National Portrait Gallery Announces Presenters and Host for the 2022 Portrait of a Nation Awards Nov. 12

Presenters Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sonya Haffey and Isha Price, Mellody Hobson, Laurene Powell Jobs, Alicia Keys, David M. Rubenstein and Isabel Wilkerson To Join Host Baratunde Thurston
August 23, 2022
News Release

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Man stands in front of a solid blue background and looks quizzically ahead

Baratunde Thurston, host of the National Portrait Gallery’s 2022 Portrait of a Nation Gala. Photo courtesy of Erik Carter.

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery has announced the host and lineup of presenters for the 2022 Portrait of a Nation Awards, which will be presented at a celebratory gala Saturday, Nov. 12, in Washington, D.C. The 2022 honorees are José Andrés, Clive Davis, Ava DuVernay, Marian Wright Edelman, Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Serena Williams and Venus Williams. The evening will be hosted by writer, comedian and Emmy-nominated host Baratunde Thurston. 

Established in 2015, the Portrait of a Nation Awards honor extraordinary individuals who have made transformative contributions to the United States and its people across all fields of endeavor from the arts and sciences. “Portrait of a Nation: 2022 Honorees,” an exhibition featuring portraits of this year’s seven recipients, will open on the museum’s first floor Nov. 10 to precede the award presentations. The exhibition, which will remain on view through Oct. 22, 2023, will include new commissions by renowned contemporary artists.

Presenters of the 2022 Portrait of a Nation Awards are: 

  • Laurene Powell Jobs, founder and president of Emerson Collective, presenting to José Andrés, internationally recognized humanitarian, culinary innovator, New York Times bestselling author, educator and founder of World Central Kitchen
  • Alicia Keys, 15-time Grammy Award-winning artist, songwriter, musician, producer and entrepreneur, presenting to Clive Davis, Grammy Award-winning music industry executive and member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
  • Isabel Wilkerson, Pulitzer Prize winner, National Humanities Medal awardee and New York Times bestselling author, presenting to Ava DuVernay, Academy Award nominee and Emmy-, BAFTA- and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker and founder of ARRAY 
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Secretary of State, U.S. Senator (New York), First Lady of the United States, lawyer and activist, presenting to Marian Wright Edelman, activist for children’s rights and founder and president emerita of the Children’s Defense Fund 
  • David M. Rubenstein, co-founder and co-chairman of The Carlyle Group and philanthropist, presenting to Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health and chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Immunoregulation, chief medical advisor to the President and advisor on global AIDS issues and COVID-19 
  • Mellody Hobson, co-CEO and president of Ariel Investments, presenting to Serena Williams, tennis champion, winner of 23 Grand Slam titles and entrepreneur
  • Sonya Haffey, interior designer and principal of V Starr, and Isha Price, entrepreneur, film producer, philanthropist and CEO of Price Consulting Group LLC, presenting to Venus Williams, tennis champion, winner of seven Grand Slam titles, entrepreneur and outspoken advocate on equal pay, mental health and physical wellness

“It is important to honor and celebrate the people who are making a difference and inspiring others,” said Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery. “The presenters, each of whom have a special relationship with the honorees, help us to offer meaningful thanks to this year’s awardees for their significant contributions to our nation.”  

National chairs of the 2022 Portrait of a Nation Gala are Catherine and Michael Podell, Eduardo J. Ardiles and Joseph P. Ujobai, and Lyndon J. Barrois, Sr. and Janine Sherman Barrois. Washington, D.C., chairs are Kristin and John Cecchi and Susanna and Jack Quinn. Founding chairs are Wayne and Catherine Reynolds. Host Committee members include Robert and Arlene Kogod, David M. Rubenstein, and Patty Stonesifer and Michael Kinsley. 

Chevron and General Dynamics are lead sponsors of the 2022 Portrait of a Nation Gala. Vanity Fair is the exclusive media partner.

The Portrait of a Nation Gala supports the nation’s premier collection of visual biographies.  Proceeds support the Portrait Gallery’s endowment for exhibitions, collections, commissions and education programs. For more information, visit npg.si.edu/gala.

National Portrait Gallery

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the multifaceted story of the United States through the individuals who have shaped American culture. Spanning the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists whose lives tell the nation’s story. 

The National Portrait Gallery is located at Eighth and G streets N.W., Washington, D.C. Smithsonian Information: (202) 633-1000. Connect with the museum at npg.si.edu and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Note to Editors
Past Portrait of a Nation Gala honorees and presenters are:  

2019
Frances Arnold, presented by France Córdova 
Jeffrey P. Bezos, presented by Preston Bezos
Earth, Wind & Fire (Maurice White [posthumously], Philip Bailey, Verdine White, Ralph Johnson), presented by Clive Davis
Lin-Manuel Miranda, presented by Michelle Obama
Indra Nooyi, presented by Alberto Ibargüen
Anna Wintour
, presented by James Corden

2017
Madeleine K. Albright, presented by Robert Redford
David D. Ho, M.D.
, presented by Gerald H. Friedland, M.D.
Bill T. Jones, presented by Glenn Ligon
Spike Lee, presented by Patrick Ewing 
Rita Moreno, presented by Andrea Mitchell 

2015
Henry “Hank” Aaron, presented by Congressman John Lewis 
Cpl. Kyle Carpenter, presented by Gen. Joseph Dunford 
Aretha Franklin, presented by Attorney General Eric Holder 
Carolina Herrera, presented by Lee Daniels 
Maya Lin, presented by David Adjaye 

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