Alumni Achievement Award
The Alumni Achievement Award, recognizing distinguished contributions to one's profession or chosen field of endeavor, represents the highest form of university recognition bestowed exclusively on alumni.
Nominate alumni for 2023
2022 Award Recipients
The recipients of this year’s Alumni Achievement Award have changed the course of history. Susan Band Horowitz, GSAS PhD’63, is recognized for her groundbreaking research discovery, while Michael Horowitz ’84 is honored for his service as inspector general of the US Department of Justice. Learn More.
- Patricia Hill Collins ’69, GSAS PhD’84, Distinguished University Professor Emerita at the University of Maryland, College Park, and Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies Emerita at the University of Cincinnati, is the author of 10 books, among them her award-winning “Black Feminist Thought” (1990, 2000) and “Black Sexual Politics” (2004).
- Susan Reich Weiss ’71, professor and vice-chair of microbiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, is a pioneer in the study of coronaviruses. Her scientific research as a coronavirologist over the past four decades has helped with the understanding of the 2002 SARS and 2012 MERS outbreaks, as well as COVID-19.
- Drew Weissman ’81, GSAS MA’81, P’15 is a professor of medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. His collaborative research with former colleague Katalin Karikó into the modification of nucleic acids for RNA therapeutics and vaccines is credited with laying the groundwork for the Covid-19 vaccines created by Moderna and Pfizer.
- Michael Sugar ’95 - Award-winning film producer of “Spotlight” in 2016 and Peabody Award-winning television producer.
- Paul Zlotoff ’72 - Chairman of Uniprop, a successful Michigan real estate development and investment firm and university benefactor.
- Hortense Spillers, PhD’74 - Pioneering professor, feminist scholar and critic whose contributions have influenced the landscape of African American literary studies and advanced black feminist theory.
- Toshizo "Tom" Watanabe ’73 - Entrepreneur, philanthropist and proponent of cross-cultural understanding. A recipient of a Wien International Scholarship who carried forth the legacy of the Wien program by establishing the Toshizo Watanabe International Scholarship Program to provide scholarships for students from Japan to attend Brandeis.
- Debra Granik ’85 - Academy Award-nominated filmmaker whose body of work brings often-overlooked individuals, regions and societal issues to the forefront. A visual anthropologist at heart whose thought-provoking films have garnered prestigious awards, including Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for “Winter’s Bone.”
- Donald Soffer ’54 - Visionary real estate developer who built the city of Aventura, Florida. A philanthropist who came to Brandeis on a football scholarship and makes a point of giving back to his alma mater. His transformational gift in 2008 supported the construction of teaching labs and classrooms that enable world-class scientific discovery and learning.
- Tony Goldwyn ’82 - Acclaimed actor, director, producer and activist who has played iconic roles in "Ghost" and "Scandal" and has used his fame as a platform to advocate for a number of social justice and humanitarian causes.
- Deborah Lipstadt, MA’72, PhD’76 - Leading historian whose story of being sued by Holocaust denier David Irving was chronicled in the movie "Denial". Emory University Professor and author of "The Eichmann Triall" and "Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory."
- Roy DeBerry ’70, MA’78, PhD’79 - Human rights and social justice activist. Helped organize voter registration efforts in his native Mississippi in the 1960s. Co-founder of the Hill Country Project, an economic development/oral history initiative. At Brandeis, led 1969 takeover of Ford Hall to protest campus racial climate.
- Susan Weidman Schneider ’65 - Founding mother and longtime editor of pioneering Jewish feminist Magazine Lilith. Prominent Jewish voice in general women's movement. Author of several books, including "Jewish and Female." Recipient of a Polakoff Lifetime Achievement Award in journalism.
- Wakako Hironaka, MA’64, H’87 - Served four terms in the Japanese House of Councillors (1986-2010) and was vice chair of Democratic Party of Japan. State minister, director-general of federal Environmental Agency in 1993-94. Member of the inaugural class of the Wien International Scholarship Program.
- Eve Marder ’69 - Internationally recognized scientist whose research has yielded important clues to brain function. One of 14 scientists appointed to a working group for President Barack Obama's BRAIN Initiative. Won the 2013 Neuroscience Prize from the Gruber Foundation.
