Each year since 2001, CEI honors free-market economist and professor Julian Simon by presenting the Julian L. Simon Memorial Award to an individual whose work supports the vision that mankind is the ultimate resource.
“Economist, author, humanitarian, advisor to world leaders, and a serial entrepreneur of ideas, Hernando de Soto has stamped his mark on history through pioneering work to put capital in the hands of the poor,” said CEI President Kent Lassman. “Like Julian Simon, de Soto develops and promotes ideas premised on the belief that people are the ultimate resource and the means to eradicate impoverishment. A leader in business, a champion of property rights, and an innovator of technological solutions to age-old problems of title and ownership, de Soto is a force for good who builds on the legacy of Simon.”
Hernando de Soto is the founder and president of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy (ILD) in Lima, Peru, which The Economist called one of the most important think tanks in the world. For 30 years, de Soto and ILD have helped design and implement legal reform programs to empower the poor in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and former Soviet nations by granting them access to the same property and business rights that are available to the majority of people in the developed world.
As an effective advocate for the poor and as an advisor to world leaders, de Soto has received numerous accolades for his work. He was listed as one of 15 innovators "who will reinvent your future" in Forbes magazine’s 85th anniversary edition, and Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2004. That same year, President Bill Clinton referred to him as “the world’s most important living economist” in his speech at the 2004 World Economic Forum at Davos.
Julian L. Simon (1932-1998) was a free-market economist and business professor known for his optimism about the future of mankind. His groundbreaking research built the case for how human ingenuity would permit natural resources to support the world’s increasing population, demonstrating human beings are an asset to the planet, not a liability.
For more information about CEI’s annual dinner or the Julian L. Simon Memorial Award visit cei.org/dinner.