SAN JOSE, Calif., Dec. 17, 2010 - At a ceremony held today in Washington, DC, Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers was presented with the prestigious Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Cisco was recognized for its efforts to connect the Israeli and Palestinian economies and people, and engaging in initiatives to enhance technical capacity, connectivity and education, as well as creating opportunities for women and youths in Israel and Palestine.
The ACE is presented annually to recognize the vital role U.S.-owned businesses play in exhibiting good corporate citizenship, innovation and advancing democratic principles around the world.
"We are honored to receive the ACE for contributing to the development of a sustainable, technology-based economy in Palestine, while also helping to reconnect the Israeli and Palestinian people," said John Chambers, Cisco Chairman and CEO. "Giving back is not only the right thing to doit's also good for business, and the private sector has the potential to play a powerful role in this effort through innovative models of multi-stakeholder partnership. By harnessing the power of the network, Cisco and its partners across business, government and the community have begun to build an ecosystem for ICT entrepreneurship that will create jobs, increase wealth and contribute to stability in the region."
Chambers also highlighted the extension of its existing Palestine commitment with a planned $5 million investment in the Middle East Venture Capital Fund (MEVCF). MEVCF is focused on enhancing the information and communication technology (ICT) sector and creating jobs in the West Bank by investing and helping to establish export-oriented, high-growth Palestinian ICT companies.
Key Facts / Highlights:
- Since 1999, the Secretary of State has conferred the ACE on U.S. businesses that meet diverse needs, in diverse communities, through activities in every region of the world.
- Cisco was one of three 2010 ACE winners chosen from a record number of 78 nominations submitted by American ambassadors around the world.
- Cisco won the 2010 ACE in the Multinational Enterprises category for its partnerships and initiatives designed to enhance socio and economic development in Israel and Palestine.
- In January 2008, Cisco announced a $10 million commitment to seed a sustainable model of job creation and economic development in the Palestinian territories over a three year period through key initiatives that help elevate the ICT sector and enhanced the ecosystem to support a high-tech industry.
- Cisco's planned $5 million investment in the MEVCF extends and bolsters Cisco's original $10 million Palestine commitment made in 2008.
- Highlights of Cisco's Palestinian engagement include: engineering project collaboration between Cisco Israel and Palestinian software development companies: Exalt, Asal Technologies, and GSSI, venture capital investments in high-potential small businesses throughout the region, and training programs that support the development of ICT skills.
- Cisco's CSR commitment in Israel focuses on supporting women and youths in underserved communities and the integration of minorities into Israeli society.
- Highlights of Cisco's engagement in Israel include supporting education and bridging the digital divide in underserved communities through the Net@ Program, and a $2.5 million investment in education and social inclusion through the creation of the Digital Cities Project (Nazareth and Nazareth Ilit) and the Mediterranean Young Technology Club (MYTecC).
- Cisco received the ACE in 2005 in recognition of the company's Jordan Education Initiative and commitment to the education of Jordan's youth. Cisco was also named one of 11 ACE finalists in 2009 for the company's Partnership in Lebanon efforts.
- Watch the video about Cisco's efforts in the Palestinian Territories www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQx1zG9BzqQ
- Watch the Net@ Program video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBNmvV_NVmo
- Read Cisco's 2010 Corporate Social Responsibility Report
Tags / Keywords:
Cisco, CSR, corporate social responsibility, citizenship, social investment, U.S. State Department, ACE, Award for Corporate Excellence, Palestine, Israel, economic development