Leadership 100 Philanthropist Entrepreneurs Honored By The Hellenic Initiative


Archbishop Demetrios with honorees (L to R) George D. Behrakis with wife, Margo, Alexandra, granddaughter of Peter G. Peterson who accepted award on his behalf, and John G. Pappajohn with wife, Mary.

The Hellenic Initiative honored three outstanding members of Leadership 100 with The Hellenic Leadership Award at the 2nd Annual Banquet at The Museum of Modern Art on October 2, 2014. George D. Behrakis, Chairman Emeritus, John D. Pappajohn, a former member of the Board of Trustees and long-time member of the Investment Committee, and Peter G. Peterson, a recipient of the Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Award for Excellence were acknowledged for their extraordinary leadership in the business world and in philanthropy. Many members of Leadership 100 attended the event in support of the honorees. Arianna Huffington, a member of The Hellenic Initiative Board was Master of Ceremonies.

The Hellenic Initiative is a global, nonprofit, secular institution mobilizing the Greek Diaspora and Philhellenes to invest in the future of Greece. Andrew N. Liveris, President, Chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company, and also a member of Leadership 100, is Chairman.

Behrakis, an innovator and pioneer in the pharmaceutical industry in the fields of asthma and allergy has established a Chair in pharmaceuticals and a health sciences center at Northeastern University, his alma mater, as well as fellowships at Harvard University, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Johns Hopkins University, among many other philanthropic causes. He also established with his wife, Margo, the George D. and Margo Behrakis Art of the Ancient World Wing at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

John Pappajohn has made major contributions to education and the arts, especially in Iowa, his native state, where his gifts to major universities and colleges have supported entrepreneurial endeavors, having established the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers at five different universities in the state, A recent gift to the Hellenic Initiative has funded a visiting lectureship from the center at the University of Iowa at universities in Athens and Thessaloniki. With his wife, Mary, he has been recognized for major contribution to the arts that include the monumental John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park in Des Moines. A renowned venture capitalist, he has been involved in more than 100 start-up companies, 50 IPOs, and has served as director of more than 40 public companies.

Peter G. Peterson, who served as Secretary of Commerce in the Nixon administration, is the legendary co-founder of The Blackstone Group and former Chairman and CEO of Lehman Brothers. He is the founding Chairman of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and the Peterson Institute for International Economics. He is also Chairman Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of several books on economic policy and on his Greek immigrant roots in his native Nebraska.

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