"I CHANGE the dial on climate change by celebrating one remarkable leader annually, around the globe. Our (Sir Edmund) Hillary Laureates are fronting the challenge and forging a renaissance future!”
—Mark Prain, Founding Director of the Hillary Institute of International Leadership
I spent 15 years as a professional actor, director, playwright and opera singer. I’ve since spent much of the last 25 working in New Zealand, the US and around the world in leadership roles. I’ve had leadership roles with Greenpeace, Sustainable Cities, the Redesigning Resource Business Leadership Group, Maven Ltd. and the Untouched World Foundation.
Since 2006, I have served as Founding Director of the Hillary Institute. The mission of the Institute is to recognise, reward and nurture great leaders currently in play, who will provide answers to such challenges as climate change, poverty, disease, peace and justice.
Founded as a NZ registered charity to honour Sir Edmund Hillary’s extraordinary legacy of leadership, the Institute's work is globally focused, selecting one Laureate annually, a leading social entrepreneur who also embodies the humanitarian commitment of Sir Ed. An additional premiere award of the Hillary Step (valued currently at NZ$100,000) was first given in 2012 after our first four years of work.
The Institute provides support and holds annual Symposia both in New Zealand and internationally, usually in the home communities of Laureates, creating integrated linkages representing the latest thinking on our chosen leadership topic. Our topic from “2009-12 was “Climate Change Solutions” and 2012-15 “Climate Equity.”
The Institute has celebrated seven Hillary Laureates in the past decade, three of whom have also been awarded US$100,000 Hillary Step awards. While coming from across the globe, (US, UK, China, South America and Kiribati), the Hillary Laureates are united by exceptional mid-career, leadership, impact at scale, and a deep sense of purpose driving their work. Laureates are Jeremy Leggett (UK), Peggy Liu (China), Aimee Christensen (USA), Anote Tong(Kiribati), Atossa Soltani (Amazon), Michale Brune (USA) and Tim Jackson (UK).
In an age when great leadership is more vital than ever, there exists little direct international recognition of mid-career leadership. Inspired by the late Sir Edmund Hillary, New Zealand’s most celebrated public figure, the Hillary Institute of International Leadership takes on this challenge.
I invite you to connect to learn more about our work in climate change and learn about your work.