2020 Woodrow Wilson Award Recipients

Alfred Abramson, III, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences 2001
Brigadier General (BG) Abramson is currently the Joint Program Executive Officer Armaments & Ammunition and the Commanding General of Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey. As the Commanding General, he leads an organization of over 6,000 civilian and military personnel whose mission is the research, development, engineering, and procurement of armaments and ammunition in support of the military. He started his distinguished military career as a commissioned officer in the Chemical Corps after earning a bachelor of science in chemistry from Virginia State University. BG Abramson has risen through the officer ranks over 31 years by serving leadership positions in US Army operational units both overseas and in the United States. He has led US Army program management offices at every level, and was selected to be the Military Assistant to the Honorable Joseph W. Westphal, 31st Under Secretary of the Army. BG Abramson earned a Master’s of Science in chemistry in 2001 from Johns Hopkins University. He was the Joint Project Manager for Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Contamination Avoidance at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. He is a respected leader, focused on the mission of supporting the military, but always caring for people. He is a role model, especially for under-represented minorities in the STEM fields. BG Abramson’s service to this Nation exemplifies the finest qualities of a Hopkins alumnus.


Alefiyah Mesiwala, Bloomberg School of Public Health 2010

Alefiyah Mesiwala, MD, MPH, has dedicated her career to healthcare innovation and improved health outcomes for U.S. citizens. Mesiwala began her career as a medical officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, and led the design and implementation of new payment reform models, such as accountable care organizations, and advised on delivery system reform priorities. In 2015, Mesiwala joined the Obama administration where she served as Senior Policy Advisor on the White House National Economic Council. In that capacity, she led on the President’s healthcare team, advising and coordinating the Administration’s activities on delivery system reform, healthcare innovation, and the Affordable Care Act. Currently, Mesiwala is the Senior Medical Director for Value-based Care and Innovation at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Health Plan, the second largest provider-owned integrated delivery and financing system in the country. At the UPMC Health Plan, Dr. Mesiwala is responsible for providing clinical leadership on an innovation-focused portfolio that oversees the design and implementation of alternative payment models that improve population health and furthers UPMC’s clinical integration goals.



William Ferguson, School of Education 2007

Bill Ferguson has devoted his career in public service to education and the well-being of under-served communities.  Bill became a member of the Senate at the age of 27, then the youngest senator in the state’s history, beating a seven-term incumbent in the Democratic Primary.  In January of this year, he was sworn in as the President of the Maryland Senate, after eight years representing Baltimore’s 46th District.  Throughout his time as a Senator, he has worked to support secondary school expansion, urban educational reform, community outreach, anti-corruption measures, economic stability, and environmental preservation. He also has served on the state’s most important education policy body, the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education (also known the Kirwan Commission).  Outside of the Senate, Bill has served as the Director of Reform Initiatives at SOE; supported Teach for America; and worked on special projects focused on the Center for Safe and Healthy Schools. He is a political change maker who exemplifies the Johns Hopkins community through his public service and devotion to promoting equality and opportunity for the Baltimore City community and all of Maryland.




Pauline Karikari-Martin, School of Nursing 1999, Bloomberg School of Public Health 1999

Captain Pauline Karikari-Martin is deserving of the Woodrow Wilson Award for her exceptional Government Service. For the past 16 years, Capt. Karikari-Martin demonstrated exemplary performance as an officer with the U.S. Public Health Service, evidenced by her successful promotion from Senior Nurse Officer (Commander) to the high rank of Nurse Director (Captain) in 2019. In addition, she was the recipient of: the Presidential Unit Citation for her support during the international Ebola response, and the Outstanding Unit Award in 2010, for her response to the citizens of Haiti following the 7.0 magnitude earthquake.  Dr. Pauline Karikari-Martin received her PhD from Rush University, and was the recipient of several awards for her noteworthy technical research evaluation work at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. This includes the Public Health Service Citation Award for her noteworthy achievements towards accomplishing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services goals in awarding innovative Medicare Incentives grant programs. Dr. Karikari-Martin is also the recipient of the U.S. Public Health Service Commendation Medal for exceptional contribution to the research evaluation of the six-year national Graduate Nurse Education demonstration project, mandated by the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Dr. Karikari-Martin has demonstrated sustained high quality achievements in administrative and technical direction that were significant in accomplishing the program’s mission over the years, evidenced by her receipt of several Achievement Medal Awards.



Arturo Sarukhan, School of Advanced International Studies 1991

Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan is an international strategic consultant, and the former Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. (2007-13). A Distinguished Visiting Scholar at University of Southern California’s Annenberg Public Diplomacy School, and Adjunct Professor at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, he is a digital diplomacy pioneer. He writes for Mexico’s El Universal, as well as Op-Ed pieces in the U.S. media. He received the rank of Career Ambassador in 2006. He served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs, Chief of Policy Planning and Consul-General to New York, among other positions. He was Foreign Policy Advisor and International Spokesperson for Felipe Calderon's 2006 campaign, and led the foreign policy transition team. Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan earned a B.A. in International Relations from El Colegio de México; and an M.A. in U.S. Foreign Policy from SAIS-Johns Hopkins, where he was a Fulbright Scholar and Ford Foundation Fellow. He has received numerous decorations, awards and honorary degrees in recognition of his diplomatic achievements. He sits on several boards.