The Microsoft Alumni Foundation is recognizing a select group of alumni giving of themselves to help others at home and around the world.  Today the Foundation announced the six finalists for the 2011 Integral Fellows Awards.   A cornerstone program of the Foundation, the Integral Fellows Awards Program recognizes Microsoft alumni who have dedicated their lives to creating something extraordinary to help address challenges around the world.

This year’s six finalists were selected from 19 nominees submitted by their alumni peers and from nonprofit organizations where Microsoft alumni are founders, officers, and active volunteers.

Award winners will be recognized by Bill and Melinda Gates at the Microsoft Alumni Foundation Celebration on November 16, 2011 in Seattle at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The award winners each will receive a $25,000 unrestricted grant for their nonprofit organization, as well as support from their fellow alumni to help continue in their efforts to build resources and scale solutions for their initiatives.

The six finalists:

1)      Nancy Andrews – SCOPE, Co-Founder and Project Manager. SCOPE encourages religious leaders to embrace medical solutions to AIDs cure and prevention in Ethiopia. ( )

2)      Oliver Hurst-Hiller –, Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President. DonorsChoose uses technology to match public school needs with individual donors on a large scale supporting public schools in the United States. (

3)      Tom Ikeda – Densho, Founder and Executive Director. Densho creates media-rich on-line archives that preserve historical artifacts and educate students around the world on Japanese internment around WWII. (

4)      Mahnaz Javid – Mona Foundation, Founder and President. Mona Foundation provides social and economic development through local projects and managed support in countries around the world. (

5)      David Risher – Worldreader, Co-Founder. Worldreader provides digital e-readers with localized content which greatly increases the availability of books and encourages reading in developing countries around the world. (

6)      Kevin Ross – Washington FIRST Robotics, Co-Founder and Founding Chairman.  Washington First Robotics organizes and motivates volunteers to increase high school participation in robotics competitions and increases student careers in math and science in high schools in Washington State. (

The Microsoft Alumni Foundation brings together Microsoft alumni to positively affect the world’s challenges.  “Our Alumni are innovators in the philanthropic community, creating solutions to help solve problems they care about deeply,” said Jeff Raikes, chairman of the board of the Microsoft Alumni Foundation.    “Our Integral Fellows Program finalists were nominated by their peers for their innovations and their impact on people’s daily lives.  Today, I am honored to announce these six finalists and join Bill and Melinda along with 500 fellow Microsoft alumni on November 16th to announce the final winners and celebrate all the nominees.”

This year’s panel of distinguished judges will review achievements that reflect the values of the Microsoft Alumni Foundation, which are: innovation; entrepreneurship; effectiveness; collaboration and integrity.  Additional criteria in selecting the winners include: the ability to create something extraordinary out of limited resources; selflessness; passion; smarts; need; and, scalability. The panel of judges includes:

  • Phyllis Campbell, Chairman, Pacific Northwest Operations, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • William Drayton, Founder and CEO, Ashoka
  • Sanjay Gupta, Chief Medical Correspondent, CNN
  • Beth Kanter,  Author, NonProfit Social Media Innovator, Co-founder and partner, Zoetica
  • Eric Liu, Author, Educator and Civic Entrepreneur, Guiding Lights Network
  • Pierre Omidyar, Founder and Chairman, eBay Inc.
  • Tom Tierney, Co-founder and Chairman, The Bridgespan Group

For more information on the nominees and finalists, visit:

About the Foundation:  The Microsoft Alumni Foundation was established to catalyze the collective power of the Microsoft Alumni Family and leverage our resources to make a difference for others. Launched in 2007, the Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public nonprofit organization with its worldwide headquarters based in Bellevue, Washington, USA. Board members include: Jeff Raikes; Chuck Hirsch; Akhtar Badshah; Paul Shoemaker; Tony Audino; Sharon Maghie; Carla Lewis;  and, Brad Smith.  The Executive Director is Microsoft Alumna Marylou Brannan.

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