The Harvard Graduate School of Design Alumni Award honors outstanding leadership by GSD alumni, underscoring the essential role that GSD graduates play in leading change around the world. The award recognizes and celebrates the diversity, range, and impact of GSD alumni within their communities and across their areas of practice.

The GSD Alumni Award honors up to five individuals each year who demonstrate outstanding design leadership in their communities. This inclusive approach enables the GSD Alumni Council to celebrate the inherent diversity, range of innovation, and impact of GSD graduates worldwide.

By honoring GSD alumni whose work charts new frontiers for design leadership, the GSD Alumni Award will strengthen bonds between alumni, the School, and students, highlighting the urgency and relevance of the GSD’s education as graduates work to meet the challenges presented to designers in an increasingly dynamic and complex world.

From the nomination process to final award selection, the GSD Alumni Award will showcase the rich diversity of practice leadership contained within the GSD alumni community, providing prospective students, current GSD students, and recent graduates alike with a diverse range of leaders to inspire and help shape their own professional journeys.

All members of the GSD alumni community are eligible, with the exception of current GSD faculty, staff, and Alumni Council members. To ensure diverse participation in the award, self-nomination is encouraged.


  • Leadership Impact. The GSD Alumni Award recognizes outstanding leaders who have demonstrated an impact in the alumni’s area of professional practice. Areas of impact include, but are not limited to, work in the built environment, the development of ground-breaking devices and products, new materials development, leading-edge research approaches, community building, policy-making, design education, thought leadership, and other forms of leadership.
  • Outstanding Ambassadorship and Service. GSD Alumni Award recipients exemplify the mission, vision, and values of the School, underscoring the urgent relevance of the GSD’s design education to a broad range of stakeholders, including peers, practitioners, students, and clients. Recipients may also be recognized for their demonstrated commitment and leadership in service to the School and its community.
  • Modeling Social Values. Through their work and practice, GSD Alumni Award recipients demonstrate their commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and collaboration, as stated in the GSD Alumni Council Community Statement and Mission Statements.


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