2023 Green Sands Prize Bestowed upon Gwynne Shotwell for Her Significant Contributions to the Space Sector


The Green Sands Inspiration Prize, a biennial award, celebrates innovators who display courage, risk-taking, and personal responsibility to pioneer paths for others. The 2023 edition of the award focused on the space industry, recognizing its critical role in advancing technology, fostering economic growth, and expanding human understanding. The industry, once monopolized by national space agencies, now thrives with private sector participation, leading to revolutionary innovations and new opportunities. The award is intended to inspire a culture that embraces greatness and encourages future generations to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

The selection process for the award sees the chairwoman of Green Sands, Reema Khan, set the subject for the prize. A nomination committee comprising subject matter experts and key opinion leaders is then put together. For the 2023 award, the nomination committee included Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, the longest-running Science Mission Director at NASA, and Dr. Dava Newman, the Director of MIT Media Lab, along with Girls In Science 4 SDGs, and Reema Khan. The committee unanimously chose Gwynne Shotwell as the 2023 recipient of the Inspiration Prize.

Gwynne Shotwell is the President & COO of SpaceX, where she has overseen several historic milestones, including the launch of astronauts to the International Space Station and the first landing of an orbital rocket’s first stage on land and an ocean platform. Beyond her role at SpaceX, Shotwell serves on several boards and committees, where she uses her expertise to help shape the future of the aerospace industry. She is also celebrated for her role in promoting diversity and inclusion within the STEM fields, and her advocacy for education serves as an inspiration for young minds, especially women, to pursue careers in science and engineering.

Green Sands, the organization behind the award, is a global investment firm committed to supporting exceptional leaders in both for-profit and non-profit sectors. The firm invests in space exploration, future technology, and healthcare, and also offers advisory services for policy and governmental strategy, connecting the private sector with governments. The Green Sands Inspiration Prize is just one of the ways in which the firm acknowledges and celebrates extraordinary achievements in these fields.



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