Grameen America’s Andrea Jung to receive 2017 WNBA Inspiration Award

NEW YORK – Andrea Jung, President and Chief Executive Officer of Grameen America and longtime champion of women’s issues, will receive the 2017 WNBA Inspiration Award, WNBA President Lisa Borders announced today.

“We are thrilled to honor Andrea Jung, a true trailblazer for women’s empowerment, with the 2017 WNBA Inspiration Award,” said Borders.  “Her extraordinary leadership and dedication to helping women living in poverty has made a real difference in the lives of many.”

The WNBA Inspiring Women Luncheon presented by ESPN, which will be held Tuesday, September 19 in New York City, recognizes individuals who have blazed new paths on the court, in the boardroom and in the community.  The luncheon, which has been presented by ESPN for three consecutive years, will be hosted by SportsCenter anchor Cari Champion, and more than 300 people from the worlds of entertainment, sports, and business are expected to attend.

“I am honored to accept the 2017 WNBA Inspiration Award and especially proud to join the company of past laureates who are each trail blazers in their own right,” said Jung.  “The work that the WNBA and WNBA Cares are doing to advance women is more important than ever and I look forward to celebrating the achievements of all award winners.”

In addition to the WNBA Inspiration Award, the luncheon will feature two special presentations.

The Cisco Inspiring the Future Award recognizes one woman for her outstanding efforts and constant drive in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.  This individual embodies the spirit of both the WNBA and Cisco through her dedication to today’s youth, inspiring more girls to pursue a professional career in technology.  Cisco is proud to honor Kimberly Bryant, the founder of Black Girls CODE, a training course that teaches programming concepts to girls of color (African-American, Latino, and Native American) who are underrepresented in the technology space.  The organization has trained more than 9,000 girls in 14 chapters in cities throughout the United States and a chapter in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Verizon Innovative Learning Award recognizes an inspirational teacher who leverages technological resources and hands-on opportunities to inspire tomorrow’s creators.  This year’s honoree is Kayla Canario, an instructional coach at Bearden Middle School in Knoxville, Tenn.  Canario has played a vital role in cultivating a dynamic learning environment, leading 90 teachers in the transformation of their classrooms into innovative digital learning spaces.  Through the Verizon Innovative Learning program, Verizon is committed to developing measurable educational initiatives from the ground up to help level the STEM playing field for minority and underserved students.

The WNBA’s Gold Partners for the luncheon include Anheuser-Busch, Brown-Forman, Cisco, ESPN, PepsiCo, SAP, Sports Illustrated, State Farm, Under Armour, Verizon and Vox Media.

At the league’s inaugural luncheon in 2006, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright addressed a group of the WNBA’s own inspiring women as the league honored and recognized the WNBA All-Decade Team.  Other past honorees include former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, political commentator Cokie Roberts, United States National Security Advisor and former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, award-winning journalist Katie Couric, the 2012 female Olympic medalists of Team USA, actress and UNICEF Ambassador Téa Leoni, veteran political strategist Donna Brazile, humanitarian Dr. Helene D. Gayle and 43rd Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios.

About Andrea Jung
Andrea Jung is the President and CEO of Grameen America. Ms. Jung joined Grameen America with the goal of scaling the organization to solve economic issues for women and their families across the country. She is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Avon Products, Inc., where she served as CEO from 1999 through April 2012, and as Chairman from 2001 through December 2012. Throughout her professional career, Ms. Jung ranked consistently among the top leaders on lists including Fortune magazine’s “Most Powerful Women in Business,” Forbes magazine’s “Most Powerful Women in the World,” and Financial Times’ “Top Women in World Business.”

Ms. Jung is a graduate of Princeton University. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the General Electric Company, Apple, Inc., and Daimler AG. She also serves on the Committee for Economic Development, an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan American think tank.

About the WNBA
The WNBA – which features 12 teams and is the most successful women’s professional team sports league in the world – is a unique global sports property combining competition, sportsmanship, and entertainment value with its status as an icon for social change, achievement, and diversity.  The league, which counts Verizon as its leaguewide marquee partner, tipped off its 21st season on May 13, 2017.

Through WNBA Cares, the WNBA is deeply committed to creating programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on programs that promote a healthy lifestyle and positive body image, increase breast and women’s health awareness, support youth and family development, and focus on education.  For more information on the WNBA, log on to