I° edition: Joaquín Navarro-Valls Prize for Leadership and Benevolence

The Italian cashmere, Brunello Cucinelli, entrepreneur awarded in the first edition of the Prize organized by the Biomedical University Foundation on the 30th anniversary of UCBM

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Rome, 5th July 2023, Palazzo della Cancelleria, before a big audience of guests, Brunello Cucinelli is awarded on the first edition of the Joaquín Navarro-Valls International Prize for Leadership and Benevolence organized by the Biomedical University Foundation. The Prize also celebrates three decades of activity of the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome and of the Campus Bio-Medico University Hospital Foundation and it is meant to be a recognition to personalities of great socioeconomic and institutional importance, women and men who, along their career, have been able to show integrity and important ethical values through their leadership activity, ability to communicate, enhancement of human resources, solidarity and a vision on Leadership and benevolence that is so well rooted nowadays and that recalls the spirit of Navarro-Valls.

The nominations were proposed by a Scientific Committee, composed by: Matteo Colaninno, Executive Vice President of Piaggio Group, Giuseppe Cornetto Bourlot, Vice President Advisory Board Biomedical University Foundation, Federico Eichberg, Vice President Biomedical University Foundation, Amalia Maione Marchini, Psychiatrist, Raffaele Perrone Donnorso, President of ANPO.

The winner was selected by a jury of five people: Paolo Arullani, President of the Biomedical University Foundation, Ferruccio De Bortoli, Journalist and essayist, Gianni Letta, Advisory Board Biomedical University Foundation, Mario Moretti Polegato, President of Geox, Lucia Vedani, Founder and President CasAmica ODV.

“The Prize commemorates Joaquín Navarro-Valls and his important contribution to the development of the Biomedical University Foundation and the entire Campus Bio-Medico. This award is meant to evolve into a project looking at the future, while focussing on two core values that are too often forgotten by companies and that we believe should inspire university too: leadership and benevolence. We must support those who perform leadership combined with benevolence to promote a new culture based on giving, generating a social impact and focussing on the wellbeing of the individual” – Paolo Arullani, President of the Biomedical University Foundation, stated.

Motivation of the jury

Brunello Cucinelli is a sensitive and generous man, a genuine product of his land, an entrepreneur able to transform his moral strength into an inexhaustible constant desire to seek beauty to the benefit of others, always gently building  working environments based on sustainable projects of Benevolence focussed on the individual.

Brunello Cucinelli

Born in Castel Rigone in 1953, he founded his business in 1978, introducing the idea of coloured cashmere on the market. He brought a respectful vision of work, made up of moral and economic dignity. The heart of his business and production is in Solomeo. Today his high Made in Italy quality products are appreciated and much requested all over the world. In 2013 he opened the “School of Contemporary High Craftsmanship and Arts”.

“I am so excited for receiving the coveted Joaquín Navarro-Valls International Prize for Leadership and Benevolence from the Biomedical University Foundation for two main reasons: the first is the great esteem that I have always had for a man like Navarro-Valls who knew how to wisely combine Faith and the medical and journalistic profession in a single and deep reason for living, constantly close to two great pontiffs such as John Paul II and Benedict XVI, the second is that in my vision of the world, the value of Benevolence is on the forefront. I have always guided my enterprise according to the thought of St. Benedict of Norcia when he taught his abbots: ‘Always be rigorous and gentle, a demanding master and a lovable father”- Brunello Cucinelli.


On the occasion of the Award, with the precious contribution of Fondazione Roma, Fondazione Tim, Fondazione Ania, Gruppo Bios, ELT Group, IGT, Pedevilla, Poste Italiane and the patronage of Lazio Region, Municipality of Rome and Coni, the “Joaquín Navarro-Valls Scholarship Fund” was also launched for the students of the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome. The scholarship is meant to work as a social elevator to enhance new praiseworthy and economically less fortunate talents, to guarantee their right to study, inclusion and development.

Joaquín Navarro-Valls

Born in Cartagena in 1936, he was the first director of the Holy See Press Office between 1984 and 2006, as well as President of the Committee of Trustees of the Foundation. An unforgettable presence during the pontificate of John Paul II. Throughout his life he showed deep leadership skills enriched by multiple interests, from medicine to psychiatry, from journalism to the philosophy of benevolence. He died in Rome on 5th July 2017.

Biomedical University Foundation

Founded in June 2015, its mission is to ensure, over the time and in a stable form, the growth, development and international spreading of the teachings, healthcare and research activities of the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome and those of the Campus Bio-Medico University Hospital Foundation, through the support of social and innovation projects and the promotion and administration of an Endowment Fund (Inalienable Asset Fund) anticipating the country’s need to create endowment funds for private providers of public services.


Premio Joaquín Navarro-Valls per la Leadership e la Benevolenza - Biomedical University Foundation