. The award entails recognition at the Emerging Markets Annual Symposium and engraving of the recipients’ name on the plaque.

Dr. Clifton R. Wharton, Jr. top

Dr. Wharton has been a Black pioneer in four different fields - philanthropy, foreign economic development, higher education and business. He is the former Chairman and CEO of TIAA-CREF, the world’s largest pension fund with assets of $300 billion. He thereby became the first Black to become CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Among his previous pioneering positions are President Emeritus of Michigan State University (1970-78) the first Black to head a predominately white major university in the US; Chancellor of the State University of New York System (1978-87), this nation’s largest university system with 64 campuses; and Chairman of the Rockefeller Foundation (1982-87). The son of a career Foreign Service Officer and Ambassador, Dr. Wharton has served six presidents in foreign policy advisory posts and most recently in 1993 was appointed by President Clinton as Deputy Secretary of State, the second highest post in the U.S. Department of State.

Dr. Wharton’s first 22 year philanthropic career began in Latin America with Nelson A. Rockefeller. Subsequently, he was resident in Southeast Asia from 1958 to 1964 representing the Agricultural Development Council, headed by John D. Rockefeller 3rd. During this period, he also supervised the ADC’s programs in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, as well as taught economics at the University of Malaya. Many of his students and grantees are today’s leaders in Southeast Asia. His research ranged from the supply response of Southeast Asian perennial crops and international trade to the economics of subsistence agriculture and the impact of the Green Revolution. Dr. Wharton was the chairman of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development U.S. AID (1976-83), co-Chairman, Commission on Security and Economic Assistance, the Presidential Commission on World Hunger, and the Presidential Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations.

Among his former corporate directorships are Ford Motor Company, Time Warner, Equitable Life, Tenneco, Inc., Federated Department Stores, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), New York Stock Exchange, Harcourt General, TIAA-CREF, and Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. His extensive non-profit trusteeships have ranged from the Council on Foreign Relations to the Committee for Economic Development (CED). Dr. Wharton is currently co-chairman of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics and is a trustee of the Clark Foundation and the Bassett Hospital (Cooperstown, NY)

A graduate of Boston Latin School, he holds a BA honors degree in History from Harvard, an MA from the School of Advanced International Studies of John Hopkins University, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago. In 1983, he received the U.S. Presidential Award on World Hunger and in 1994 the American Council on Education Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Achievement. He has been awarded 62 honorary doctorates.

His wife, Dolores D. Wharton, has had her own distinguished career as a corporate director of Gannett (media), Phillips Petroleum, the Kellogg Company, COMSAT, New York Telephone, Albany Capital Bank and Trust. She has served as a trustee of many non-profit organizations such as MIT, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), National Public Radio (NPR), the Museum of Modern Art. Albany Law School, the Asia Society, the Aspen Institute, and the Asia Foundation. She is the founder and CEO of the Fund of Corporate Initiatives, Inc. to increase the upward mobility of women and minorities in the corporate world. She has received nine honorary doctorates.

In 1982, Michigan State University honored the two Whartons by naming their new Center for the Performing Arts for them, and in 1987 the State University of New York placed their name on its Economic Research Center at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany, NY.

Procedures and Guidelines top

20 years of service
Outstanding accomplishments in:
Higher Education
Public Sector
Emerging Markets work

Given annually to an individual (not organizations).   Anybody can nominate any individual by filling out the nomination form.   Please note that individuals may not nominate themselves.

Selection Process/Committee
Two members for Market Matters Inc. Board of Directors
Two members for Emerging Markets Program Advisory Board

Nominations for next year's award should reach the Emerging Markets Program (EMP) by February 15th. Receipt of nominations will be acknowledged. Download Nomination Form.

Following the selection, the announcement of the laureate is made at the EMP Annual Symposium in April.

Should the candidate reach the final stage of the selection procedure, the EMP may request further information and documentation concerning candidates.

Sponsors top

Emerging Markets Program, Cornell University
MM. Inc, Ithaca NY, 14850