A Peace Negotiator, the Founder of an Innovative Nonprofit, and an Indefatigable Networker Receive Harvard Kennedy School’s 2017 Alumni Awards

Contact: Doug Gavel
Date: April 18, 2017

Cambridge MA — Three Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) graduates will be recognized May 20 during Reunion Weekend. The HKS Alumni Board of Directors will present the following individuals with awards: 

  • Frank Pearl MC/MPA 2011 will receive the Alumni Public Service Award.
  • Rey Faustino MPP 2012 will receive the Emerging Global Leader Award.
  • Jen Tutak MPA 2012 will receive the Julius E. Babbitt Memorial Alumni Volunteer Award.

In addition, the HKS Washington, DC Alumni Network will receive the HKS Regional Network Engagement Award for strengthening ties among alumni in Washington, DC, while advancing alumni’s connections with the school.

Alumni Public Service Award | Frank Pearl MC/MPA 2011 

Pearl was a member of the team that negotiated the deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) that ended the 52-year armed conflict that killed 220,000 people and left six million people displaced.
Born in Bogotá to a Canadian father and a Colombian mother, Pearl worked for more than 20 years in the private sector as CFO and president of various companies. He was also a consultant for McKinsey & Co., and worked in Colombia, Brazil, and Venezuela, among other countries. Pearl is a co-founder of the Colombian Competitiveness Council.
His career in the private sector led to a pro bono consulting role for social programs with the Colombian first lady’s office. In 2006, Pearl began working for the Colombian government, setting up the reintegration process for former combatants from paramilitary and guerrilla groups. In 2009, Pearl initiated the secret contacts that led to the peace processes with FARC and the National Liberation Army (ELN), an armed group involved in the Colombian conflict that had existed in Colombia since 1964. Pearl initiated the negotiations with FARC using a go-between (a businessman who had grown up with a key FARC leader) to send confidential messages to the guerrillas. He also used the occasion of humanitarian actions, such as the release of hostages, to send letters back and forth between the two sides. Midway through these secret negotiations, in 2010, he left Colombia to earn his MPA at HKS, flying back for undisclosed meetings all that year. While at HKS, with the advise of professors Ronald Heifetz and Bill Ury, Pearl wrote papers that led to definition of the negotiation strategy.
While conducting secret negotiations as minister of environment and sustainable development, Pearl co-led the Colombian group that presented to the UN the creation of the sustainable development goals system, which was approved in the 2012 Rio Summit and are now being implemented in more than 190 countries around the world.

His commitment and effort are one of the underlying stories of the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC, for which president Juan Manuel Santos MC/MPA 1981 received the Nobel Peace Prize. Simultaneously with the FARC negotiation, Pearl was lead negotiator with the ELN in the secret phase. He reached an agenda with this group for the first time in more than 50 years.
Pearl’s experience in complex processes and his straight yet balanced positions have earned him the respect of a wide range of Colombians. He and his wife, Mara, live in Bogotá with their three daughters, Emma, Amelia, and Mia.

This award, established in 1997, recognizes an alumnus/a who has significantly improved the human condition at the local, state/provincial, national, or international levels. Recipients will have made a substantial difference for people, organizations, or governments through a single influential act or a series of steps that produced positive societal change. Nominations come from HKS alumni or HKS faculty.

Emerging Global Leader Award | Rey Faustino MPP 2012

Faustino, who immigrated with his family to Los Angeles from the Philippines when he was eight years old, saw how difficult it was for his parents to navigate a byzantine system of diffused resources. This experience inspired him to found One Degree, which he started while he was a student at the Kennedy School. A website that connects low-income people with social services, One Degree (1degree.org) began in the San Francisco Bay Area. To start, Faustino built a pilot web platform that, in its first year, saw more than 10,000 users. Today, the organization connects more than 8,000 individuals a month to over 7,500 social resources in the Bay Area. In total, more than 185,000 people from San Francisco and Alameda counties have been helped through One Degree to date, which represents one-quarter of people in need in those two counties. With its desire to be the “Yelp of social services,” One Degree empowers users by allowing them to offer feedback on various resources such as affordable housing, food banks, employment services, and health clinics, giving users a voice while harnessing market forces that will lead to improvements in services. Over the long term, Faustino plans to leverage the robust data collected to make evidence-driven decisions to help community-based organizations, policymakers, and funders chart effective courses. This year, One Degree is expanding to Los Angeles as it continues to scale its resources to serve even more people, and the organization plans to scale its service across the country over the next three years. One Degree was launched with support from various organizations, including Google, the Kresge Foundation, and the Knight Foundation. 