- Eric Yoffie ’69 - President of the Union for Reform Judaism, American Judaism's largest denomination, from 1996-2012. Encouraged greater focus on Jewish text study, launched dialogue programs with Christians and Muslims and promoted closer ties between the United States and Israel.
- Robert J. Zimmer ’68 - President of the University of Chicago since 2006, he has helped to institute major initiatives in support of students and faculty. Member of the National Science Board and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
- Jon Landau ’68 - Record producer and manager who has worked with music legend Bruce Springsteen for 40 years. Collaborated with MC5, Livingston Taylor, Jackson Browne and Natalie Merchant. Executive vice president of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- Bonnie Berger ’83 - Second woman to earn tenure in the math department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Employs pioneering mathematical techniques to solve problems in molecular biology. Co-author of more than 100 scholarly research articles.
- Paul Anastas, MA’87, PhD’89 - Widely known as the "father of green chemistry," he helped advance the science of designing and manufacturing environmentally friendly chemicals during his time at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and at Yale University.
- Class of 1952
- Allen Alter ’71 - Award-winning senior producer of long-running CBS News series "48 Hours." Joined network in 1983 after stints as a reporter for Newsweek and United press International. Tw-term president of Alumni Association.
- Gary David Goldberg ’66 - Television producer and writer best known for critically acclaimed hit series "Family Ties," "Brooklyn Bridge" and "Spin City". Winner of multiple Emmy and Golden Globe awards. Film credits include "Dad," "Bye Bye Love" and "Must Love Dogs".
- Louis Perlmutter ’56, H’95 - Leading global financier and merger specialist. Served as a senior partner of investment banking firm Lazard. Member of Council on Foreign Relations and numerous nonprofit boards. Only Brandeis alumnus to serve as chair of the Board of Trustees.
- Tim Morehouse ’00 - The university's first Olympic athlete, he earned a silver medal with the U.S. fencing team at the 2008 Summer Games. Three-time All-American who was the first Brandeis fencer to be ranked number one in the country. Graduate of the Teach for America program.
- Devika Mahadevan ’00 - A passionate community activist, she serves as CEO of Mumbai Mobile Creches, which provides early childhood care and education to more than 6,000 children of construction workers in her native India.
- Martin Peretz ’59, H’89 - One of America's leading liberal voices. Longtime editor-in-chief of the influential opinion journal The New Republic. Recipient of journalism's most prestigious awards and numerous honorary degrees. Co-founder of TheStreet.com
- Robert F.X. Sillerman ’69 - Entrepreneur, visionary, philanthropist. He reshaped the media and entertainment industries by questioning paradigms and answering our common need for community, experience, progress and inspiration.
- Chin-Teh (Tony) Chang, PhD’83 - Innovative materials scientist and pioneering businessman. Founder and CEO of Hong Kong-based Tech-Link Silicones Co. Former senior executive of General Electric's silicone operations in Asia-Pacific.
- Caroline Baron ’83 - Visionary filmmaker committed to bringing original, socially responsible entertainment to the screen. Producer of the Academy Award-winning "Capote" and "Monsoon Wedding." Founder of nonprofit humanitarian aid organization FilmAid International.
- Theresa Rebeck, MA’83, MFA’86, PhD’89 - Broadway playwriter and leading voice in American theater, known for exploring the moral complexities of our time. Pulitzer Prize finalist for Omnium Gatherum. Acclaimed novelist and award-winning film and TV writer and producer.
- Jules Bernstein ’57 - Leading worker and union labor lawyer in Washington, D.C. His union clients have included the Teamsterm, Laborers and Postal Workers. Specializes in Fair labor Standards Act litigation.
- Deborah Bial ’87, H’12 - Innovator in the field of diversity in higher education. President and founder of the Posse Foundation, a leading college access program. Recipient of MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.
- David Oshinsky, PhD’71 - Received 2006 Pulitzer Prize in history for "Polio: An American Story." Author of award-winning books on Senator Joseph McCarthy and the Parchamn Farm penitentiary. History professor at the University of Texas.
