AIChE’s 2021 Gala Will Honor Companies and Their Leaders for Supporting the Extraordinary

AIChE will spotlight the transformative societal contributions of chemical engineers and the organizations that employ them during the organization’s 2021 Doing a World of Good Gala on Dec. 1. After presenting its 2020 Gala as a virtual event, the 2021 Gala is slated to return to a live venue in New York City at The Metropolitan Club. An online component will be offered for those who cannot attend the event in person.

At this year’s gala, AIChE is celebrating the world-altering contributions of Moderna, a U.S.-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology company. Moderna is known for its roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as its work with messenger RNA (mRNA), which significantly improves the way medicines are developed.

Moderna will be represented at the gala by Stéphane Bancel, the company’s Chief Executive Officer. Moderna and Bancel are being recognized for “unparalleled leadership toward the discovery and development of innovative solutions to save and improve people’s lives through healthcare.”

AIChE will also present its Doing a World of Good Medal to its fellow founding partners of the Future of STEM Scholars Initiative (FOSSI) — which in its inaugural year of 2021 funded 151 scholarships of $40,000 each to students pursing degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The medalists include FOSSI founding chair, Mark Vergnano, Chairman of the Board of The Chemours Co.; founding partner, Chris Jahn, President and Chief Executive Officer at the American Chemistry Council; and founding partner Ashley Christopher, founder and Chief Executive Officer of HBCU Week Foundation.

In announcing the honorees for this year’s gala, AIChE Executive Director and CEO June Wispelwey expressed her gratitude to the honorees for their esteemed contributions to the advancement of society and stated:

AIChE is honored to pay tribute to, and celebrate, the profound societal contributions made by our honoree organizations and their leaders. These groundbreaking leaders exemplify AIChE’s commitment to ‘Doing a World of Good.’

Wispelwey also reflected on the legacy the honorees are building. “The lifesaving contribution by Moderna, through its COVID-19 vaccine, has guaranteed a healthier future for countless people worldwide, while the visionary leaders of the FOSSI project are each individually invested in building a more diverse, equitable and dynamic future workforce. These are accomplishments we can all regard with pride and a renewed sense of optimism, both for the chemical engineering profession and for society as well.”

The gala is organized by the AIChE Foundation, and raises funds to underwrite AIChE’s Doing a World of Good campaign, which supports programs that bring chemical engineering expertise to bear for the benefit of all.

The dinner chairs for the 2021 Gala are (as of July 12): Bruce Chinn, Chief Executive Officer, Chevron Phillips Chemical; Jim Fitterling, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Dow; Karen McKee, President, ExxonMobil Chemical Co.; Lori J. Ryerkerk, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, Celanese Corp.; John Y. Televantos, Senior Partner, Arsenal Capital Partners; and Michael Thien, Senior Vice President, Merck and Co., Inc.

For the latest information about the AIChE Gala, visit