For the Global Good

The 2019 recipients of the Emory Medal, the university's highest alumni honor, have spent their careers working for a better world and serving as Emory ambassadors

David Adelman and Richard Hubert are shown with their Emory medals hanging from blue and yellow ribbons around their necks.
Proud Pair: 2019 Emory Medalists David Adelman (left) and Richard Hubert.

Ambassador David Adelman 89L and Richard Hubert 60L were honored by the Office of Alumni Engagement in February at The Carter Center. Adelman served his constituents in the Georgia State Senate before departing for a diplomatic post in Singapore, then settled in New York in private practice.

A prominent attorney in Atlanta, Hubert has been fulfilling his parents’ vision to “feed people in distress and to help those who are sick,” through his work as executor and trustee of the Hubert Foundation.

Family is the greatest source of pride for Adelman. “We are a tight knit family, and we cherish our time together,” he says. He, his wife and three children represented the United States in Southeast Asia while Adelman served as the US Ambassador to Singapore from 2010 to 2013.

“It was an honor for our whole family,” says Adelman, who has had a wide-ranging career across the public and private sectors in Atlanta, Washington, Singapore, Hong Kong, and New York. “I am fortunate to have enjoyed a very diverse career in the years since graduating from Emory. I have worked all over the world and hopefully in a way that has helped others.”

Adelman holds degrees from the University of Georgia, Georgia State University, and the Emory School of Law. “At Emory, I was introduced to young people from all over the world,” he says. “My time at Emory really developed my world view and appreciation for the importance of the rule of law and high ethical standards.”

After graduation from Emory Law, Adelman served as an assistant attorney general in Georgia and then practiced with a law firm in Washington and Atlanta.

Adelman has served on the Law School Alumni Board, the Board of Visitors, the Law School Council, and the Emory Public Interest Committee Advisory Board. He and his wife have hosted alumni and student events in Atlanta, Singapore, and New York. He was a trustee of the Grady Health System and served for eight years in the Georgia Senate, where he earned a reputation as a legislator who worked across political party lines.

“My greatest privilege was to represent the United States in an important part of the world,” he says. During his four-year tenure, Adelman launched the US-Singapore Strategic Partnership Dialogue and established a program to address health, educational, and environmental issues in the region, earning him the US State Department Superior Honor Award and the US Navy Distinguished Service Medal.

For more than half a century, Hubert has been a tireless volunteer and philanthropic leader in the field of global health. He also has earned a spot on Best Lawyers in America lists in eminent domain and condemnation law practice areas.

Hubert was actively involved in community service, serving as the president of the Druid Hills Civic Association for two terms and as the president of the Lawyers Club of Atlanta. As the former treasurer and now emeritus board member, Hubert is also extremely proud of the work he did with the Global Health Action Committee and the work they do in Africa, China, and the Caribbean in the areas of health and hunger.

Through a grassroots effort in his neighborhood of Druid Hills, one of the high points in his successful law career was representing the community and its legal efforts to save the Olmsted Parks on Ponce de Leon Avenue.

For Hubert, philanthropy has deep roots, beginning when he was a teenager. His father called a family meeting, saying, “You’re all going to have more than enough, so we should think about what we should do with the rest.” With Hubert at the helm as executor and trustee, the Hubert Foundation established the Hubert Department of Global Health at the Rollins School of Public Health, becoming the first named global health department among schools of public health in the United States. The O. C. Hubert Fellowships in International Health have enabled more than seven hundred public health students to engage in research and fieldwork around the world.

“We intended to support the kind of health care we want to deliver to populations that otherwise would simply be without,” says Hubert.

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