About the Citizens Awards

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Citizens Awards recognize the most innovative and impactful corporate citizenship programs from businesses, chambers, and associations of all sizes.

Awards are given in six categories that honor businesses for specific strategic initiatives. Additionally, two companies that exemplify the highest ideals of corporate citizenship through their overall social impact portfolio are granted the Best Corporate Steward awards.

Established in 2000, the Citizens Awards document the living history of corporate philanthropy and social responsibility, serving as a repository of the private sector's ever-lasting impact on communities across the globe. 

The programs recognized through the Citizens Awards raise the bar on social responsibility and spearhead the transformation to a strong, healthy, and sustainable future. The Citizens Awards also serve as an inspiration for other companies to continue the momentum in creating a sustainable, prosperous, and more inclusive world.

The Categories

  • Best Commitment to Education Program:
    This award category recognizes businesses that are making a significant impact in improving educational outcomes for students around the world.
  • Best Community Improvement Program:
    This award category recognizes businesses that have made significant contributions to improving and advancing local communities.
  • Best Disaster Response and Community Resilience Program:
    This award category recognizes businesses that have made significant contributions to building resilient communities by improving their ability to withstand and recover from disasters 
  • Best Economic Opportunity and Empowerment Program:
    This award category recognizes businesses that help create significant economic opportunity for people and communities around the world.
  • Best Health and Wellness Program:
    This award category recognizes businesses that are making a significant impact in improving the health of communities around the world.
  • Best Sustainability Program:
    This award category recognizes businesses that are committed to helping create a more sustainable future.
  • Best Corporate Steward:
    This award category recognizes businesses that are responsive and responsible members of society, and whose overall values, operational practices, and decision-making exemplify shared value.

The Citizens Awards

Citizens Awards Overview

20 Years Later:
How Corporate Citizenship Has Changed

The Role of Purpose-Driven Businesses

The 2020 Judges

  • Kari Armbruster, Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Project Manager, Kroger Co
  • Shelly Bell, CEO, Black Girl Ventures
  • E.J. Bernacki, Vice President, Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility Communications, Wells Fargo & Co.
  • William Browning, Chief Strategy and Transormation Officer, United Way World Wide
  • Zach Cahalan, Strategic Director, Disaster Operations, Catholic Charities
  • Nicole Christian, President and CEO, Garrett County Chamber of Commerce
  • Megan Corey, Senior Executive and Director, Digital Engagement, Marketing and Communications, National League of Cities
  • Clifford Deaton, Program Associate, Aspen Institute
  • Patricia Dillon, Director, EPEAT Category Development, Green Electronics Council
  • Julie Doupe, Head of Institutional Giving, Khan Academy
  • Elizabeth Egle, Chief Development Officer, SBP
  • Nicole Evans, National Director, Resource Development Strategy & Communications, Boys & Girls Club of America
  • Balaji Ganapathy, Global Head, CSR | Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, Tata Consultancy Services
  • Tara Lynn Gray, CEO, Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce
  • Cathleen Grzesiek, Senior Vice President, Health Strategies, American Heart Association
  • Erin Hagen, Deputy Director, Evidence for Action, A Project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Audrey Henson, Founder and CEO, College To Congress
  • Laura Horne, Chief Program Officer, Active Minds
  • Sandy Husk, CEO, AVID
  • Pina Jabbari, Head of Account Management, Corporate Partnerships, Save the Children
  • Karen Kafer, SVP, Health Partnerships, GenYouth
  • Thomas Kirk, Program Manager, Rocky Mountain Institute
  • Robert Klee, Lecturer, Yale Center for Business and Environment, Yale University
  • Linda Langston, Director of Strategic Relations, National Association of Counties
  • Jennifer Layke, Global Director, Energy Program, World Resources Institute
  • Gary Levante, Senior Vice President of Corporate Responsibility & Culture, Berkshire Bank
  • Elizabeth Lindsey, CEO, ByteBack
  • Alyssa Lovegrove, Professor and Senior Advisor, Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative, Georgetown University
  • Elizabeth Lyon, Small Business & Circular Economy Manager , Plant Chicago
  • Annie Mayol, President and COO, Foundaiton for Puerto Rico
  • Lisa Menuskin, Communications Manager, FedEx
  • Rick Neudorff, COVID Operational Industry Coordinator, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Jenny Philip, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, Greater Houston Partnership
  • Edwin Piñero, Director of Water Programs, Alliance for Water Stewardship
  • Greg Polk, Vice President, Global Government Relations & Citizenship, Stanley Black & Decker
  • Amanda Ponzar, Chief Communications and Strategy Officer, Community Health Charities
  • Gita Rampersad, Vice President, Healthcare Partnerships & Nutrition Access, Equity, & Opportunity, Feeding America
  • Ayris Scales, Chief Service Officer, Mayor's Office on Volunteering, District of Columbia
  • Stephanie Short, VP, Partnerships, America Succeeds
  • Greg Silverman, Executive Director, West Side Campaign Against Hunger
  • Stephanie Slingerland, Senior Director, Philanthropy and Social Impact, Kellogg Company
  • Teri Smith, President, International Association of Emergency Managers - USA
  • Steven Stichter, Director, Resilient America Program, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
  • Damon Taugher, VP, Global Programs, Direct Relief
  • Gregory Thomas, Executive Director, Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Strategic Advisor, Unlocking Potential
  • Margret Trilli, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer, Impact Assets
  • Carmen Villar, Vice President, Social Business Innovation, Merck
  • Dennis Walto, CEO, Children's Health Fund
  • Angela Williams, Digital Careers Program Director, Goodwill Industries International
  • Colleen Wong, Director of Partnership, Global Entrepreneurship Network
  • Paul Woodruff, Executive Director, Prosperity Connection


UPS Foundation

Leadership Sponsor

Acronis SCS
Advanced Auto Parts
UnitedHealth Group