PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – March 18, 2014 – The University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Urban Research (Penn IUR) is proud to announce the recipients of its 10th annual Urban Leadership Award, which honors urban visionaries for their transformative leadership for sustainable and inclusive cities. The 2014 awardees are Martin O’Malley, governor of Maryland and Sister Mary Scullion and Joan Dawson McConnon, co-founders of Project HOME. Penn IUR will honor the work of these exceptional leaders on March 27 at its 10th annual Urban Leadership Forum at 11:00 am in the Van Pelt Library’s Class of ’78 Pavilion.
“As Penn IUR celebrates its 10th anniversary and reflects upon a decade of informing the sustainable city, we recognize the critical role of urban innovators who are transforming cities,” said Egbert Perry, Penn IUR Advisory Board chair, chairman and chief executive officer of The Integral Group and recently-appointed chairman of Fannie Mae. “The 2014 Urban Leadership Award winners are true urban visionaries, whose work provides examples that resonate worldwide.”
This year, the Penn IUR Urban Leadership Awards recognize the showcases the accomplishments by remarkable figures in the non-profit and public sectors. “We believe that our work to end the tragedy of homelessness improves the quality of life for all Philadelphians,” said Joan Dawson McConnon, co-founder of Project HOME, one of the three 2014 awardees. “We are restoring lives so that our residents can contribute to the community. Our work is also an economic engine, creating jobs and contributing to the overall financial health of the city.” Sister Mary underscored this point by citing Project HOME’s vision statement: “None of us are home until all of us are home.”
“America’s strength can be measured by the success of her cities big and small. Public officials need to be willing to take the chance to be innovative, because innovation breeds progress,” said Maryland governor and former Baltimore mayor, Martin O’Malley. “Some of the best innovation happens at the city level—in Baltimore, we implemented innovative strategies that made our streets safer, reduced drug addiction among our citizens, improved our schools, and delivered basic services more effectively and efficiently. It’s an honor to be recognized by the Penn Institute for Urban Research; the results that we got would not have been possible without the work of the great citizens of Baltimore.”
Martin O’Malley is serving the people of Maryland in his second term as governor. Since 2007, his Administration has been delivering results for Maryland families by choosing to do the things that work to create jobs, expand opportunity, and make Maryland a safer, healthier place. A former Governing Magazine “Public Official of the Year,” Governor O’Malley was re-elected in 2010. The Governor’s policies have been credited with restoring the health of the Chesapeake Bay and saving the Bay’s native Blue Crab and Oyster populations. The O’Malley Administration has also secured millions of dollars in rate relief for Maryland energy consumers while jumpstarting the creation of thousands of green energy sector jobs. Under Governor O’Malley’s leadership, Maryland led the charge for RGGI, the nation’s first cap-and-trade auction of greenhouse emissions.
Sister Mary Scullion and Joan Dawson McConnon are co-founders of Project HOME. Project HOME, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, has grown from an emergency winter shelter into an organization working to end homelessness with 535 units of affordable housing. They are an international model for alleviating homelessness and poverty on a large scale, providing employment services programs and comprehensive medical and education services. In 2002, Scullion was awarded an Eisenhower Fellowship, and that same year, she and McConnon were national awardees of the Ford Foundation’s prestigious “Leadership for a Changing World Award.” In 2009, she was named by Time magazine as one of “The World’s 100 Most Influential People.” In 2012, The Philadelphia Inquirer selected Scullion as their Citizen of the Year.
Since 2005, Penn IUR has recognized innovators in urban affairs through the Urban Leadership Award. Past recipients include: Joan Clos, executive director of UN-HABITAT and former mayor of Barcelona, Spain; Yael Lehmann, executive director of The Food Trust; Ridwan Kamil, founder and principal of Urbane Indonesia; Derek R.B. Douglas, vice president for Civic Engagement, University of Chicago and former special assistant to President Barack Obama, White House Domestic Policy Council; Paul Levy, president and CEO, Philadelphia’s Center City District; Lily Yeh, global artist and founder, Barefoot Artists; Raphael Bostic, assistant secretary for Policy Development and Research, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Jane Golden, executive director, City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program; Shirley Franklin, mayor, City of Atlanta, GA; Parris Glendening, president, Smart Growth Leadership Institute, and former governor, Maryland; Bruce Katz, vice president and founding director of the Metropolitan Policy Program, The Brookings Institution; William Hudnut III, senior fellow emeritus, Urban Land Institute, and former mayor, Indianapolis, IN; Joseph P. Riley Jr., mayor, City of Charleston, SC; and Donna Shalala, president, University of Miami and former secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Penn Institute for Urban Research, now celebrating its 10 year anniversary, is dedicated to advancing cross-disciplinary urban-focused research, instruction, and civic engagement on issues relevant to cities around the world. As the global population becomes increasingly urban, understanding cities is vital to informed decision-making and public policy at the local, national, and international levels. Penn IUR focuses on research that informs the sustainable and inclusive twenty-first-century city. By providing a forum for collaborative scholarship and instruction at Penn and beyond, Penn IUR stimulates research and engages with urban practitioners and policymakers to inform urban policy.