Norman Y. Mineta Receives Lifetime Achievement Award at TWC's Gala

Norman Y. Mineta Receives Lifetime Achievement Award at TWC's Gala

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Maha Neouchy
October 05, 2012

Norman Y. Mineta, Former Secretary of Transportation for the Bush Administration, was honored with the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award at The Washington Center’s annual Gala event. This award is bestowed on an individual committed to opportunity and youth leadership.  This year, TWC chose Mineta for his role as both a pioneer and outstanding leader, who is internationally recognized for his dedication to public service.


In the eyes of TWC, Former Secretary Mineta is so much more than just the longest-serving Secretary of Transportation in U.S. history. He currently serves on TWC's National Advisory Board, co-chairs TWC's annual Gala and served on TWC's Board of Directors from 1995-2000. Most notably, TWC named their Leadership Series, a key academic component of the internship program, after the longstanding friendship and relationship of Alan K. Simpson, former U.S. Senator, and Norman Y. Mineta.


The Washington Center invited Senator Simpson to present the award to his lifelong best friend. They met each other when they were kids.  Simpson told the audience "he lived behind barbed wire and I lived in Cody in freedom 16 miles away. We had a scout master who was very much ahead of the game and told us 'we were going out to the Heart Mountain Relocation Center, and we're going to interact with boy scouts out there.' We said no, no because there are 11,000 people out there and they have guard towers, and barbed wire and guns all aimed inside. My parents said these are all American citizens, at least most of them and you're going to do that, which we did"


Norman Mineta's Lifetime Achievement Award came as a huge surprise.  Mineta did not know he would be receiving the award until Cokie Roberts, the master of ceremonies, announced it. He remarked "I was supposed to be the wrap up speaker tonight for the banquet, so this is a total surprise. I know the difference between a setup and an upset and I am totally, totally surprised by this effort." Mineta continued his remarks by saying, "There is no question that The Washington Center program gives young people the opportunity, exposure about something different than what they're experiencing in their homes and home life. And that's what all of us are looking for: opportunities -- to be able to prove ourselves in some manner. And that's why I cherish the work The Washington Center does, because it exposes young minds to all the kinds of possibilities that they can achieve in the future."


Lifetime Achievement Award Video



[View event photo album on our Flickr channel]


History of The Alan K. Simpson-Norman Y. Mineta Leaders Series

The Washington Center's Simpson-Mineta Leaders Series aims to create a forum in which students from around the country and the world engage with extraordinary leaders, explore issues of contemporary public concern and articulate their own views about the meaning of leadership and citizenship in today's society. In the past year alone, in this forum, TWC's internship students have heard from:

Experience a Day in the Life of an Intern at The Washington Center

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