Alumni Achievement Award

Purpose of the award

The Alumni Achievement Award is presented at the annual Hertie School Alumni Reunion to an outstanding member of the Hertie School Alumni network. The purpose of the award is to honour our alumni’s outstanding accomplishments in public policy, public management or social entrepreneurship in the preceding year. The award recipient must demonstrate an innovative commitment to good governance and be celebrated for their outstanding contribution to their field.

Previous winners from 2015 to 2023 are Joseph Amayga, MPP Class of 2011, Anne-Marie Kortas, MPP Class of 2014, Camilo Sánchez Meertens, MPP Class of 2014, Monica Wills Silva MPP class of 2014,  Besa Shahini, MPP class of 2009, Damian Boeselager, MPP Class of 2018, Alexander Busold and Laura Franken, MPP Class of 2016, Jeff Kwasi Klein, MPP Class of 2017, and Alejandra Lead Vallejo MPP class of 2012. Joseph Amayga was honored for his outstanding efforts in economic development and public health in Sierra Leone, while Anne-Marie Kortas has invested a significant amount of energy into the resettlement and integration of Syrian refugees in German Society. Camilo Sánchez Meertens was recognised for his part in developing and implementing health care strategies that were integral to the Colombian peace process. Monica Wills Silva (MPP 2014) won the Award for her work as a Senior Advisor at The Behavioural Insights Team, where she worked with evidence-based approaches which help improve public policy outcomes. Besa Shahini was honoured with the 2019 Alumni Achievement Award for her outstanding service and engagement for the common good as Minister for Education, Sport and Youth in Albania. Damian Boeselager won the award in 2020 for demonstrating a commitment to active engagement for the common good as Member of the European Parliament and co-founder of the grassroots pan-European party Volt. Alexander Busold and Laura Franken were recognized for their leadership in founding the Her.Tietz initiative, which aims to promote a wider understanding of the origins of the Hertie name, raise awareness of the antisemitic repressions against the Tietz family and the "aryanisation" of the Hermann Tietz Department Stores, and contribute to an active commemoration of victims of the Holocaust. Alejandra Leal Vallejo is the 2023 winner, recognised for her outstanding work to create safer roads and sustainable mobility in Mexico.


Nomination and selection process

Alumni can be nominated to receive this award by fellow alumni, any member of the Hertie School faculty or administration, or their employer.

Nominations for the 2024 award are now open, please find the nomination form here.

The deadline for nominations is 15 January 2024.

All completed nominations (which include the nomination form and a current CV, if available) are reviewed by the Alumni Council in Spring of 2024.


Presentation of the award

The recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award is celebrated at the annual Alumni Reunion. The award recipient’s nominator is also invited to attend and to highlight the recipient's achievements. For other questions or inquiries about the nomination or selection process, please email us at alumnirelations[at]hertie-school[dot]org


Video: Alumni reflect on the Hertie School 20 years after its foundation

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While praising the exchange of perspectives during their degrees, the panel also made suggestions on how to move forward in the future.