LA City Council President and Founder of San Francisco-Based Non-Profit for Assisting Immigrants Named 2006 Recipients of John F. Kennedy New Frontier Awards

For Immediate Release: October 11, 2006 
Further information: Brent R. Carney (617) 514-1662, 
Esten Perez (617) 496-4009

Boston, MA – Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti and Jane Leu, Founder and Executive Director of Upwardly Global, a San Francisco-based non-profit that helps legal immigrants establish professional careers in the United States, were today named the 2006 recipients of the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Awards by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and Harvard’s Institute of Politics. Caroline Kennedy will present Garcetti and Leu with the awards at a formal ceremony on November 20, 2006 at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Kennedy Library Foundation and Harvard’s Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government created the New Frontier Awards to honor Americans under the age of 40 who are changing their communities - and the country - with their commitment to public service. The awards are presented annually to two exceptional individuals whose contributions in elective office, and non-elective community service or advocacy demonstrate the impact and the value of public service in the spirit of John F. Kennedy.

“Eric Garcetti and Jane Leu embody President Kennedy’s belief that one person can make a difference,” said John Shattuck, CEO of the Kennedy Library Foundation. “Like John F. Kennedy, Eric Garcetti is a pragmatic problem solver who helps build bridges across the political spectrum to find practical solutions to the issues facing Los Angeles. Jane Leu has fought tirelessly to find employment for those in need, including our nation’s immigrants, refugees and those granted political asylum. Eric and Jane should serve as a true inspiration to us all.”

“The New Frontier awards provide an important opportunity to recognize young Americans who are improving our communities every day,” said Institute of Politics’ Director Jeanne Shaheen.

“As we work to encourage young people to consider lives in public service, Eric Garcetti and Jane Leu certainly serve as excellent role models.”

Caroline Kennedy will present Garcetti and Leu each with a ship’s navigational compass in a wooden box bearing the inscription: “We stand today on the edge of a New Frontier…. I believe the times demand new invention, innovation, imagination, decision. I am asking each of you to be pioneers on that New Frontier.” – John F. Kennedy.”

Eric Garcetti
Los Angeles City Council President

Fenn Award Recipient

Eric Garcetti, 35, is currently President of the Los Angeles City Council and is serving his second term as council member. During his five years in public office, he has taken on some of the city’s most pressing public problems including affordable housing, environmental issues, and economic development. Garcetti has shown particular leadership on housing issues, most recently leading an ongoing bid to pass a $1 billion housing bond, which, if approved, would enable the construction of thousands of affordable housing units in the city of Los Angeles. In 2004, he directed a successful campaign to secure a $500 million upgrade of the city’s storm-water system, which was spilling garbage and bacterial toxins into the Pacific Ocean and keeping city beaches closed to swimmers. Garcetti also played a leadership role in the celebrated economic and cultural revival of his Hollywood district. Garcetti was elected City Council President in November 2005. He holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Columbia University.

Jane Leu
Founder and Executive Director, Upwardly Global

Jane Leu, 37, is Founder and Executive Director of Upwardly Global, a nonprofit organization that helps legal immigrants reclaim their professional careers in the United States and assists employers in tapping into the talents and skills of foreign-born professionals. Since its establishment in 2000, Upwardly Global has provided job-search tools and training to immigrants, refugees and political asylees from more than 65 countries. The organization has also forged relationships with more than 70 major American employers seeking to diversify their workforces, including Google, Cisco, and J.P. Morgan Chase. Based in San Francisco, Upwardly Global recently opened a second office in New York City. A social entrepreneur whose creative vision, pragmatism and tenacity have powered the success of Upwardly Global, Leu has dedicated her career to opening the doors of opportunity for immigrants and refugees. She holds a B.A. from Tufts University and an M.A. from Columbia University.