- Geir H. Haarde ’73 - Prime minister of his native Iceland, the first Brandeis graduate to lead a country. Previously served as minister of foreign affairs and minister of finance. Longtime member of Iceland's parliament.
- Michael D. Ratner ’66 - Leading litigator for international human rights. President of Center for Constitutional Rights. Won landmark case involving Guantanamo Bay detainees before U.S. Supreme Court. Part president of National Lawyers Guild.
- Michael M. Kaiser ’75 - President of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Advises performing arts organizations around the world. Cultural ambassador for the U.S. State Department's CultureConnect program. Former executive director of the Royal Opera House, American Ballet Theatre, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
- Michael J. Sandel ’75, MA’75, H’00 - Political philosopher and professor of government at Harvard, where he has taught his course "Justice" to more than 10,000 students. Books include "Liberalism and the Limits of Justice" and "Democracy's Discontent." Longtime member of the Brandeis Board of Trustees.
- Michael P. Schulhof, PhD ’70 - Founder, chairman, and CEO of Global Technology Investments, a leading private equity firm specializing in technology and media companies. Longtime member of the Brandeis Board of Trustees.
- David L. Crane ’79 - Co-creator and executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning television series "Friends." Co-creator and executive producer of the comedy series "Family Album," "Veronica's Closet," "Jesse" and "Dream On." Co-wrote the award-winning musical "Personals" while at Brandeis.
- Myra Hiatt Kraft ’64, H’12 - Tireless supporter of Brandeis University, served for more than 15 years as a leading member of the Board of Trustees. Champion of myriad community groups and philanthropic causes. First woman to chair the Boys & Girls Club of Boston.
- Walter S. Mossberg ’69 - Loeb Award-winning technology reporter for the Wall Street Journal. Contributing editor and columnist for Smart Money magazine. Contributor to the public television series "Digital Duo." Considered by Time magazine to be the "most influential computer journalist."
- Marta Kauffman ’78 - Executive producer and co-creator of Emmy Award-winning television series, Friends. Co-creator of the comedy series "Family Album," "Dream On" and "The Powers That Be." While at Brandeis, co-wrote the book and lyrics for the acclaimed musical "Personals."
- Osman Faruk Logoglu ’63 - Ambassador to the United States from the Republic of Turkey. Former Undersecretary in the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ambassador to Azerbaijan, 1996-98, and Ambassador to Denmark, 1993-96.
- Roderick MacKinnon ’78, H’05 - Head of Rockefeller University's Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology and Biophysics. Recipient of the Lasker Award, Brandeis's Rosentiel Award and many other honors for breakthroughs in understanding the operation of the nervous system.
- Nancy Katzen Kaufman ’72 - Executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, former Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services and Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Public Welfare of Massachusetts.
- Gustav Ranis ’52, H’82 - Henry R. Luce Director of the Center for International Area Studies and Frank Altschul Professor of International Economics at Yale University.
- Stephen J. Solarz ’62, H’92 - President of Solarz Associates, an international consulting firm, former U.S. Representative and Chairman of the Subcomitte on Asian and Pacific Affairs, leading advocate on behalf of democracy and human rights.
- Shen Tong ’91 - Founder and CEO of Asia New Media and co-chair of the Democracy of China Fund. A driving force behind the pro-democracy movement that resulted in the Tiananmen Square massacre, one of the Newsweek's persons of the year in 1989.
- Michael Walzer ’56, H’81 - Professor of social science at the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, coeditor of Dissent and a contributing editor at The New Republic, author or editor of more than a dozen books, including Just and Unjust Wars, The Company of Critics, and Spheres of Justice.
- Thomas L. Friedman ’75, H’88 - Foreign Affairs Columnist for The New York Times. The winner of two Pulitzer Prizes for international reporting and a National Book Award, he is the author of "From Beirut to Jerusalem" and "The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization."
- Ellen R. Gordon ’65 - President of Tootsie Roll Industries. In 1978, she was only the second woman to serve as president of a publicly traded company. She is cited on the list of the top 50 Women Business Owners in America.
- Paula Apsell ’69 - Director of the WGBH-TV Science Unit and Executive Producer of the much acclaimed and long-running science series "Nova." Her honors include eight Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, a Dupont-Columbia Award, and an Academy nomination in 1996 for Special Effects.
