2008 C Jackson Grayson Quality Pioneer Medal Winners

The judges selected the 2008 winners of the C. Jackson Grayson Distinguished Quality Pioneer Medal from a pool of nominated candidates who have made extraordinary contributions to furthering the cause of quality in their organization or sector. They have used management processes, measurement activities and collaborative teamwork to achieve productivity and other beneficial enhancements to their organizations' performance and mission.

The 2008 winners of the Grayson Medal are:

  • Dr. Don M. Berwick, President and CEO, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (Cambridge, Mass.)
  • Dr. A. Blanton Godfrey, Dean and Joseph D. Moore Professor of Textile & Apparel Technology & Management, College of Textiles, North Carolina State University (Raleigh, N.C.)
  • Al Gore, former U.S. Vice President and Nobel Prize winner
  • Dr. Jerry D. Weast, Superintendent, Montgomery County Public Schools (Rockville, Md.).

Donald M. Berwick

MD, MPP, FRCP, President and CEO, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)

Donald M. BerwickThe C. Jackson Grayson Medal recognizes Don M. Berwick for his outstanding work in driving quality and process improvement in healthcare, new product development and strategy. Dr. Berwick is one of the nation's leading authorities on health care quality and improvement. Many lives have been saved as a result of his work.

In addition to his leadership role at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Dr. Berwick is also clinical professor of pediatrics and health care policy at the Harvard Medical School. He has served as vice chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the first "Independent Member" of the Board of Trustees of the American Hospital Association, and as chair on the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

An elected member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), Dr. Berwick serves on the IOM's governing Council. He also served on President Clinton's Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Healthcare Industry. The Commission was charged with developing a broader understanding of issues facing the rapidly evolving health care delivery system and building consensus on ways to assure and improve the quality of health care.

Dr. A. Blanton Godfrey

Dean and Joseph D. Moore Professor of Textile & Apparel Technology & Management, College of Textiles, North Carolina State University

Dr. Blanton A. GodfreyThe C. Jackson Grayson Medal recognizes Dr. A. Blanton Godfrey for his early contributions to the establishment of ISO 9000, his leadership with Dr. Juran and the Juran Institute, his support of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and his efforts to bring a quality mindset to higher education. Dr. Godfrey has tirelessly devoted himself to inspiring others to use quality tools and methods.

During the development stage for the ISO 9000 series of quality standards, Dr. Godfrey was a member of the United States delegation to the International Organization for Standardization's Technical Committee 176 from 1980 to 1987. From 1987 to 1990 he contributed to the creation of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and served as a judge for the first three years. He was also a member of the Board of Examiners in 1999 and 2000.

Prior to joining NC State in 2000, Dr. Godfrey was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Juran Institute, Inc., a management consulting, research and training organization focused on quality management and business excellence. Dr. Godfrey is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, the American Society for Quality, the World Academy of Productivity Sciences, and the Royal Society for the encouragement of Art, Manufacturers and Commerce.  He has published over 200 articles and book chapters and co-authored or co-edited five books including Modern Methods for Quality Control and Improvement and Curing Health Care: New Strategies for Quality Improvement. Godfrey is the co-editor (with Dr. Joseph M. Juran) of Juran's Quality Handbook, Fifth Edition, published in March 1999. 

Al Gore

Former U.S. Vice President and 2007 Nobel Prize winner for his work on climate change

al GoreThe C. Jackson Grayson Medal recognizes Al Gore's efforts to demonstrate the power of data-driven quality improvement principles and approaches, first with government, then with climate change. While he was Vice President of the United States, Gore led major initiatives to imbue government with process improvement principles.

Gore served in the U.S. Army and worked briefly as a newspaper reporter before winning election to Congress in 1976. In 1984 he moved up to the Senate and was re-elected in 1990. Gore served for eight years as U.S. Vice President under President Bill Clinton, and was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in 2000. After a post-election delay of more than one month while votes were recounted and lawsuits were filed, Gore conceded the election to George W. Bush on December 13, 2000.

In recent years Gore has dedicated himself to raising public awareness about global warming. The documentary about Gore and climate change, titled An Inconvenient Truth, won an Academy Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as the year's best documentary. Gore won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work to communicate the urgency of responding to problems associated with climate change.

The National Partnership for Reinventing Government (NPR), originally named the National Performance Review, was the Clinton-Gore Administration's interagency task force to reform and streamline how the federal government works. Vice President Gore set out to create a government that "works better, costs less, and gets results Americans care about." The President asked the Vice President to report on the findings of this National Performance Review within six months. After the initial report, the NPR team implemented many recommendations and then conducted a second round of reviews in 1995. In the second Clinton-Gore term, NPR changed its mission and approach to lead a fundamental culture change in the government.

Dr. Jerry D. Weast

Superintendent, Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, Maryland

Dr. Jerry D. WeastThe C. Jackson Grayson Medal recognizes Jerry D. Weast for his innovative leadership in dramatically driving quality and process improvement in K-12 education. Weast's innovations in using quality and process improvement in K-12 education has inspired others to apply these approaches on behalf of all children.

Montgomery County Public Schools is the largest and most diverse school system in Maryland, and the 17th largest district in the nation. Appointed to Superintendent in 1999 and reappointed in 2003 and 2007, Dr. Weast is directing an ambitious reform effort designed to raise academic standards and narrow the achievement gap for nearly 140,000 students. Since 2004, Dr. Weast has led a team of school system and union leaders, working together with researchers and leaders from other school systems, in the Public Education Leadership Project to study school system governance. This work led to Montgomery County Public Schools' receipt of the U.S. Senate/Maryland Productivity Award in 2005. In addition, the school system was a 2006 Finalist for a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.