International Center Selects Mike Crowther as 2019 International Citizen of the Year

Billie Fouts, VP of Marketing and Development
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(317) 955-5151


Indianapolis Zoo CEO Michael Crowther to be Honored by

The International Center as the 2019 International Citizen of the Year


INDIANAPOLIS – February 15, 2019 – The Board of Directors of The International Center has selected Michael I. Crowther, CEO of the Indianapolis Zoological Society, as recipient of the 2019 International Citizen of the Year Award (ICY), which honors those who have made outstanding contributions to the globalization of Indiana. The ICY award will be presented at a dinner and ceremony on Tuesday,

October 8, 2019, at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis.

“We are honored to be shining the International Citizen of the Year spotlight this year on a man whose efforts have made such a tremendous impact on the world and, at the same time, brought Indianapolis to the world’s attention in such a profound way,” said Julie K. Griffith, executive vice president of the Indiana Innovation Institute and International Center Board chair.

Mike Crowther, who will be the 33rd recipient of the ICY award, is considered the founder of the biennial Indianapolis Prize, recognized as the world’s leading award for animal conservation. The Indianapolis Prize has positioned Indianapolis as an international hub of wildlife conservation leadership and brings global attention to the city with more than two billion media impressions during each two-year cycle.

Additionally, during Mike’s tenure as CEO at the Indianapolis Zoo, the local attraction received the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Angela Peterson Excellence in Diversity Award.

Mike Crowther has been singled out by two Indiana Governors for his contributions to the state of Indiana. In 2014, he received the Indiana Excellence in Innovation award and was designated a Distinguished Hoosier by Governor Mitch Daniels. In 2017 he was named a Sagamore of the Wabash (the state’s highest honor) by Governor Eric Holcomb. Former Governor Daniels is a former ICY recipient, having received the award in 2010, as is Governor Holcomb, who was the 2018 ICY honoree.

The International Citizen of the Year Award was established in 1985 to honor individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the globalization of Indiana business, culture, education, government, medicine, research, media, sports or community service. Additional community luminaries who have been honored with the ICY award include John C. Lechleiter, Mayor Greg and Winnie Ballard, James T. Morris, KP Singh, and the Honorable Richard Lugar, William Hudnut, and Lee Hamilton, among others.

Several former ICY recipients also have a very close association with the Indianapolis Zoo and, specifically, the Indianapolis Prize, including Christel DeHaan, Mark Miles, Jeff Smulyan, Tony George and Michael McRobbie.

Co-Chairs for the 2019 International Citizen of the Year award dinner and program are Priscila Vansetti, director of global strategy and business development for Corteva Agriscience (Division of DowDuPont) and an International Center Board member, and Michael Alley, chairman and owner of Patriot Investments, LLC, and a member of the Indianapolis Zoo Board of Trustees.

Martin Baier, president and CEO of The International Center, said, “Michael Crowther and The Indianapolis Prize embody the very values that The International Center holds dear and which Indianapolis exhibits to the rest of the world . . . passion, integrity and excellence. The Indianapolis Prize began with one humble man who had an idea that could – and would – have worldwide impact. We look forward to working with our ICY Co-Chairs and the community to create a memorable event celebrating the man -- Michael Crowther -- and his accomplishments that have touched and had such an impact on the world.”

Information about ICY sponsorship opportunities, and ways to become involved with the event, will be available soon on The Center’s website ( In the meantime, requests for information about the event may be directed to Glennda McGann at [email protected].



About The International Center

For more than 45 years, The International Center has served as a guide to the world’s cultural landscape, and a catalyst for the state’s international growth. Working in collaboration with businesses, organizations, government agencies, educational institutions and individual citizens, The Center expands Indiana’s global interest through a variety of programs and services and through convening diverse interests who share common international goals. The International Center is a member of Global Ties U.S.

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