The New Frontier Awards are named after President Kennedy's bold challenge to Americans given in his acceptance speech to the Democratic National Convention on July 15, 1960:

We stand today on the edge of a New Frontier…a frontier of unknown opportunities and perils -- a frontier of unfulfilled hopes and threats. The New Frontier of which I speak is not a set of promises -- it is a set of challenges. It sums up not what I intend to offer the American people, but what I intend to ask of them. It appeals to their pride, not to their pocketbook -- it holds out the promise of more sacrifice instead of more security…. Beyond that frontier are the uncharted areas of science and space, unsolved problems of peace and war, unconquered pockets of ignorance and prejudice, unanswered questions of poverty and surplus. It would be easier to shrink back from that frontier, to look to the safe mediocrity of the past, to be lulled by good intentions and high rhetoric…but I believe the times demand new invention, innovation, imagination, decision. I am asking each of you to be pioneers on that New Frontier.

One of the New Frontier Awards honors an elected official whose work demonstrates the importance of elective service as a way to address a public challenge or challenges. This award, called the Fenn Award, is presented to a young elected official in honor of Dan Fenn, the Kennedy Library’s first director and a former member of President Kennedy’s staff. The other New Frontier Award honors an individual whose contributions in the realm of community service, advocacy or grassroots activism have had a positive impact on a broad public policy issue or challenge.

A distinguished bipartisan committee of political and community leaders selected Eric Garcetti and Jane Leu based on their contributions to the public and their embodiment of the forward-looking public idealism to which President Kennedy hoped young Americans would aspire. Past recipients of the New Frontier Awards include: Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan; Kica Matos, Executive Director of JUNTA, a social service organization in New Haven, Connecticut; Louisiana State Representative Karen Carter; and Wendy Kopp, Founder and CEO of Teach for America.

The John F. Kennedy New Frontier Awards Committee is co-chaired by Jeanne Shaheen, Director, Harvard’s Institute of Politics and former Governor of New Hampshire; and John Shattuck, CEO, John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, former U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic, and former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Committee members are: Jennifer Armini, Marketing Director, The Mentor Network, former Communications Director, MassINC; Melanie Campbell, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, former IOP Fellow; Ranny Cooper, President & COO, Weber Shandwick Public Affairs, former Chief of Staff for Senator Edward M. Kennedy; Dan Fenn, former member of President John F. Kennedy’s staff and former Director of the John F. Kennedy Library; Trey Grayson, Secretary of State, Kentucky; Elaine C. Kamarck, Lecturer in Public Policy, Kennedy School of Government; Rachel Kaprielian, Member, House of Representatives, Commonwealth of Massachusetts; 1999 Recipient of the Fenn Award; Larry Kessler, Founding Director, AIDS Action Committee, former member, National Commission on AIDS; Jackie Jenkins-Scott, President, Wheelock College; Vivien Li, Executive Director, The Boston Harbor Association; Susan Page, Washington Bureau Chief, USA Today; and Barbara Souliotis, State Director, Office of Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and Harvard University’s Institute of Politics both have their origins in the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library, Inc., a non-profit corporation that was chartered in Massachusetts on December 5, 1963, to construct and equip the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Massachusetts.

The Kennedy Library Corporation raised more than $20 million for both the construction of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, and for the creation and endowment of an institute at Harvard for the study of politics and public affairs. More than 30 million people from around the world, including school children, contributed to the fund.

In 1966, the Kennedy Library Corporation presented Harvard University with an endowment for the creation of the Institute of Politics. A living memorial to President John F. Kennedy, Harvard University’s Institute of Politics was created to compliment the work of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum by helping to inspire students, particularly undergraduates, to enter careers in politics and public service, and to promote greater understanding and cooperation between the academic community and the political world.

The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation provides financial support, staffing, and creative resources for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, a presidential library administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum and the Kennedy Library Foundation seek to promote, through educational and community programs, a greater appreciation and understanding of American politics, history, and culture, the process of governing and the importance of public service.