William H. Gates Sr. to Receive the Roy L. Prosterman Humanitarian Award

SEATTLE—Landesa is awarding William H. “Bill” Gates Sr. with the inaugural Roy L. Prosterman Humanitarian Award at Landesa’s Seed the Change gala on March 15, 2018 in Seattle, WA.

Landesa helps women and men living in the world’s poorest areas gain access to opportunity and break cycles of poverty. More than 50 years ago, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Landesa, Roy Prosterman, embarked on a mission that has become his life’s work: providing secure, legal land rights to rural women and men.

The Roy L. Prosterman Humanitarian Award was created in 2017 by Landesa to recognize and highlight ground-breaking and lasting contributions to poverty alleviation.

“The Roy L. Prosterman Award provides a unique platform to celebrate and recognize leaders who embody the characteristics of Roy himself—vision, boldness, creativity and determination,” said Chris Jochnick, CEO Landesa. “Bill Gates Sr. is a visionary who has dedicated his life to poverty alleviation, and we honor him today for his extraordinary contributions,” Jochnick added.

This year’s winner, Bill Gates Sr., guided the vision and strategic direction of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He first answered his son’s request for help in using his resources to improve reproductive and child health in the developing world by directing the William H. Gates Foundation, which was established in 1994. It merged with the Gates Learning Foundation to create the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000.

“A half century ago, Roy Prosterman was struck by the non-apparent truth that what keeps the world’s poorest people poor is their inability to own the land they work. Since then, he and [Landesa] have shown what wonders can be wrought from a piece of land when the people who till it, own it,” said Bill Gates Sr. “I am honored to receive the first award and recognition from Roy,” he added.

Landesa’s annual Seed the Change gala celebrates Prosterman’s work and International Women’s Day (March 8) and highlights Landesa’s commitment to bettering the lives of women and their families around the globe.

Drawing prominent leaders from philanthropic, corporate and civic circles, the Seed the Change gala celebrates Landesa’s commitment to enabling women’s economic empowerment through the power of land rights. The event attracts an audience of hundreds from around the Seattle area and across the globe.