I attended the Inaugural Clinton Global Citizen Awards ceremony last night, at Carnegie Hall. Before the awards the African Children’s Choir performed. Following the awards Tony Bennett performed. (It was late, but I stayed to the end in case a certain saxophone player chose to join the band…)

The following four people were recipients of this first award. (The bios are from the press release.)

President Clinton presented the first award to Andre Agassi. Agassi, Founder, Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation, created a tuition-free college preparatory academy, providing educational and recreational opportunities for students in under-served areas of his hometown of Las Vegas, NV. With the first graduating class expected in 2009, Agassi remains a strong supporter of the growth and future success of young people in Nevada.

Other awards went to:

Fazle Hasan Abed, Founder and Chairperson, Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, has helped lift millions of people out of poverty through education, healthcare, and microfinance programs in Bangledesh and beyond. He founded BRAC on the belief that poverty must be tackled from a holistic viewpoint, transitioning individuals from being aid recipients to becoming empowered citizens in control of their own destinies.

Vicky Colbert, Executive Director, Escuela Nueva Foundation, has become the single most influential person in the education of rural Colombian students through her innovative Escuela Nueva methodology (Spanish for “New School”), which reshapes the roles of teachers, administrators, and the community, making learning relevant to the daily lives and contexts of students. This approach is being implemented in classrooms in over half of the rural schools in Colombia and throughout Latin America and Caribbean, improving the level of education for hundreds of thousands of students.

John Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Cisco Systems. Under his leadership, Cisco has become not only a global technology leader, but also a global leader in corporate social responsibility. He has spearheaded a diverse portfolio of programs, primarily focused on using technology to impact basic needs, education and socio-economic development.