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International House Gala Celebration

See interview of honorees with Chancellor Dirks:

More Gala videos on our YouTube channel

International House 2014 Alumni of the Year

Wendy Schmidt (IH 1978-80)

As President and Co-Founder of The Schmidt Family Foundation and The Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI), philanthropist and environmental advocate Wendy Schmidt has advanced the wiser use of energy and natural resources worldwide as a champion for greater sustainability in food and water systems across the globe and as a champion for human rights.

While living at I-House Wendy earned an MA in Journalism from Cal, established enduring cross-cultural friendships and intercultural insights that inform her work, and gained a life partner in Dr. Eric Schmidt (IH 1976-80), Executive Chairman at Google and Co-Founder of The Schmidt Family Foundation and SOI.

Schmidt Family Foundation grantees include The Berkeley Food Institute whose programs foster greater resiliency, diversity and strength in sustainable food and agriculture systems making connections between research, communications, policy, practice, and social movements.

Wendy’s leadership to advance a world of greater equity and justice personifies the mission of International House. In recognition of her dedication and success to serve communities around the world to address climate and energy challenges, to foster improvements in ecological agriculture, water systems and human rights, International House is proud to recognize Wendy Schmidt as International House Alumna of the Year 2014.

Ashok Gadgil, Ph.D.  (IH 1973-75)

A UC Berkeley professor who holds the Rudd Family Foundation Chair in Safe Water and Sanitation, and an accomplished physicist with Lawrence Berkeley
National Laboratory (LBNL), Dr. Ashok Gadgil is recognized worldwide for his innovative solutions that address vexing issues of energy and water-use systems in the developing world.

Not only have his groundbreaking solutions in water disinfection and less-polluting cooking stoves proved efficient, they have transformed communities in dramatic ways: protecting and improving human health while reducing less obvious related outcomes such as gender-based violence and conflicts and poverty associated with resource-scarcity.

Ashok’s work has earned him many national and international accolades including the 2002 World Technology Award for Energy, 2004 Tech Laureate Prize, 2009 Heinz Award, the 2011 European Inventor Award, the 2012 Zayed Future Energy Prize, the 2012 Lemelson-MIT Global Innovator Prize, the 2013 Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water, and the 2013 Tech Laureate Prize.

Dr. Gadgil, originally from India, earned his PhD in Physics at Cal while residing at International House. The dialogues and discoveries fostered through these experiences have informed Ashok’s approach to addressing some of the world’s most pronounced challenges. For shaping a world of greater well-being, International House is proud to recognize Ashok Gadgil as International House Alumnus of the Year 2014.



Visit our Facebook page to see more pictures from the 2013 Gala.

Gala funds support the International House mission to advance a world of greater understanding, including scholarships for residents with financial need, care for our historic home, and investment in innovative programs aligned with our purposes.



International House gratefully acknowledges our Gala Sponsors.