Yvon Chouinard honored as one of America's Best Leaders

U.S. News Media Group, in association with the Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at Harvard Kennedy's School of Government, has released the 2009 edition of America's Best Leaders, available online at www.usnews.com/leaders and featured in the November, 2009, issue of U.S. News & World Report magazine, on newsstands Tuesday, October 27. Included on this year’s list is Yvon Chouinard, awarded for his achievements of fighting to preserve the planet through his unique business practices at Patagonia.


(Image courtesy of Patagonia)

Yvon Chouinard is being recognized in the November issue of U.S. News & World Report as founder and owner of Patagonia, a company he founded and continues to run, which strives to cause no unnecessary harm to the planet and uses business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. Yvon pushed Patagonia use only organic cotton in 1996, co-founded 1% For the Planet in 2001, urged the company to begin a revolutionary garment recycling program in 2005, and inspired the launch of the Footprint Chronicles, an interactive website that took corporate transparency to a new level, in 2007. Since 1985, Patagonia has given over $34M to grassroots environmental organizations through its unique Grants Program, and continues to thrive during recessionary times, having their best year on record in 2008.

"The country has faced exceptional challenges in the past year," said Brian Kelly, editor of U.S.News & World Report. “With our Best Leaders issue, we focused on individuals from a range of industries who have demonstrated unwavering leadership and a commitment to finding solutions in this difficult time."

U.S. News Media Group’s nomination of America’s Best Leaders features 22 of the country’s foremost professionals, including:

  • Ben Bernanke, Chairman, The Federal Reserve Board (Washington, D.C.)
  • Cory Booker, Mayor, City of Newark (Newark, NJ)
  • John Chambers, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cisco Systems, Inc. (San Jose, CA)
  • Yvon Chouinard, Founder, Patagonia Inc. (Ventura, CA)
  • John Doerr, Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (Menlo Park, CA)
  • Cheryl Dorsey, President, Echoing Green (New York, NY)
  • Eve Ensler, Founder and Artistic Director, President, Board of Directors, V-DAY (New York, NY)
  • Norman Francis, President, Xavier University of Louisiana (New Orleans, LA)
  • • Orrin G. Hatch, United States Senate (Washington, DC)
  • Susan Hockfield, President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)
  • Edward Kennedy (1932-2009), Former United States Senator
  • Kathleen Magee, Co-Founder and President, Operation Smile (Norfolk, VA)
  • William Magee Jr., D.D.S., M.D., Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Operation Smile (Norfolk, VA)
  • Greg Mortenson, Executive Director, Central Asia Institute (Bozeman, MT)
  • Ray Odierno, Commanding General, Multi-National Force, Iraq, United States Army (The Pentagon, Washington, DC))
  • Senior Enlisted Officers, United States Military (The Pentagon, Washington, DC)
  • Eboo Patel, Founder and Executive Director, Interfaith Youth Core (Chicago, IL)
  • Sally Ride, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sally Ride Science (San Diego, CA)
  • David Robinson, Founder, The Carver Academy (San Antonio, TX)
  • Judith Rodin, President, The Rockefeller Foundation (New York, NY)
  • James Sinegal, President and Chief Executive Officer, Costco Wholesale Corporation (Issaquah, WA)
  • Twyla Tharp, Founder and Artistic Director, Twyla Tharp Productions (New York, NY)


"America's Best Leaders are constantly working to solve society's biggest problems," said Kelly. "Whether they are developing ways to be more environmentally sustainable, reviving a city, building schools in war zones, or bringing the economy back from the brink, these leaders are making a positive impact with creativity and innovation."

In a collaborative effort between U.S. News and Harvard’s CPL, the leaders were selected by a nonpartisan and independent committee, convened and organized by the Center, without the participation of U.S. News editors. The selection criteria used by the committee in choosing the honorees included the ability to set direction, achieve results, and cultivate a culture of growth.

Filed under: People & Organizations

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