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Benjamin Franklin Medal

What is it?

The Benjamin Franklin Medal is one of three medals that the RSA awards, and the only one that is overseen by the RSA US. It was instituted in 1956 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Benjamin Franklin's birth and the 200th anniversary of his membership to the RSA.

The medal is awarded annually. It is conferred by the RSA on individuals, groups, and organizations who have made profound efforts to forward understanding in areas closely linked to the RSA's agenda, whether through transatlantic cooperation and collaboration or through significant contributions to global affairs and social progress. This award reflects achievements throughout a career and commitment to humanitarian and cultural international dialogue, education and innovation; the Benjamin Franklin Medal is one of the RSA’s two highest honors.

What is it?

2016 Benjamin Franklin Medal Winner

A full list of the Medalists can be found here. The 2016 Benjamin Franklin Medal Winner was Wendy Kopp, the CEO and Co-founder of Teach for All, a global network of independent organizations that are cultivating their nations’ promising future leaders to ensure their most marginalized children have the chance to fulfill their true potential. 

Wendy founded Teach For America in 1989 to marshal the energy of her generation against educational inequity in the United States. Today, more than 8,000 Teach For America corps members—outstanding recent college graduates and professionals of all academic disciplines—are in the midst of two-year teaching commitments in 52 urban and rural regions, and Teach For America has proven to be an unparalleled source of long-term leadership for expanding opportunity for children. After leading Teach For America’s growth and development for 24 years, in 2013, Wendy transitioned out of the role of CEO. Today, she remains an active member of Teach For America's board.

Wendy led the development of Teach For All to be responsive to the initiative of inspiring social entrepreneurs around the world who were determined to adapt this approach in their own countries. Now in its ninth year, the Teach For All network is comprised of partner organizations in 40 countries on six continents, including its founding partners Teach For America and the U.K.’s Teach First. The RSA is honored to acknowledge Wendy Kopp’s significant global impact through the Benjamin Franklin Medal.  

Benjamin Franklin Ceremony 2016

When is it awarded?

The next Benjamin Franklin Medal will be awarded in the spring of 2018. More details about the Medal will be provided here in the fall of 2017.