Sept 30, 2024

Cipriani South Street


Patient Heroes

We invite you to add a patient or caregiver in your life to our honoree list. During the dinner and our virtual program, our digital “Patient Heroes Wall” will feature e-journal tributes and a scrolling list of all honorees’ names. To add the patient or caregiver in your life to our honoree list, please click below

We are proud to honor this year’s visionaries for their leadership in advancing stem cell research and enhancing the health and wellness of our society.

Donna Karan

Stem Cell Hero

Fashion icon and humanitarian Donna Karan believes through creativity, collaboration, connection and community you can change the world. This conviction lies at the heart of Urban Zen, established by Karan in 2007. The philosophy is reflected in the unique retail experiences the brand offers, featuring Donna’s globally inspired apparel as well as products she has sourced and developed with artisans all over the world.

A world traveler, a lifelong yogi, as well as mother and grandmother, Karan considers Urban Zen the realization of her dream not just to dress people, but to address them as well.  

Throughout her career as a designer,  Donna founded or helped lead many legendary philanthropic efforts including Seventh on Sale benefiting AIDS research, Super Saturday supporting the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, and Kids for Kids, the Pediatric Aids fundraising carnival.

Clyde Williams & Mona Sutphen

Stem Cell Couple of the Year

Clyde Williams
Principal | CEMK, Inc.

Clyde Williams’ more than 30-year career in public service includes work for Presidents Clinton and Obama, the development of successful public-private sector partnerships nationally, and knowledge of federal programs that affect urban and rural communities.

Clyde served as National Political Director of the Democratic National Committee for President Barack Obama. During his stint at the DNC, he worked closely with state parties, national, state, and local elected officials.

In 2001, Clyde worked as Domestic Policy Advisor to President Bill Clinton, coordinating his post-presidential activities designing and implementing national programs focused on economic empowerment and education. The Harlem Small Business program that he created has since been replicated and expanded nationally.

Clyde served as Vice President for State and Local Government Affairs at the Center for American Progress, a progressive think-tank. He also launched a successful consulting firm, and in 2007, joined with business partners to acquire Dicon Technologies from Berkshire Hathaway. Clyde and his partners successfully relocated Dicon’s operations to the U.S. from China, bringing manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.

During the Clinton Administration, Clyde served as Deputy Chief at Staff of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – an agency that had an $18 billion budget and more than 100,000 employees. He also served in the Clinton White House as Deputy Director of Presidential Scheduling and at USDA as Assistant Press Secretary. Earlier in his career, he worked in local politics in Washington, D.C.

Clyde presently does public and strategic affairs work for various clients with his partner, as a principal of CEMK, Inc.

Clyde is a board member of the company City Health Works. He was a past board member of Dicon Technologies, and the then publicly traded company The Princeton Review. He serves on the non-profit board of the MAC Aids Fund, and served on the non-profit board of STRIVE International. He also serves on the advisory boards of Markup and Rentreever.

Clyde earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, with a minor in Marketing, from Howard University.

Mona Sutphen
Partner, Head of Investment Strategies | Vistria

Prior to joining Vistria, Mona was a Partner at Macro Advisory Partners, where she led the firm’s US practice advising global corporate and capital markets clients. Earlier she was Managing Director at UBS AG, where she developed new tools for political risk evaluation impacting capital markets. From 2009-2011, she served as White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy for President Obama, where she advanced the policy and regulatory agenda on a range of domestic and international issues. Earlier in her career, Mona was a career diplomat, serving on the staff of the National Security Council during the Clinton Administration and the U.S. Mission to the UN, as well as posts in Asia and Europe.

Mona serves on the Boards of Spotify (NYSE: SPOT), Unitek Learning and Novata, and is a Trustee for Putnam Mutual Funds. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the Boards of the International Rescue Committee and Human Rights First. Mona is a Trustee of Mount Holyoke College and serves on the advisory boards of the Warner Music Social Justice Fund and the Center for Global Energy Policy at Columbia University.

Previously, she served on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board and was an adjunct professor at the Princeton School of Public & International Affairs. Mona is co-author of The Next American Century, and Executive Producer of two documentary films Battleground (PBS 2020) and Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union (HBO 2021).

Mona received a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College and an MSc from the London School of Economics.

Past Honorees

2023Kay UngerFeng Zhang, PhDJanet & Jerry Zucker
2022Sanjay Gupta, MDSiddhartha Mukherjee, MD, DPhilIrving Weissman, MD
2021Susan & Stephen ScherrVictor GarberDerrick Rossi, PhD; Kizzmekia Corbett, PhD;
Barney Graham, MD, PhD; Katalin Karikó, PhD; Drew Weissman, MD, PhD
2020Brooke Ellison, PhDFrank GehryDavid Rockwell
2019Peter Goulandris
& Karen Elizabeth Burke Goulandris, MD, PhD
Jay KriegelGreg Hicks
& Rick Foster
2018Karin Hehenberger,
Carol RoamanIan Schrager
2017Andreas C. Dracopoulos
NYSCF Humanitarian Award
Roy Geronemus, MD
NYSCF Leadership Award
Clifford Ross
NYSCF Arts Leadership Award
2016David A. Carmel
NYSCF Leadership Award
Alan M. Cohen
NYSCF Leadership Award
Victoria Gordon
NYSCF Stem Cell Hero
2015Stephen M. Ross
NYSCF Leadership Award
Jack Gernsheimer
and Jeff Gernsheimer
NYSCF Stem Cell Heroes
Mark McCauley
NYSCF Stem Cell Hero
2014Anne & Vincent Mai
NYSCF Stem Cell Hero
Sabrina Bertucci
NYSCF Stem Cell Hero
Rich Rundle
NYSCF Stem Cell Hero
2013Shirley Cook
NYSCF Stem Cell Hero
Richard D. Kaplan
NYSCF Stem Cell Hero
2012Bonnie Pfeifer Evans
NYSCF Stem Cell Hero
Alice Shure
NYSCF Stem Cell Hero
Seun Adebiyi
NYSCF Stem Cell Hero
2011Julian H. Robertson
NYSCF Leadership Award
NYSCF Humanitarian Award
2010Dorothy Lichtenstein
NYSCF Humanitarian Award
2009Frank Gehry
NYSCF Humanitarian Award
Joel S. Marcus
NYSCF Leadership Award
2008Governor David A. Paterson
NYSCF Leadership Award
2007Chuck Close
NYSCF Humanitarian Award