|The Indianapolis Prize|
|Awarded for||"Extraordinary contributions to conservation efforts"|
|Presented by||Indianapolis Zoological Society|
The Indianapolis Prize was established by the Indianapolis Zoo to recognize and reward individuals who have achieved significant successes in the conservation of animal species.
Every two years, nominations of deserving individuals for the Indianapolis Prize are accepted. From those nominations, a group of conservation experts from around the world act as the Nominating Committee and select six finalists. A second group of conservation experts, aided by representatives from the Indianapolis Zoo and the city of Indianapolis, carefully review the work of the six finalists and select the winner of the Prize.
From 2006 through 2012, winners of the Prize received an unrestricted cash award of US$100,000, which was increased to US$250,000 for 2014 and subsequent years. In addition, beginning in 2014, five other finalists each receive a US$10,000 unrestricted cash award.
The Prize winner and finalists are selected by a two-stage process involving a nominating committee and jury. Many renowned conservationists and scientists have served on the nominating committee and jury, including E.O. Wilson, John Terborgh, Peter Raven, and Stuart Pimm. New nominating committee and jury members are chosen each two-year Prize cycle.
The Eli Lilly and Company Foundation provides funding for the Prize. In addition to the US$250,000 award the winner also receives the Lilly Medal. The obverse of the Lilly Medal features a shepherd surrounded by nature and the rising sun. On the reverse is inscribed a quote from naturalist John Muir, "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe."
The Indianapolis Prize Gala is an inspiring evening celebrating the incredible victories of the Winners and Finalists alongside Global Wildlife Ambassadors and leaders in their field.
Hosted in downtown Indianapolis, the Gala was never intended to be a quiet, academic, science-focused affair. Each event has been an energetic and spectacular merriment of conservation triumphs, taking audiences on a journey around the world through films shot on location with the conservationists. The Gala was fashioned to inspire guests to care more about animal conservation and place these dedicated heroes on the pedestal usually reserved for sports and entertainment stars.
Over the years, hosts for the evening have included environmentalists Saba Douglas-Hamilton and Frank Pope, Max Graham, actor Josh Duhamel, and TV personalities Ben Fogle and Anne Thompson, NBC chief environmental affairs correspondent.
Additionally, the Indianapolis Prize created the Jane Alexander Global Wildlife Ambassador Award to recognize advocacy, outreach and contributions of public figures who use their platform to support the natural world. Named in honor of actor and conservationist Jane Alexander, winners of the Ambassador award lend a credible public voice for the sustainability of wildlife.
The inaugural Jane Alexander Global Wildlife Ambassador was presented to its namesake in recognition of her decades-long commitment as a voice and champion for species. She has been involved with the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Audubon Society and Panthera. 2016 Winner Sigourney Weaver has been an advocate for the mountain gorillas of Rwanda since her starring role in the 1988 film Gorillas in the Mist, and serves as honorary chair of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International. In 2018, Harrison Ford received the honor for his support of Conservation International, where he is on the Executive Committee and active in the organization's design and growth. He gave voice to the Nature is Speaking film, The Ocean, and helped secure the protection of more than 40 million acres on three continents as part of the Global Conservation Fund. 
|2006||George W. Archibald||Cranes||International Crane Foundation|||
|2008||George B. Schaller||Multiple species||Wildlife Conservation Society|||
|2010||Iain Douglas-Hamilton||Elephants||Save the Elephants|||
|2012||Steven Amstrup||Polar bears||Polar Bears International|||
|2014||Patricia Wright||Lemurs||Centre ValBio|||
|2016||Carl Jones||Birds, Multiple species||Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust|||
|2018||Russell A. Mittermeier||primates, turtles, tortoises, biodiversity hotspots||Global Wildlife Conservation|||
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|2006||Holly Dublin||endangered species||International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)|
|2006||Iain Douglas-Hamilton||African elephants||Save the Elephants|
|2006||L. David Mech||wolves||International Wolf Foundation|
|2006||Roger Payne||whales||Ocean Alliance|
|2006||Simon Stuart||amphibians||Amphibian Survival Alliance|
|2008||Iain Douglas-Hamilton||African elephants||Save the Elephants|
|2008||Rodney Jackson||snow leopards||Snow Leopard Conservancy|
|2008||K. Ullas Karanth||tigers||Wildlife Conservation Society|
|2008||Laurie Marker||cheetahs||Cheetah Conservation Fund|
|2008||Roger Payne||whales||Ocean Alliance|
|2010||Gerardo Ceballos||jaguars, black-footed ferrets||Institute of Ecology, National Autonomous University of Mexico|
|2010||Rodney Jackson||snow leopards||Snow Leopard Conservancy|
|2010||Laurie Marker||cheetahs||Cheetah Conservation Fund|
|2010||Carl Safina||marine species, orcas, wolves, elephants||The Safina Center|
|2010||Amanda Vincent||seahorses||Project Seahorse|
|2012||Markus Borner||African species, rhinos||Frankfurt Zoological Society|
|2012||Rodney Jackson||snow leopards||Snow Leopard Conservancy|
|2012||Carl Jones||birds, reptiles||Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Mauritian Wildlife Foundation|
|2012||Russ Mittermeier||primates, turtles, tortoises, biodiversity hotspots||Global Wildlife Conservation|
|2012||Patricia Wright||lemurs||Centre ValBio|
|2014||Joel Berger||muskox, huemul||Wildlife Conservation Society|
|2014||Gerardo Ceballos||jaguars, black-footed ferrets||Institute of Ecology, National Autonomous University of Mexico|
|2014||Carl Jones||birds, reptiles||Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Mauritian Wildlife Foundation|
|2014||Russ Mittermeier||primates, turtles, tortoises, biodiversity hotspots||Global Wildlife Conservation|
|2014||Carl Safina||marine species, orcas, wolves, elephants||The Safina Center|
|2016||Joel Berger||muskox, huemul||Wildlife Conservation Society|
|2016||P. Dee Boersma||penguins||Ecosystem Sentinels|
|2016||Rodney Jackson||snow leopards||Snow Leopard Conservancy|
|2016||Carl Safina||marine species, orcas, wolves, elephants||The Safina Center|
|2016||Amanda Vincent||seahorses||Project Seahorse|
|2018||Joel Berger||muskox, huemul||Wildlife Conservation Society|
|2018||P. Dee Boersma||penguins||Ecosystem Sentinels|
|2018||Sylvia Earle||marine species||Mission Blue|
|2018||Rodney Jackson||snow leopards||Snow Leopard Conservancy|
|2018||Carl Safina||marine species, orcas, wolves, elephants||The Safina Center|