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Entrepreneur of the Year

Dr. Leonard S. Schleifer ’73 named 2019 Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year.

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Schleifer, who received a Bachelor of Arts from Cornell, founded Regeneron in 1988 and is currently its president, chief executive officer, and a board member. He is also a licensed physician, certified in neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Together with Dr. George Yancopoulos, founding scientist, president, and chief scientific officer, Schleifer built Regeneron from a tiny startup into one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies. The company has had seven treatments approved by the Food and Drug Administration and 20 investigational medicines to help patients with eye disease, heart disease, allergic and inflammatory diseases, pain, cancer, infectious diseases, and rare diseases.

Schleifer has been named repeatedly to Harvard Business Review’s list of best-performing CEOs in the world, as well as to Yale School of Management’s Legends in Leadership list, and he was honored as an E&Y Life Sciences Entrepreneur of the Year. Under his leadership, Regeneron has earned top honors as the best place to work in the annual Science magazine employer ranking and is consistently ranked among the most innovative companies by Forbes magazine.

The Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year award is given annually to a Cornellian who exemplifies entrepreneurial achievement, community service, and high ethical standards.

Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year 2020 Nomination Packet

Past Recipients include:

  • 2018: Niraj Shah ’95 and Steve Conine ’95, Wayfair
  • 2017: Robert F. Smith ’85, Vista Equity Partners
  • 2016: Leland Pillsbury ’69, Thayer Lodging Group
  • 2015: Robert Langer ’70, David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT
  • 2014: Greg Galvin MS ’82, PhD ’84, MBA ’93, Rheonix
  • 2013: Ratan Tata ’59, B.Arch ’62, Tata Sons
  • 2012: John Alexander ’74, MBA ’76, CBORD Group, Inc.
  • 2011: Harris Rosen ’61, Rosen Hotels and Resorts
  • 2010: Lubna Olayan ’77, Olayan Financing Company
  • 2009: Jay Walker ’77, Walker Digital
  • 2008: Howard Milstein ’73, New York Private Bank & Trust
  • 2007: Kevin McGovern ’70, McGovern Capital LLC
  • 2005: Robert Toll ’63, Toll Brothers
  • 2004: Steve Belkin ’69, Trans National Group
  • 2003: Jules Kroll ’63, Kroll, Inc.
  • 2002: Rob Ryan ’69, Ascend Communcations; Entrepreneur America
  • 2001: Jeffrey Parker ’65, MEng ’66, MBA ‘70, CCBN
  • 2000: Jeffrey Hawkins ’79, Handspring
  • 1999: William Sanders ’64, Security Capital Group, Inc.
  • 1998: Robert Felton ’61, Indus International, Inc.
  • 1997: Linda Mason ’76, Bright Horizons Children’s Centers
  • 1996: David Duffield ’62, BEE ’63, MBA ’64, PeopleSoft
  • 1995: Arthur Gensler ’58, Gensler and Associates
  • 1994: Irwin Jacobs ’56, Qualcomm, Inc.
  • 1993: Donald Berens ’47, Hickory Farms Sales Corp.
  • 1992: Harvey Kinzelberg ’67, Meridian Group
  • 1991: Kenneth ’61, PhD ’67 & Marjorie ’62 Blanchard, Blanchard Training & Dev.
  • 1989: James McLamore ’47, Burger King Corporation
  • 1988: Julius Kayser ’47, Arthur Wolcott ’49, Seneca Foods Corporation
  • 1987: Alfred ’06, Charles ’33, John ’60 Mellowes, Charter Manufacturing Co.
  • 1986: John Mariani, Jr. ’54, Villa Banfi, USA
  • 1985: Christopher Hemmeter ’62, Hemmeter Investment Co.
  • 1984: Sanford Weill ’55, Citigroup, Inc.