The Foreign Policy Association Annual Dinner


Event Details

Thursday, May 31, 2012
6:30 PM - 9:30 PM 
The Pierre Hotel
2 East 61 Street at Fifth Avenue
New York, NY
Event type
Lunch / Dinner  

Event Transcripts and Video

On May 31, 2012 the Foreign Policy Association held it's annual dinner and presented 5 honorees with awards commemmorating their contributions to Foreign Affairs. Recipients include Joel Klein, Peter Gelb, Walter Kielholz, John Sexton, and Henry Fernandez.

Deborah Voigt Introduces Peter Gelb:



Remarks By Peter Gelb:


Russell J. Sapienza Introduction:


Joel Klein Speech:


Brady Dougan Introduction:


Walter B. Kielholz Speech:


Thomas Michaud Introduction:


Henry Fernandez Speech:


Rita Hauser Introduction:


John Sexton Speech:


Event Speakers

    • Peter Gelb - Honoree
      General Manager, The Metropolitan Opera

      Since becoming General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera in 2006, Peter Gelb has launched a host of initiatives to revitalize the Met and to connect it to a wider audience. Under his leadership the company has recruited many of the world’s great theater directors, increased the annual number of new productions, secured more performances from top singers, and launched the trail-blazing, Peabody Award-winning series The Met: Live in HD, which presents live performance transmissions in movie theaters around the world. Other initiatives launched by Mr. Gelb include a commissioning program for new operas, as well as  a greater emphasis on contemporary masterpieces; free rehearsals; free outdoor transmissions; a popularly priced rush ticket program; a 24 hour Met radio channel on Sirius XM; an on-demand content service via the internet; and a contemporary visual art program that includes a  gallery space inside the opera house.

    • Peter Gelb
    • Walter B. Kielholz - Honoree
      Chairman, Swiss Reinsurance Company

      Walter B. Kielholz, a Swiss citizen born in 1951, was elected to Swiss Re’s Board of Directors in June 1998.

      He began his career at the General Reinsurance Corporation, Zurich in 1976. After working in the US, UK and Italy, he assumed responsibility for the company’s European marketing. In 1983 he opened an art
      gallery and picture framing business with his wife, Daphne Kielholz- Pestalozzi. A second gallery was opened in 1986. He joined Credit Suisse in 1986, where he was responsible for client relations.

    • Walter B. Kielholz
    • Joel I. Klein - Honoree
      Former Chancellor for the New York City school system and CEO, Education Division, News Corp

      In January 2011, Joel I. Klein became CEO of the Educational Division and Executive Vice President, Office of the Chairman, at News Corporation, where he also serves on the Board of Directors.  

      Prior to that, Mr. Klein was Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education where he oversaw a system of over 1,600 schools with 1.1 million students, 136,000 employees and a $22 billion budget.  He launched Children First in 2002, a comprehensive reform strategy that has brought coherence and capacity to the system and resulted in significant increases in student performance.  

    • Joel I. Klein
    • John Sexton - Honoree
      President, New York University

      John Sexton, the fifteenth President of New York University, also is the Benjamin Butler Professor of Law and NYU Law School's Dean Emeritus, having served as Dean for 14 years. He joined the Law School's faculty in 1981, was named the School's Dean in 1988, and was designated the University's President in 2001.

      President Sexton is Chair of the American Council on Education, Chair of the New York Academy of Sciences and immediate past Chair of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities of New York. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a past member of the Executive Committee of the Association of American Universities. He has served as the Chairman of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (2003-2006) and Chair of the Federal Reserve Systems Council of Chairs (2006). He served as a Board Member for the National Association of Securities Dealers (1996-1998), and was Founding Chair of the Board of NASD Dispute Resolution (2000-2002). He also serves on the Board of the Institute of International Education. While Dean of the Law School he was President of the Association of American Law Schools.

    • John Sexton
    • Henry Fernandez - Honoree
      Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, MSCI Inc.

      Henry A. Fernandez is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MSCI Inc., a publicly traded company (NYSE: MSCI) and a leading global provider of investment decision tools, including indices under the MSCI brand, portfolio risk and performance analytics under the Barra and RiskMetrics brands, and corporate governance products and services under the ISS brand.  MSCI has almost 6,000 institutional clients in over 60 countries, and more than 2,400 employees located in 20 countries.

      Prior to becoming Chief Executive Officer of MSCI in 1998, Mr. Fernandez was a Managing Director of Morgan Stanley, where he worked from 1983 to 1991 and from 1994 to 1998. From 1993 to 1994, Mr. Fernandez was President of HispaniMedia, Inc., a private equity investment firm in the U.S.  He also founded Ferco Partners, Inc., a private equity investment firm in Mexico, and served as its Chairman and President from 1991 to 1993.  From 1976 to 1979, Mr. Fernandez was a diplomat in the Nicaraguan Embassy in Washington, D.C.

    • Henry Fernandez

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