Qualcomm Chief Honored With Higginbotham Corporate Leadership Award

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[Business News]

On September 16, 2010, Qualcomm Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Paul E. Jacobs received the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law's 11th Annual A. Leon Higginbotham Corporate Leadership Award for exemplary corporate leadership in advancing equal opportunity and diversity.

Former President Bill Clinton, founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States, served as Honorary Dinner Chairman and delivered brief remarks during the reception preceding the black-tie gala themed "Innovation Accelerated by Diversity."

CBS News Correspondent Michelle Miller served as mistress of ceremonies at the dinner held at the New York Marriott Marquis, which raised $2,425,000. "During his Administration and subsequently as Chairman of the Clinton Global Initiative, President Clinton has been hailed for his demonstrated commitment to racial justice and equal opportunity," said Lawyers' Committee Executive Director Barbara Arnwine. "He continues to highlight the critical need for the legal community and corporate America in engaging on social justice issues."

"As an organization founded in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to marshal the pro bono services of the private bar to address racial discrimination, the Lawyers' Committee is deeply honored that President Clinton agreed to serve in this capacity.  By doing so, he is continuing his own association with the Lawyers' Committee and the broader tradition of chief executive leadership support," Arnwine added.

In 1993, President Clinton hosted a White House reception on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Lawyers' Committee to reissue President Kennedy's original call to the private bar. In 1999 he partnered with the Lawyers' Committee to launch the Lawyers for One America Initiative to highlight the continuing, critical need for legal community engagement in social justice issues.

Introduced by Qualcomm Co-Founder Dr. Irwin Jacobs, President Clinton spoke of Drs. Irwin and Paul Jacobs and Qualcomm's leadership in creating a diverse, innovative and renowned workforce. His central message focused on the immense need for job training and skill preparation for workers which would match the tens of thousands of jobs that remain vacant today based on the lack of qualified workers. Clinton urged the Lawyers' Committee to prioritize this necessity in ongoing work.

"Qualcomm is deeply honored to be recognized by the Lawyers' Committee," said Dr. Jacobs.  "We believe that innovation accelerated by diversity is the way forward for any organization that wants to make a difference in the world. By embracing our unique perspectives, we all have the power to create value, to extend our reach and to have a positive impact. Qualcomm is committed to living up to the ideals put forward by Judge Higginbotham and by the Committee and shares in their vision for equal opportunity and justice for all."

"As we look back on what has enabled our success over the past quarter century, we have never lost sight of the fact that Qualcomm was founded on the desire to create technologies that would make a difference in people's lives," Dr. Jacobs said, during his acceptance remarks.

"Holding true to that belief, our innovations have earned us distinction today as the world leader in next-generation mobile technologies."

"Innovation is truly at the heart of our culture," he added. "The question is how do you build a culture of innovation? For Qualcomm, it is something we knew from the start; that diversity of thought is one of the most important tenets that drives innovation and builds a successful organization. To have a global impact, you must build a truly global organization and bring many different ideas to the table.

The diverse backgrounds and the rich and varied perspectives of our employees are essential to innovation. And our firm belief in that principle has been pivotal to our success from the beginning."

Dr. Jacobs announced a groundbreaking initiative supported by Qualcomm in partnership with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Parental Readiness and Empowerment Program (PREP). PREP, which will begin in San Diego and expand nationally, will improve K-12 student achievement by increasing parental engagement with schools and teachers. "This new partnership with the Lawyers' Committee will create opportunities for Qualcomm's attorneys to give pro bono time and talent to benefit our community," Dr. Jacobs, said. 

The Lawyers' Committee acknowledged the strong support from Qualcom for its mission and work.

"The Lawyers' Committee is delighted to recognize Qualcomm and Dr. Jacobs for their stalwart initiatives which support diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity," Ms. Arnwine, said. "We look forward to partnering on PREP and other future initiatives.  The Lawyers' Committee is grateful to Qualcomm and our generous sponsors for their steadfast support in advancing equal justice under law and championing the cause of those facing the scourge of racial, social and economic injustice in our society."

Qualcomm is widely recognized for its commitment to global inclusion. The company has been the recipient of the prestigious Secretary of Labor's Opportunity Award, the highest recognition granted by the Department of Labor that recognized Qualcomm's ongoing commitment to equal employment opportunity, including its commitment to addressing current and future employment issues, and for its corporate and social responsibility efforts.

The prestigious Higginbotham Corporate Leadership Award, named in honor of Judge A. Leon Higginbotham Jr., a pioneering civil rights advocate, author and federal appeals court judge, was established in 2000. Past honorees include:  Aetna Inc.; BellSouth Corporation; Citigroup Inc.; Colgate-Palmolive Company; Fannie Mae; General Electric Company; Microsoft Corporation; The New York Times Company; PepsiCo, Inc.; Time Warner, Inc. and United Parcel Service.

The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCRUL), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination.

The principal mission of the Lawyers' Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and fair lending, community development, employment discrimination, voting, education and environmental justice. 


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