Flagship Managing Partner Noubar Afeyan Awarded 2008 Ellis Island Medal of Honor

Flagship Managing Partner Noubar Afeyan Awarded 2008 Ellis Island Medal of Honor

May 12, 2008

Flagship Ventures is pleased to announce that Noubar Afeyan was honored this last weekend in New York City as one of the 2008 Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipients. The award recognizes Noubar's contributions to the local community, as well as his extensive role in supporting long range visions for the country of Armenia, its business environment and culture, and world-wide understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Partners and employees of Flagship join the awarding organization, NECO, in congratulating Noubar on this honor.

Full text of the press release follows:

Noubar Afeyan Receives 2008 Ellis Island Medal of Honor

(Cambridge, MA, May 12, 2008) – Noubar B. Afeyan, Ph.D., managing partner and CEO of Flagship Ventures, was among this year’s recipients of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor given by the National Ethnic Coalition (NECO) on May 10th in New York City. The Ellis Island Medal of Honor is awarded to outstanding Americans who have distinguished themselves as citizens of the United States and have enabled their ancestry groups to maintain their identities while becoming integral parts of American life.

In choosing Dr. Afeyan as a Medal of Honor recipient, NECO recognized his achievements not only as a successful technologist and entrepreneur, but also as a humanitarian who has had a positive impact on his local community and in his ethnic home country of Armenia. He is a co-founder of Armenia 2020, an international economic development project focusing on the former Soviet Republic of Armenia. He was recently appointed to the board of the National Competitiveness Council of Armenia, a quasi-governmental foundation based in Armenia. In addition, Afeyan is a co-founder of YerazArt, a foundation sponsoring young musicians from Armenia and providing them with opportunities to compete, study and perform throughout the world. In the US, Afeyan serves on the Board of trustees of the Armenian Assembly, the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. Afeyan is also a member of the Boston University Board of Overseers and a member of several advisory boards including the Whitehead Institute at MIT, the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST) and the Skolkovo School of Management in Moscow. 

In addition to Dr. Afeyan, this year’s medal of honor recipients include former US Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell; Gen. Duncan J. McNabb – US Air Force Vice Chief of Staff; Human Rights Activist and Genocide Survivor Advocate Jacqueline Murekatete; renowned cardiologist Valentin Fuster of Mount Sinai Medical Heart; Actor and Founder of “Operation Iraqi Children” Gary Sinise; and WWII Veteran, Olympian & Motivational Speaker Louis Zamperini. They received their awards at the annual ceremony filled with patriotic pageantry at Ellis Island followed by a gala reception in Ellis Island’s Great Hall.

“Noubar Afeyan and the other 2008 Medal of Honor recipients are known for both their professional successes and their acts of philanthropy – which have helped those in need here in America and abroad. They join a prestigious list of Americans who have been honored for fostering goodwill and making their communities and the world a better place,” explains National Ethnic Coalition Executive Director Rosemarie Taglione.

“Dr. Afeyan exemplifies the American Dream. I congratulate him and all Medal recipients and thank them for their continued efforts that touch the lives of so many. You make America proud,” Nasser J. Kazeminy, NECO Co-Chairman, added.

Established in 1986 by NECO, the Ellis Island Medals of Honor pay tribute to the ancestry groups that comprise America’s unique cultural mosaic. To date, more than 1,000 American citizens, including former Presidents Bill Clinton, George Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, and Richard Nixon; Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court William Rehnquist; Muhammad Ali; Rosa Parks; Elie Wiesel; Frank Sinatra; Bob Hope; Her Excellency Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa, President of the 61st Session of the UN General Assembly; and Quincy Jones, have received medals.

Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipients are selected each year through a national nomination process. Screening committees from NECO’s member organizations select the final nominees, who are then considered by the Board of Directors. Both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have officially passed resolutions recognizing the Ellis Island Medals of Honor, which rank among this country’s most prestigious awards. Each year, Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipients are listed in the Congressional Record, honoring those who have made enduring contributions to our nation and to the world. For a full list of the 2008 Ellis Island Medal of Honor Awardees, go to www.NECO.org.

About NECO

NECO’s mission is to create the world of the future today, by honoring our diverse past, advocating for positive change in the present, and building strong leaders for the future. The foundation partners with a wide variety of organizations, both national and international. It supports diverse ethnic cultural events, sponsors life-saving surgery for children, assists emergency relief efforts worldwide, and produces educational materials and programs that mentor youth to become the leaders of tomorrow. 

About Flagship Ventures

Flagship Ventures is a venture capital firm focused on creating, financing and building innovative companies. Founded in 1999, Flagship manages over $600 million in early-stage funds and operates from its offices at Kendall Square in Cambridge, MA. With an active portfolio of over 40 companies, the firm’s strategy is to balance its investments across three principal business sectors: Therapeutics, Life Science Tools & Diagnostics, and BioEnergy/Cleantech. During the past two decades Flagship's principals have been involved as founders or investors in many highly successful ventures including: Adnexus Therapeutics, Alere Medical, Aspect Medical, Celera Genomics, ChemGenics Pharmaceuticals, Color Kinetics, Cytyc, Helicos Biosciences, Hypnion, IDEXX, Morphotek, PerSeptive Biosystems and TripAdvisor. For more information please visit www.flagshipventures.com.


For Flagship Ventures:
Bill Koteff, VP Communications

Lonni Miller
Miller Ryan Media Relations