- Elliot Aronson ’54 - Professor of Psychology at the University of California Santa Cruz, he has shaped the field of social psychology and authored nearly 20 books, including the widely read "Social Animal."
- Eli J. Segal ’64 - President and CEO of The Welfare to Work Partnership. He served as Assistant to the President of the United States from 1993 to 1996 and was the first Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National Service.
- Judith Shapiro ’63 - President of Barnard College since 1994. Previously Provost at Bryn Mawr College. Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a partner in the New York City Partnership, and President of the Executive Committee of the Women's College Coalition.
- Thomas P. Glynn III, PhD’77 - The Chief Operating Officer of Partners HealthCare System. Served as Deputy Secretary of Labor under former Secretary Robert B. Reich.
- Ralph C. Martin II ’74 - District Attorney for Suffolk Country (MA) as well as the first African-American and first Republican to hold the office, he oversees the largest and busiest district attorney's office in New England.
- William Schneider ’66 - CNN's lead political analyst and one of this country's foremost political commentators, he is a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and author of a weekly syndicated column.
- Margo Jefferson ’68 - The New York Times Sunday theater critic and winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism, she was also a contributing editor for Vogue and an associate editor at Newsweek.
- Arthur L. Caplan ’71 - Director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, syndicated author, and oft-quoted medical ethicist.
- Robert Gallucci, MA’73, PhD’74 - Career diplomat, ambassador-at-large, and point person for the negotiations with North Korea regarding nuclear issues.
- Suk-Won Kim ’70 - Chair of SsangYong Business Group, one of the largest companies in Korea.
- Marshall S. Herskovitz ’73 - Director and producer of films such as "Traffic," "The Last Samurai" and "I am Sam," as well as television series "Once and Again," "My So-Called Life" and "Family," among others. Writing credits include "America: A Tribute to Heroes" and "Thirtysomething."
- Dimitrij Rupel, PhD’76 - Chair of Culture, Education, and Sport for the Republic of Slovenia. In 1990, he became the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the democratically elected government of Slovenia.
- Letty Cottin Pogrebin ’59 - Leading author, lecturer, and political activist, a founding editor of Ms. Magazine and cofounder of the National Women's Political Caucus. Author of seven books, including "Deborah, Golda, and Me."
- Bernard Fields ’58 - The Adele Lehman Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School, specializing in the study of viruses.
- Seung-il Shin ’64, PhD’69 - A Wien Scholar and the first Gillette Fellow to earn a PhD from Brandeis, his research includes the development and manufacture of vaccines and antibiotics through genetic engineering and biotechnology.
- Drew Altman ’73 - National health care policymaker and President of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.
- Evelyn Fox Keller ’57 - Professor at the University of California at Berkeley. Author of "A Feeling for the Organism: The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock and Reflections on Gender and Science."
- Joel D. Schwartz ’69, PhD’80 - Environmental Epidemiologist at the Environmental Protection Agency and winner of MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.
- Donald J. Cohen ’61 - Director, Yale University Study Center, and Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology, noted for work with autism, Tourette's syndrome, and psychiatric disorder in children.
- Joseph Reiman ’75 - Chair, Joey Reiman Agency, advertising executive known for outstanding creativity and success. Entrepreneur, author and restaurateur.
- Barbara Dortch-Okara ’71 - Judge, Massachusetts Superior Court, first and highest ranking African-American woman in the state judiciary.
- Stephen Coyle ’69 - Director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, where he managed a commercial building boom and the creation of 2,700 units of low - and moderate - income housing.
- Terrie Williams ’75 - Founder and President of Terrie Williams Agency; celebrity publicity agent for stars such as Eddie Murphy, Anita Baker and Miles Davis. She is the author of "The Personal Touch: What You Really Need To Succeed In Today's Fast-Paced Business World."
- George Saitoti ’67 - A Wien International Scholar, Vice President of Kenya, Minister of Planning and National Development. President of the Council of Ministers of African Caribbean and Pacific Countries in Brussels.
- Karen K. Uhlenbeck, MA’67, PhD’68, H’08