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New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will serve as keynote speakers for the National Building Museum’s 2021 Honor Award event on June 17. David Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of The Carlyle Group and Bloomberg TV Host, will interview both about the urgency for climate action in the building industry and beyond, and explore how each is championing accelerated positive change. Attendees of the virtual event can look forward to a robust discussion on how public- and private-sector collaboration and innovation are needed to address the critical issue of global warming, this generation’s most compelling challenge. Senator Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, will also contribute his perspective during the event.

Hosted by Tony Kornheiser from ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, this year’s Honor Award presents a dynamic new framework for thought leadership, engagement, and celebration. The Museum will present its 2021 Honor Award at the event to global design firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)—and, in partnership with SOM, the Museum has transformed this year’s annual Honor Award into a Climate Change Call to Action.

The Museum and SOM carefully tailored requests for event contributors, seeking leaders who inspire and advocate for positive action, and who lead by example how to meet the challenges of climate change.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti
Senator Cory Booker – NJ
Senator Edward J. Markey – Mass.
David Rubenstein
  • Senator Booker brings his long-held passion for the topic, and his focus on how past practices have left a lasting legacy of social and community impact. 
  • Mayor Garcetti offers his experience as a leader of C40 Cities, an organization developed to support cities in developing climate action plans that are aligned with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. 
  • Senator Markey provides insight from a career devoted to environmental action and energy conservation, in addition to his sponsorship of the Green New Deal and its continued evolution. 

In addition to the provocative Climate Action discussions, all attendees will be able to enjoy a variety of online experiences, as well as a live Q&A after-party with Aileen Fuchs, the Museum’s new President and Executive Director. Ms. Fuchs will also share her skills as a mixologist and introduce guests to the event’s signature cocktail!

As part of this year’s virtual Honor Award, the Museum and SOM are co-hosting the associated NBM Climate Action programming, a weekly online series of expert panel discussions exploring the building industry’s role in addressing the climate crisis. Honor Award registrants can attend all of the programs for free, either live or on-demand a week following the panel:

  • May 19: Getting to Net Zero: Immediate Climate Action in the Building Industry. The bold steps the industry needs to take, the potential for an all-electric future, and the opportunities that lie ahead on the path to net zero.
  • May 27: Climate Justice and Social Equity. How climate change and economic and social inequity are intertwined, and what actions the industry should take to address this.
  • June 3: “Green Innovation” as Savior? Rethinking Technology. The complex role of technology in achieving net zero and the importance of looking forward and backward for solutions to the climate crisis.
  • June 10: Investing in Our Future. The opportunities and challenges of green investing and the necessity of government action to spur the creation of green infrastructure.

For the first time since the annual Honor Award was launched in 1986, tickets to the event and this year’s associated programming are available to the general public. Visit NBMVirtual.org for program information and event tickets and to learn more about sponsorship opportunities. Attendance to the Honor Award event and the NBM Climate Action programs is free for individual Museum members and students. The Museum gratefully acknowledges Amazon as the event’s Presenting+ Sponsor and DPR Construction as the Keynote Sponsor.

The Museum’s doors are now open! You don’t have to wait until June 17 to explore everything the National Building Museum has to offer. Plan your visit today at nbm.org


The National Building Museum inspires curiosity about the world we design and build. The Museum believes that understanding the impact of architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, construction, planning, and design is important for everyone. Through exhibitions, educational programs, and special events, the Museum welcome visitors of all ages to experience stories about the built world and its power to shape our lives, our communities, and our futures. Public inquiries: 202.272.2448, info@nbm.org, or visit www.nbm.org. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) is a collective of architects, designers, engineers and planners, responsible for some of the world’s most technically and environmentally advanced buildings, and significant public spaces. From a strategic regional plan to a single piece of furniture, SOM’s designs anticipate change in the way we live, work and communicate, and have brought lasting value to communities around the world. The firm’s approach is highly collaborative, and its interdisciplinary team is engaged on a wide range of international projects, with creative studios based across the globe.