Green Sands Equity strives to engage and encourage individuals or organizations who show potential for excellence and profound impact on the world. Through partnership, connectivity to our network, and funding, we provide Green Sands Prize recipients with the resources and opportunities they need to succeed.
Biennially, Green Sands, under the direction of Chairwoman Reema Khan, sets the target focus area for the prize, by which a nomination committee consisting of subject matter experts and key opinion leaders is assembled to nominate the recipient of the prize.
Green Sands Prize
Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett
Dr. Corbett was awarded the 2021 Green Sands Prize for her contributions to Science and the Development of Moderna Vaccine.
"I would like for every little girl to look at me and say, “I can be a scientist too”. I want my legacy to be in inspiration. And, while inspiring, I would like to clear away barriers that keep many young girls from achieving at the highest of levels. Making the world aware that women are worthy."
- Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett
In 2020 when COVID-19 was spreading globally, Dr. Corbett was a research fellow and the scientific lead for the Coronavirus Vaccines & Immunopathogenesis Team at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The vaccine concept incorporated in the mRNA-1273 was designed by Dr. Corbett’s NIH team. In an unprecedented 66 days, her team released the viral sequence which was rapidly deployed to Moderna, Inc., for the Phase 1 clinical trial. The mRNA-1273 was later shown to be 94.1% effective in Phase 3 trial and was authorized for use in multiple countries. Alongside the mRNA-1273, Dr. Corbett boasts a patent portfolio which includes universal coronavirus and influenza vaccine concepts and novel therapeutic antibodies.
Today, Dr. Corbett is an Assistant Professor of immunology and infectious diseases at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Shutzer Assistant Professor at Harvard’s Radcliff Institute of Advanced Study, and Associate Member of the Phillip T. and Susan M. Ragon Institute. At Harvard Dr. Corbett is studying viral immunology to inform vaccine development. “In going back to the fundamentals, I’ll be broadening my horizons beyond just coronaviruses to explore other viral families. I want to do what we did with coronaviruses—create a solid body of knowledge for other viruses so that the world has information at hand to quickly and safely develop vaccines. That concept is called ‘pandemic preparedness,’ and that’s really what my lab here will be focusing on.” stated Dr. Corbett.
Green Sands Prize
Tenzin Seldon was awarded the 2019 Green Sands Prize for her contributions to Climate and Civil Rights.
"Climate leadership has often failed to express the problem through the heart, through the experiences of everyday people. We are amazing at giving you exact figures for carbon in the atmosphere; we’re not great at explaining to you how that’s going to impact your father or your sister."
- Tenzin Seldon
Tenzin was raised as a refugee in the Indian Himalayas, her family having fled there from Tibet. Tenzin is the founder of Kinstep, a social enterprise platform that connects refugees and immigrants to safe and steady jobs to better integrate into their new home countries. Tenzin serves as Senior Advisor, Board Member of Earth's Call Fund, in partnership with Lever for Change, which deployed 100M for solutions in the climate crisis. Today Tenzin Seldon is the Co-Founder & Chief Executive of The Plant, creating and building a global home for climate solutions.
She graduated top of her class at Stanford University, followed by the University of Oxford, where she was the first Tibetan-American Rhodes Scholar. Tenzin's work has been recognized around the world: as a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree and Forbes magazine "Most Likely to Impact the Next Century," World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Shaper, a Henry S. Truman Scholar, and one of Ozy Magazine's "5 Civil-Rights Leaders for a New Generation".
In 2018, she received the 21st Century Icon Award from the London Stock Exchange.
Tenzin brings the gift of transcendent perspective to Silicon Valley, the corporate and political world, by reminding us of the importance of our past and present in a world mainly focused on the short-term future. Her contributions to corporate responsibility and her mindful perspective on innovation have a profound and far-reaching impact on business.
As a civil rights leader, Tenzin has spent her career advocating for disenfranchised communities, taking on seemingly impossible conflicts. She has lead Climate Justice League chapters around the US. She led the United Nations Regional Office of Asia and the Pacific and was honoured at the United Nations as an Innovative Disrupter.