LAS VEGAS—Jim Murren, MGM Resorts International chairman and CEO, and Heather Hay Murren, a private investor, were presented with the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship at a dinner earlier this month at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C. The award is given to those who, by their example and business practices, have demonstrated a profound concern for the common good beyond the bottom line, acting as a force for positive change.
“This recognition by the Wilson Center inspires not only Heather and myself, but the more than 77,000 employees of MGM Resorts around the world who commit themselves daily in service to the communities in which we operate, while advancing the interests of our customers, shareholders and employees and ensuring the growth of our global entertainment brand,” Jim Murren said.
“Jim and I are honored and humbled as recipients of this award from an institution whose work is critical and whose impact is enduring,” Heather Hay Murren said. “In a city full of memorials, the Wilson Center is unique as both a remembrance of the past and a pioneer of the future. Since its founding nearly 50 years ago, it has remained the preeminent institution for civil justice—revered around the world.”
Commitment to Communities, Society Honored
“The Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship honors corporate leaders who exemplify Woodrow Wilson’s commitment to scholarship, public discourse, and the promotion of knowledge both at home and abroad,” said Congresswoman Jane Harman, Director, President and CEO of the Wilson Center. “Jim and Heather embody these principles. We are delighted to honor their commitment to communities and our greater global society.”
Jim Murren is chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International, a global entertainment company operating in national and international destinations that feature hotel resorts, conference centers, casino and live entertainment venues, restaurants and retail stores. The company opened MGM National Harbor in Maryland on December 8, 2016, and is in the process of developing MGM Springfield in Massachusetts. Murren serves as chairman of MGM China Holdings Ltd., which owns MGM Macau and is developing a resort in Cotai. He also serves as chairman of MGM Growth Properties, a real estate investment trust engaged in the acquisition, ownership and leasing of large-scale destination entertainment and leisure resorts.
Mr. Murren joined MGM in 1998 after spending more than a decade on Wall Street, where he was regarded as a leading analyst in the hotel and gaming industries. His arrival at MGM coincided with a period of dramatic growth for the company, including the acquisitions of Mirage Resorts and Mandalay Resort Group. He steered the company through the financial crisis, deleveraging the enterprise by restructuring debt, maximizing cash flow and certain selected asset sales. He is the visionary behind CityCenter, the urban resort destination that opened on the Las Vegas Strip in 2009 featuring the centerpiece ARIA Resort & Casino. Mr. Murren has led the industry in environmentally responsible practices to lower the company’s carbon footprint in operations, resorts, restaurants, retail spaces, meetings and conventions.
Former Group Head at Merrill Lynch
Heather Hay Murren is a private investor and former managing director and group head of Global Securities and Economics at Merrill Lynch. She retired in 2002 after more than a decade on Wall Street as a highly-respected, celebrated and leading analyst. At a time when the consumer goods industry was undergoing a period of profound transition, Ms. Murren established a reputation for incisive analysis and a willingness to take controversial stances that consistently proved correct. She played key roles in dozens of complex and high-profile Fortune 500 transactions, including Estee Lauder’s initial public offering.
In 2002, influenced by a passion for health issues, cancer research and access to high quality healthcare, the Murrens founded the nonprofit Nevada Cancer Institute, a cancer research and treatment center that launched the first-ever clinical trials in Nevada. Ms. Murren served as chairman and CEO and later as a board member until the institute merged with Roseman University in 2013. She was appointed by Congress to serve on the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission tasked with determining the causes of the financial crisis. “The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report” of the commission’s findings was listed on the New York Times bestseller list. She also served the state of Nevada as a member of the Nevada Board of Economic Development, formed in September 2011 by Governor Brian Sandoval. Ms. Murren was appointed and served as a commissioner on the White House Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity in 2016. The commission’s findings were presented to President Obama in December 2016. She serves on the board of directors of Fidelity National Financial Inc. and on the board of trustees of Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.
The Murrens have been ardent supporters of Volunteers in Medicine of Southern Nevada, a nonprofit organization that provides medical care and support at no cost to uninsured and underserved residents of Clark County, which has a population of more than 2 million people. They have also provided foundational funding on a Fisher House hotel at the VA Medical Center to serve the families of Nevada wounded warriors receiving care at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Las Vegas.