Yvon Chouinard Honored As One Of The 2009 America’s Best Leaders

Washington, DC – October 26, 2009 – U.S. News Media Group, in association with the Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at Harvard Kennedy’s School of Government, today 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.

Featuring 22 of the country’s most exemplary individuals, the fifth annual Best Leaders issue honors a select group of men and women from a variety of fields including business, public service, education, and arts. These inspiring professionals have contributed to industry advancements with their innovation and achievements, and through their advocacy, service, activism, and philanthropy, have dedicated their careers to improving the everyday lives of people across the globe.

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.

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“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.

About the Center for Public Leadership

Established in 2000 through a generous gift from the Wexner Foundation, the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School provides cutting-edge teaching and research as well as hands-on training in the skills of leadership for people in government, nonprofits, and business. For more information, go to: www.hks.harvard.edu/leadership

About the U.S. News Media Group
The U.S. News Media Group is a multi-platform digital publisher of news and analysis, which includes the monthly U.S. News & World Report magazine, the digital-only U.S. News Weekly magazine, www.usnews.com, and www.rankingsandreviews.com. Focusing on Health, Money & Business, Education, and Public Service/Opinion, the U.S. News Media Group has earned a reputation as the leading provider of service news and information that improves the quality of life of its readers. The U.S. News Media Group’s signature franchises include its News You Can Use® brand of journalism and its “America’s Best” series of consumer guides that include rankings of colleges, graduate schools, hospitals, health plans, and more.