In a virtual ceremony broadcast on September 30, 2021, Heather Templeton Dill and Jennifer Templeton Simpson, former chair of the Board of Trustees of the John Templeton Foundation, received the Citizens Diplomacy International Award. CDI is a Philadelphia-based organization that promotes cultural exchange between local residents and international visitors. The organization gives the award each year to Philadelphia-area leaders who work to advance peace and growth around the world. The award singled out Dill and Simpson’s work as leaders of the John Templeton Foundation, and their efforts in developing and promoting a better understanding of mankind through scientific research, as reasons for their honor. “Being a Citizen Diplomat is about appreciating different perspectives and recognizing that the perspective we have here in the United States is just one of many perspectives around the world,” said Dill.
The CDI award was originally meant to be awarded to Heather and Jennifer in 2020, which was the “Year of the Woman”. “I actually think women are filling very prominent roles within philanthropy, whether as the head of foundations or the leaders of major nonprofits,” said Dill. “I hope that when people look at us, they will be encouraged to step into a role that they never thought they could pursue.”
Simpson strives for a world in which we transform positive dialogue and engagement into action. “I want my children to be growing up in a world where civic dialogue is not something we have to talk about doing, but that is just something that we do,” said Simpson.
Dill and Simpson modeled their work ethic and leadership prowess after their mother, Josephine Templeton, one of the few women who worked as a pediatric anesthesiologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in the late 1970’s. The blueprint their mother gave them has produced great achievements. In 2019, Dill was one of 20 women honored as the 2019 Women on the Move by Main Line Today Magazine. Her passion for education and research is expressed through the work of the Foundation to help us better understand our place in the world.