Thursday, November 30th from 6:00 to 9:00 PM
InterContinental Hotel • 510 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA

Our 2017 honoree is Mr. Noubar Afeyan


Dr. Noubar Afeyan is founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering, a leading life science innovation enterprise that invents and launches transformative start-ups tackling challenges in healthcare and sustainability. During his 30-year career as inventor, entrepreneur and CEO, Dr. Afeyan has co-founded and helped to build over 40 successful start-ups. He is currently a lecturer at Harvard Business School, and was previously a senior lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management where he taught courses on technology-entrepreneurship, innovation, and leadership. He has authored numerous scientific publications and patents since earning his Ph.D. in biochemical engineering from MIT in 1987.

For his contributions to society in the United States and in Armenia, Dr. Afeyan was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor (2008).  He also received a Technology Pioneer 2012 award from the World Economic Forum, the Prime Minister of Armenia commemorative medal for patriotic activities (2012), the Saint Gregory the Illuminator medallion from Catholicos Karekin II (2012), and the Services to the Motherland order from Armenia’s President Serge Sargsyan (2014). He was selected as a Great Immigrant honoree of the Carnegie Corporation in 2016.

Dr. Afeyan is engaged in a number of philanthropic initiatives. In 2015, he co-founded the 100 LIVES Initiative to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the Armenian genocide and create a remembrance project to locate and preserve stories of both survivors and rescuers from the genocide. In 2016, 100 LIVES inaugurated the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, an annual award given to an individual who has faced personal risk to enable others to survive. The prize includes $100,000 for the winner and $1 million for up to three organizations that inspired his or her work.  American actor George Clooney and Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel served as co-chairs of the prize committee. The 2016 prize was awarded to Marguerite Barankitse of Maison Shalom and REMA Hospital in Burundi, who saved thousands of children and cared for orphans and refugees during the Burundi civil war, and the 2017 prize was awarded to Dr. Tom Catena of Mother of Mercy Catholic Hospital in Sudan for his tireless work as the sole doctor permanently based in the war-torn Nuba Mountains.

Dr. Afeyan serves on a number of public and private company and organization boards, including The MIT Corporation, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Armenian General Benevolent Union, the IDeA Foundation, the UWC Dilijan College in Armenia, and the Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology (FAST).


For event information download our one-pager or click here for sponsorship opportunities!

Committee to Honor Noubar Afeyan

Peter Handrinos, Latham & Watkins LLP       David Perry, Indigo
                                                                           Andy Plump, Takeda                  
Sheriff Peter Koutoujian                                  Edward B. Roberts, MIT
Eric Lander, Broad Institute                             Ruben Vardanian, RVVZ Foundation            
Robert S. Langer, MIT                                       Chris Viehbacher, Gurnet Point Capital
Mark Levin, Third Rock Ventures                     Susan Whitehead, Whitehead Institute
John Maraganore, Alnylam                              Doug Williams, Codiak                       
Theo Melas-Kyriazi, Levitronix LLC                  Elias Zerhouni, Sanofi Genzyme
John Mendlein, Neptuna Terra             
Stelios Papadopoulos, Biogen                              

Graham Allison, Harvard Kennedy School
Stephane Bancel, Moderna
Howard Beber, Proskauer
Stephen Berenson, Flagship Pioneering
Stuart Cable, Goodwin Law
Sasha Chanoff, Refuge Point
Doug Cole, Flagship Pioneering
Charles Cooney, MIT
Desh Deshpande, Sparta Group, LLC
David Epstein, Rubius Therapeutics
Simba Gill, Evelo Biosciences

Board of Directors of the
International Institute of New England

Rushna Tejani Heneghan                                   Frederick Millham
Julie Hogan                                                          Deborah Shufrin
Amy Hsuan                                                           David Sullivan
Steve Kasmouski                                                 Michael Wyzga
William Krause                                                     Jeffrey Thielman, President & CEO
Shari Loessberg                                                   Rita McDonough, Chief Financial Officer

Zoltan Csimma, Chair
Douglas Bailey
Christine Brennan
Jean Franchi
Ginger Gregory
Taeiss Haghighat

2017 Golden Door Award Sponsors

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About the Golden Door Award


The Golden Door Award has been an IINE tradition for more than 40 years. The honoree is a U.S. citizen of foreign birth who has made outstanding contributions to American society. It is an occasion that calls us to stand together in celebration of the achievements of neighbors who have played an integral role in our community, economy, and society. The Award takes its name from Emma Lazarus’s words which are inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty declaring: “From her beacon hand glows world-wide welcome… I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Past Golden Door honorees have included: I.M. Pei, Arthur Fiedler, Stephen Mugar, Jill Ker Conway, Yo Yo Ma, Henri Termeer, Alex d’Arbeloff, Desh Deshpande, and Claudio Del Vecchio.