The Arthur W. Page Center is honoring Bill George, senior fellow, Harvard Business School and former CEO of Medtronic; John Onoda, consultant for Gagen MacDonald, and posthumously PBS NewsHour host Gwen Ifill.

“It’s our goal to advance ethics in as many areas of public communications as possible, from the news outlets to the corporations to the non-profits,” said Denise Bortree, Center director and associate professor, PR/advertising, Penn State. The event is Feb. 21 at the Grand Hyatt, New York.

2018 Larry Foster Award Honorees

“Our awards showcase professionals who established their integrity through challenging times and over long careers,” said Bortree. “We hope their good work will help us promote ethical decision-making in our field today and in the future.”

Larry Foster Awards to Be Presented

Larry Foster Awards for Integrity in Public Communication will be presented. Foster, former head of PR at Johnson & Johnson who also had a career as a journalist, founded the Page Center in 2004 with PR leaders Jack Koten and Ed Block. It is a research center in the Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State, Foster’s alma mater.

“We continue to honor Larry by highlighting those who shared and share his vision,” said Bill Nielsen, Center advisory board chair. “Larry believed it was our job as communicators to fully inform the public truthfully and accurately. Gwen, John and Bill are shining examples of that mission.”

Funds raised from the event support innovative research by Page Center scholars who represent universities all over the world. The Center’s research projects aim to build the scholarly and public understanding of ethics in communications.

The Center has funded more than 200 scholars and awarded more than $750,000 in research funding. Areas of focus include corporate social responsibility, digital ethics, sustainability communication, fake news and more. Other Center initiatives focus on educational opportunities including an annual speaker series, oral history archiving and online educational modules.

Event information is available on the awards webpage at:

Bios of Award Recipients

George began his career as assistant to assistant secretary of defense for the U.S. Department of Defense. He joined Litton Industries in 1969 as director of strategic planning and president of Litton Microwave Cooking. This was followed by a position as executive vice president at Honeywell. George accepted the role of president at Medtronic and became CEO in 1991. He led Medtronic for 10 years building a strong reputation by demonstrating ethical leadership and integrity. He has been a professor at Harvard Business School since 2004. He has written several bestselling books including True North, Discover Your True North, Authentic Leadership and 7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis.

Ifill spent 23 years as a pioneering and ethical journalist. Between 1981 and 1994, she moved from the Baltimore Evening Sun to The Washington Post to The New York Times, where she covered the White House. Ifill joined NBC as a Capitol Hill reporter in 1994 and moved to PBS in 1999, where she became the first African-American woman to host a national political talk show, Washington Week in Review. At PBS, she was a senior correspondent for PBS NewsHour. She was the first African-American woman to moderate a vice presidential debate, and led the debates in both 2004 and 2008. She died of cancer in 2015.

Onoda built a reputation as a provocative yet ethical leader in corporate communications. He started his career in 1977 as a journalist for the Omaha World-Herald. He then led corporate communications departments at companies such as Levi Strauss, General Motors, Visa USA and Charles Schwab. He then joined FleishmanHillard as a senior consultant. In 2018, he joined the strategy execution firm Gagen MacDonald. Onoda founded Dozen Best books, a passion project fueled by his love of reading, in 2015.