This award, established in 2001 and formerly known as the Rising Star Award, recognizes an alumnus/a under the age of 40 who has stood out as a leader or catalyst for change or as a person making a meaningful difference to individuals, organizations, or governments. Recipients exemplify the HKS mission “to educate enlightened public leaders and generate answers to our most challenging public problems” at all levels and across all sectors. Nominations come from HKS alumni or HKS faculty.

Julius E. Babbitt Memorial Volunteer Award | Jen Tutak MPA 2012

Tutak has shaped the lives of many hundreds of students and alumni of the School by volunteering as a recruiter, a reader of admissions applications, and as a driver of the Harvard Graduate Student Leadership Institute (HGLSI), which she co-founded as a student at the Kennedy School. In particular, she has been a champion of numerous public servants, including members of the military, many of whom never considered that a Kennedy School education could help them advance their public service goals. While Tutak has been tremendously generous with her time on behalf of Harvard Kennedy School, her real impact is felt by the many students and alumni of the School who benefitted from her encouragement, moral support, and coaching. She is an inspiring leader who continues to support HGLSI, a program based at the School’s Center for Public Leadership that accepts 30 Harvard University students each semester from among hundreds of applicants. In this peer-led program, she primes students to reflect deeply on their personal journey and leadership practice while learning from multidisciplinary perspectives. She also is appreciated by the dozens of undergraduates she works with as a nonresident career tutor at Harvard College’s Kirkland House (across the street from the Kennedy School), many of whom also find themselves at the Kennedy School for courses or events, or connected to potential employers through her networks. A true connector of individuals, Tutak for the past two years has coordinated the Cambridge Fellows, a network of all the fellows (current and past) at Harvard and MIT. During the academic year, she arranges monthly events to convene this group, which includes significant representation by many HKS fellows, such as those from the Mort Zuckerman, David Rubenstein, Bill and Penny George, and Sheila Johnson programs, to name just a few. Beyond her volunteer work, Tutak works at the Monitor Institute, a social enterprise where she focuses on how business, government, and education can intersect to help individuals achieve their goals and improve graduation outcomes, particularly for low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented minority students.

Established in 2006, this award recognizes an alumnus/a who has made exceptional contributions to the HKS community by volunteering his or her time, creativity, and energy and by advancing the spirit of volunteerism and service to the School. It honors the memory of Julius Babbitt MC/MPA 2001, a member of the HKS Alumni Board of Directors who served both as director of HKS alumni programs and chair of the HKS New England Alumni Network. Nominations come from HKS alumni or HKS faculty.

Alumni Network Engagement Award | HKS Washington, DC Alumni Network

As the largest of the Kennedy School’s 27 regional alumni networks, which are scattered across the globe, the HKS Washington, DC Alumni Network (HKSDC) creates connections among the 9,000-plus alumni who live and work at the physical center of America’s government. Throughout 2016, HKSDC organized 27 events that attracted more than 1,600 alumni and friends. These events ranged from hard-hitting policy discussions with high-profile administrators to professional and career development activities to various public service events in support of charitable organizations. The Council strives to ensure that its population reflects the diversity of the alumni body. Last year, HKSDC enhanced communications with alumni, which included a new website and Twitter account along with a well-established Facebook page. In addition, the Council increased the number of alumni on its email list by 400 percent, to 4,500. HKSDC surveyed area alumni to collect data on the HKS programs from which they graduated, their areas of interest, and their event and communications preferences. The Council also partners with many offices at HKS and Harvard, holding joint events with the HKS Office of Career Advancement, the HKS Office of Alumni Relations, Executive Education, and the Office of the Dean, plus the T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Law School. HKSDC aims to be a relevant force in the lives of its alumni. The day after the divisive presidential election, for instance, the Council held an impromptu, nonpartisan gathering at the National Press Club to foster discussion. Through its many activities and communications, the Council has worked assiduously to continue the Cambridge experience for alumni.

Established in 2014, this award recognizes one regional network each year that has significantly strengthened the alumni community within its region and advanced the network’s ties with the school. Nominations come from an officer of a regional network on behalf of his or her regional network.

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The HKS Alumni Board 

The HKS alumni board comprises 22 elected members who represent the interests of the global HKS community. These volunteers advise the Office of Alumni Relations on programs and planning to improve connectivity within the alumni networks, enrich the alumni experience, and support the School and its students.

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