• Press Release - March 6, 2013

    Right To Play President & CEO Johann Koss awarded 2013 Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership


    TORONTO, CANADA (Wednesday, March 6, 2013) – We are proud to announce that Right To Play President and CEO Johann Olav Koss is the 2013 recipient of the Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership. Announced by Claremont McKenna College (CMC) today, the Kravis Prize, which carries a $250,000 award, recognizes extraordinary leadership in the non-profit sector. 

    Johann will be presented with The Kravis Prize at a ceremony on April 18 held on the CMC campus in Claremont, California.

    "Receiving the Kravis award is an incredible honour," says Johann. "A strong leader is a function of a strong team, and I accept this award as a testament to the work Right To Play is achieving around the world. Play is a universal language and we use it help children overcome adversity, build their confidence, deal with confrontation peacefully, and respect their opponents – all essential life skills and leadership skills.

    I am very grateful to the Kravis family for this award and for the continued success it will help us to achieve."

    First celebrated for his excellence on ice as a four time Olympic gold medalist in speed skating, Johann turned his leadership in sport into a bold new idea: improve the lives of children facing adversity around the world by using their natural instinct – to play – as a positive way to educate and empower them.

    In 2000, under Johann's leadership, that idea became Right To Play as we know it today.

    Henry R. Kravis '67, co-founder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. and founder of the Prize, says it is important that recipients of the Kravis Prize "have a real and measurable impact in the community. Johann Olav Koss is not only a champion in his native country and a true hero for aspiring athletes, his legacy also now includes transforming the lives of hundreds of thousands of children through something as simple as the opportunity to play sports."

    "We seek nonprofits that have a far-reaching, tangible impact," adds Marie-Josée Kravis, chair of the Kravis Prize Selection Committee. "Right To Play reaches 1 million children and youth through weekly activities, and has trained nearly 12,000 volunteer Coaches and 5,000 Junior Leaders to help run its weekly programs. All of these efforts are educating and transforming a new generation, globally."

    As a Kravis Award winner, Johann and Right To Play join an inspiring list of past recipients:

    Roy Prosterman (2006), founder of Landesa (formerly the Rural Development Institute); Fazle Abed (2007), founder of Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC); the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) (2008); Dr. Sakena Yacoobi (2009), founder of the Afghan Institute of Learning; Pratham (2010), India's largest nonprofit dedicated to improving the reading, writing, and basic arithmetic skills of children ages six through 14; Vicky Colbert (2011), founder of the Escuela Nueva Foundation; Soraya Salti (2012) regional director of INJAZ Al-Arab; and also in 2012, mothers2mothers, an organization preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.


    About The Kravis Prize

    Established in 2006, The Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership recognizes and celebrates extraordinary accomplishment and bold leadership in the nonprofit sector. The Kravis Prize is presented and administered by Claremont McKenna College and Marie-Josée Kravis and Henry Kravis. Mrs. Kravis, an economist, is a senior fellow of the Hudson Institute; Mr. Kravis, founding partner, co-chairman and co-CEO of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., is an alumnus and trustee of Claremont McKenna College.

    The Kravis Prize Selection Committee, chaired by Mrs. Kravis, includes: Harry McMahon, CMC alumnus and chair of the Claremont McKenna College Board of Trustees, and executive vice chairman, Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate in economics and the Thomas W. Lamont University Professor, Harvard University; Surin Pitsuwan, CMC alumnus and former Secretary General of ASEAN; Ratan Tata, chairman, Tata Group; and James D. Wolfensohn, chairman, Wolfensohn & Company, L.L.C., and former president, The World Bank.

    To learn more about The Kravis Prize, please visit www.kravisprize.org.

    About Claremont McKenna College

    Claremont McKenna College (CMC), established in 1946, prepares students for leadership in business, the professions, and public affairs through the liberal arts. The College is home to more than 130 accomplished teacher-scholars who are dedicated to teaching and to offering unparalleled opportunities for student collaboration in the research process. CMC combines need-blind admission, innovative programs, a nine-to-one student-faculty ratio, ten research institutes, and a strong and committed network of alumni, to educate its graduates for a lifetime of leadership. CMC is a member of The Claremont Colleges.

    To learn more about Claremont McKenna College, please visit www.cmc.edu

    About Right To Play

    Right To Play is a global organization that uses the transformative power of play to educate and empower children facing adversity. Through playing sports and games, Right To Play helps children in more than 20 countries to build essential life skills and better futures, while driving lasting social change. Founded in 2000 by four-time Olympic gold medalist and social entrepreneur Johann Olav Koss, Right To Play is headquartered in Toronto, Canada, and has national offices in Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States and regional offices in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America. Its programs are facilitated by 590 international staff and nearly 12,000 volunteer coaches.

    To learn more about Right To Play, please visit www.righttoplay.com