Gallup chairman and CEO to be honored as Ambassador of Hope

Jim Clifton will be seventh individual to receive UNMC Eppley Cancer Center recognition

Jim Clifton, chairman and CEO of Gallup, one of the world’s leading companies in organizational consulting and public opinion research, will be honored at the Ambassador of Hope Gala on Oct. 23 at the CenturyLink Center.

Hosted by the Friends of the UNMC Eppley Cancer Center, the gala is held every two years and is one of the top fundraising events in the city. In both 2008 and 2010, the event raised more than $1 million to support cancer research at the UNMC Eppley Cancer Center.

“Under Jim’s direction, Gallup has become the most recognizable name in the polling business,” said Ken Cowan, M.D., Ph.D., director of the UNMC Eppley Cancer Center. “With the company’s strong Nebraska roots, the company’s international presence is a source of pride for all Nebraskans. We are delighted to honor him as our next Ambassador of Hope.”

Clifton will be the seventh recipient of the Ambassador of Hope Award, which is given to individuals who have made significant contributions in the fight against cancer through research, patient care activities or by raising public awareness of cancer.

Previous honorees include Tom Brokaw, Sam Donaldson, Chuck Durham, Condoleezza Rice, Robin Roberts and Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf.

“I am honored to be selected as this year’s Ambassador of Hope. I’m quite familiar with the stature of the past recipients of this award, so it’s humbling for me to see my name alongside theirs. Like all the previous recipients, I’m all too familiar with the impact cancer can have on families. Relentlessly rigorous research is the key to winning the battle against cancer, so I’m delighted to be associated with this great cause.”

Clifton’s father, Don, died from cancer. He and his sister, Jane Miller, have been longtime supporters of UNMC. Clifton is headquartered in Gallup’s Washington, D.C. office, while Miller, who is chief operating officer, heads Gallup’s Omaha office.

Clifton has served as CEO since 1988. His most recent innovation, the Gallup World Poll, is designed to give the world’s 7 billion citizens a voice in virtually all key global issues. He has pledged to continue this effort to collect world opinion for 100 years in 150 countries.

Under Clifton’s leadership, Gallup has achieved a 15-fold increase in its billing volume and expanded from a predominantly U.S.-based company to a worldwide organization with 40 offices in 30 countries and regions.

Clifton is the creator of The Gallup Path, a metric-based economic model that establishes the linkages among human nature in the workplace, customer engagement, and business outcomes. This model is used in performance management systems in more than 500 companies worldwide.

Active in a wide variety of educational endeavors, Clifton serves on several boards and is chairman of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. He has received honorary degrees from Jackson State University, Medgar Evers College, and Bellevue University.

In 2011, Clifton authored a book, “The Coming Jobs War,” dealing with the importance of providing good jobs. The book details how business and government leaders should focus on creating good jobs, because as jobs go, so does the fate of nations. Jobs bring prosperity, peace, and human development, Clifton maintains, but long-term unemployment ruins lives, cities, and countries.

All people attending the Ambassador of Hope Gala will receive a free copy of Clifton’s book.

Jim and Shirley Young are honorary chairs of this year’s event. Jim Young, who is chairman of Union Pacific Corporation, is currently undergoing cancer treatment at UNMC. Jane Rips is event chair, while Lisa Mellen is serving as advisor for the event.

Tickets for this year's Ambassador of Hope Gala are $150 per person. Table sponsorships range from $1,500 to $10,000. For more information, call 402-559-4179, or go to www.eppleyambassadorofhope.org.

The UNMC Eppley Cancer Center is a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated cancer center -- a distinction held by only 64 centers in the country. The UNMC Eppley Cancer Center is the only NCI-designated center in the state of Nebraska. The UNMC Eppley Cancer Center is also one of the 13 founding members of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), an alliance of the world’s leading cancer centers. This recognition means the most current and innovative treatment options are available to Cancer Center patients through the integration of cutting-edge research into state-of-the-art care. Cancer Center physicians and scientists work together to quickly translate discoveries made in the laboratory into innovative treatments for the patient.

Through world-class research and patient care, UNMC generates breakthroughs that make life better for people throughout Nebraska and beyond. Its education programs train more health professionals than any other institution in the state. Learn more at unmc.edu.


Tom O'Connor
UNMC Public Relations
(402) 559-4690 (office)
(402) 650-7063 (cell)