The Chairman’s Award is presented to an individual or an organization that has made outstanding contributions in science, either through exemplary work in one field or through transcendent leadership, commitment, or achievement.
An engineer who once left the area to find a job himself, Rich Fitzgerald was tired of seeing Allegheny County’s best and brightest leave to pursue jobs elsewhere. He got involved in politics in the 1990s to persuade people to stop dwelling on the loss of declining industries and redirect their efforts toward a science- and technology-driven future. His success has earned him the 2018 Chairman’s Award, the Carnegie Science Awards’ highest honor.
Under Rich’s leadership, Allegheny County increasingly is being recognized worldwide for innovations in fields such as technology, health care, and energy. If you want to see the latest developments in autonomous vehicles, robotics, artificial intelligence, medicine, and software engineering, you need look no further than Allegheny County.
Rich has led numerous efforts to make Allegheny County the ideal place for tech companies to locate and grow. The sale of the former Allegheny County Health Department building in Oakland to a partner of the University of Pittsburgh is helping create an innovation district in Oakland.
Several of the County Executive’s efforts have been aimed at making sure tech companies can find the workers they need right here. He was instrumental in launching TechHire Pittsburgh, a successful collaboration between Partner4Work, the City of Pittsburgh and the county. He also was active in the Community College of Allegheny County’s Collaborative Workforce Initiative, which enhances CCAC’s efforts to provide training in fields such as cybersecurity, autonomous technology, and digital technology to better meet today’s workforce needs. In addition, he has worked with businesses and community groups on efforts leading to the creation of CoLab18, which focuses on community collaboration, education, digital engagement, and workforce development on Pittsburgh’s North Side.
Award presented by Eaton