While the Prize showcases the incredible work of scientists in the field, their work can’t end in the remote reaches of the wild. Oftentimes it takes an ambassador to inspire and encourage the public to find their own role in conservation efforts, both locally and globally, and to create conversations regarding wild things in wild places.
The Indianapolis Prize created the Jane Alexander Global Wildlife Ambassador Award to recognize this dedicated advocacy and outreach, and the inestimable contributions of a very few remarkable men and women who are changing the future by sharing their passion for our planet’s wild wonders with others.
Named in honor of award-winning actor and dedicated conservationist Jane Alexander, the “Ambassador” award is given to an individual who supports the natural world by leading others to action and lending a credible, consistent and effective public voice for the sustainability of wildlife.
The Indianapolis Prize team is grateful for the advocacy and devotion of many public figures who have joined Indianapolis Prize programs, including actors Josh Duhamel, Alfre Woodard, and Sam Waterston, the late composer Marvin Hamlisch, and many others. Like Jane Alexander, these individuals are using their voices to create positive change for species around the world.
The next Jane Alexander Global Wildlife Ambassador Award winner will be recognized as the conservation community comes together for the Indianapolis Prize Gala on Sept. 29, 2018.
His characters on the big screen are daring, courageous and on save-the-world kinds of missions. In real life, it’s much the same for actor and environmentalist Harrison Ford. His bold devotion to planet Earth is truly heroic, earning him the 2018 Jane Alexander Global Wildlife Ambassador title.
A dedicated supporter of Conservation International for more than 25 years, Ford believes nothing is more important than preserving the environment. Through his extensive work, whether patrolling the Hudson River by helicopter or trekking through the forests of Indonesia to understand the unsustainable palm oil crisis affecting species like orangutans, including young apes at rescue and rehabilitation centers in Nyaru Menteng, his hands-on approach has led him on worldwide excursions alongside respected scientists and experts. He gave voice to the Nature is Speaking film, The Ocean, and helped secure the protection of more than 40 million acres on three continents as part of the Global Conservation Fund, making him a true hero for wild things and wild places.
Sigourney Weaver, an award-winning actor, has been an advocate for the mountain gorillas of Rwanda since her starring role in the 1988 film Gorillas in the Mist, and serves as honorary chair of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International.
Sigourney brought her credibility to BBC’s highly popular series Planet Earth as narrator, joined other conservationists at the United Nations General Assembly in 2006, and has earned multiple awards from the Explorer’s Club and Audubon’s Women in Conservation.
Weaver has captivated audiences with unique and memorable characters. She continues to lend her voice in honor of conservation efforts and roles.
The inaugural Jane Alexander Global Wildlife Ambassador Award was presented to its namesake in recognition of her decades-long commitment as a voice and champion for species. Jane considers being a conservationist her most important and challenging role, and this award will continue to showcase strides being made to protect Earth’s incredible animals and habitats.
The Tony and Emmy award-winning actor’s advocacy for wild things and wild places has included involvement with the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Audubon Society and Panthera. An avid author, her most recent book, Wild Things, Wild Places, tells about her travels with field biologists over the past 35 years. Alexander is and Honorary Chair of the Indianapolis Prize.