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Sam Beard

Sam Beard has spent over six decades transforming ideas into far-reaching impact. Sam has created and implemented public service programs for eight American Presidents from Nixon to Obama. After completing his education at Yale and Columbia, Sam focused on social justice and elimination of poverty working with Robert Kennedy in Brooklyn in the mid-1960s. Among his most noteworthy accomplishments include the creation of over ten million jobs in low-income communities. With Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Senator Robert Taft, Jr., Sam also launched the Jefferson Awards, an American “Nobel Prize” for public service and youth leadership training program (later renamed Multiplying Good). More than 35,000 students have been trained. Multiplying Good engages one million students per year. Recently, he founded the non-profit organization GIFT to harness the full impact of the mindfulness and meditation movements to solve urgent global problems.

The inspiration for GIFT came out of his experience in using mindfulness and meditation techniques to deal with a high-stress period in recent years. Beard was excited at the far-reaching impact it had in improving all aspects of his life. He began a comprehensive study, meeting with a broad spectrum of experts and leaders in the field and exploring applications in technology, neuroscience, psychology, spirituality, and religion. Being a true social entrepreneur, Sam developed this interest into a mission that he hopes will be the most significant outcome of his life of service.

“Many people guide the present: the exceptional create the future. With his energy and enthusiasm, Sam is exceptional.” —ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU, Nobel Laureate