The Bright Award at Stanford University recognizes an individual who has made unheralded contributions to environmental sustainability.

About the Bright Award

The Bright Award at Stanford University was created by a gift from Raymond E. Bright, Jr., JD '59 in 2007 on behalf of his late wife, Marcelle, and himself. Mr. Bright died in 2011. Under the terms of his gift, the Bright Award is given annually to an "individual who has made significant contributions in the environmental preservation and sustainability area." Each year the recipient will be selected from one of 10 rotating regions.

Each year, Stanford Law School will give the Bright Award to an individual working in a specific region of the world. The award winner receives $100,000 and delivers a public lecture at Stanford University. The inaugural Bright Award, delivered in 2013, goes to an individual from South America.

The list of regions from which winners will be chosen over the next five years is shown below:

  • 2013 – South America
  • 2014 – North and Central America
  • 2015 – Europe
  • 2016 – Africa
  • 2017 – West Asia

A nomination committee comprised of Stanford Law School faculty members, law students and others on campus, with assistance from consultants focused on designated regions of the world, will recommend potential candidates each year. The Dean of Stanford Law School will select the final award recipient. An Advisory Committee, consisting of Michael Bright, George Bright, and Alan Markle, helps oversee the Bright Award and also provide guidance in the selection of the recipient.

2013 Bright Award Recipient

The 2013 Bright Award goes to Tasso Azevedo of Brazil.

Photo: Tasso Azevedo

Tasso Azevedo

Tasso Azevedo is a consultant and social-environmental entrepreneur in the field of forests, sustainability and climate change. He is a forestry engineer graduate at ESALQ/USP. In the past 18 years, his innovative ideas on promoting sustainable forest management have contributed to reduce the rates of deforestation in the Amazon by 80 percent, and a 35 percent reduction of Brazil's greenhouse gas emissions. His efforts serve as an inspiration for similar efforts around the world.

Azevedo was founder and Director of the Institute of Forest and Agriculture Management and Certification (IMAFLORA), the largest FSC certifier in Brazil. In 2003, he became the Director of the National Forest Program at the Ministry of Environment and Vice-Chair and General-Secretary of the National Forest Commission. In 2006, he was appointed the first Chief & Director General of the Brazilian Forest Service, a position he held until 2009. Azevedo was one of the key people involved in the design and implementation of the Forest Stewardship Council in Brazil, the National Plan to Combat Deforestation, the Amazon Fund (one of the largest forest protection funds worldwide) and the Brazilian targets to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions. Azevedo serves as board member on organizations and initiatives such as Business Forum on Climate Change, RainForest Alliance, Imazon, Imaflora and WRI Brazil and teaches at post-graduate programs on sustainability related issues.

Photo: Tasso Azevedo near Sao Paulo, Brazil

Tasso Azevedo

The 2013 Bright Award recipient describes sustainable forestry practices in a preserve near Sao Paulo, Brazil.

2013 Bright Award Ceremony

  • When: 4-6:30 pm on Tuesday, December 10th, 2013
  • Where: Stanford Law School’s Paul Brest Hall at the Munger Residences, 555 Salvatierra Walk

A lecture by Tasso Azevedo and reception will follow. The event is open to the public.

RSVP to Diane Osborne at: