Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award Recipients

About the Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation was honored when music icon Quincy Jones agreed to be the Foundation’s first International Spokesperson.

Through the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, Quincy recognized immediately that the disparity of funding for research for people with Down syndrome, even amongst the differently-abled, is first and foremost about human and civil rights.

To this end, Quincy worked with the Foundation to establish the Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award. The Foundation established this award in honor of Quincy’s life-changing leadership in humanitarian efforts to help the disadvantaged. The award recognizes those who have championed people who are differently-abled, including people with Down syndrome, in several categories such as humanitarian work, self-advocacy, and public service.

People with developmental disabilities, especially Down syndrome, are too often neglected and underestimated by our government and society as a whole. With Quincy’s generous support, we are able to pay tribute to public figures who have taken the time to understand our children and dot shine a light on their contributions to this world. Also in Quincy’s name, we honor those self-advocates who are changing our world as role models anyone would be proud to emulate.

The Foundation is deeply appreciative of Quincy Jones and the outstanding recipients of the Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award. Below is a list of these exceptional people:

Quincy Jones
Katherine Clark
Pete Stauber
Marián Ávila
Roy Blunt
Megan Bomgaars
Amanda Booth
Jamie Brewer
Cheri Bustos
Tom Cole
David Egan
Steve Daines
Eric Dane
Rosa DeLauro
Sujeet Desai
DeOndra Dixon
Colin Farrell
Bobby Farrelly
Jamie Foxx
Karen Gaffney
Zack Gottsagen
Tom Harkin
Tim Harris
Brad Hennefer
Jaime Herrera Beutler
John Hickenlooper
Beverly Johnson
Patrick J. Kennedy
Eva Longoria
John Lynch
John C. McGinley
Jerry Moran
Eleanor Holmes Norton
Kyra Phillips
Cathy McMorris Rodgers
Lucille Roybal-Allard
Bryan Russell Mujica
Caterina Scorsone
Pete Sessions
Timothy P. Shriver
Anna and John J. Sie
Frank Stephens
Madeline Stuart
Madison Tevlin
Chris Van Hollen
Luke Zimmerman

Anna Sie with Granddaughter Sophie and GDSF Spokesperson Quincy JonesQuincy Jones

Music icon

Quincy Jones — musician, composer, producer, arranger, conductor. It would seem that everything Quincy Jones touches turns to gold. (Or, at least platinum). Named by Time Magazine as one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century, Quincy has received 25 Grammy Awards and has been nominated 79 times (the all-time most nominations for an artist).

Read more about Music icon Quincy Jones.

Congresswoman Katherine ClarkCongresswoman Katherine Clark

U.S Congresswoman Katherine Clark

GLOBAL’s 2023 Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocate Awardee, Congresswoman Katherine Clark has proudly represented Massachusetts’ Fifth District since 2013. The district stretches from the coastal communities of Revere and Winthrop through the northern Boston suburbs to the towns of MetroWest. In the fall of 2022, Clark was elected by her colleagues to serve as Democratic Whip – the second most senior position in the House Democratic Caucus. She previously served as Assistant Speaker of the House, as Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, and as a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee. One of only two women to ever serve as Whip, she currently has the distinction of being the highest-ranking woman in Congressional leadership.

Read more about Katherine Clark.

Pete StauberPete Stauber

U.S Congressman Pete Stauber

Congressman Pete Stauber was born and raised in Duluth, Minnesota, and grew up in a hockey family with five brothers. Currently serving his third term in Congress as the Representative from Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District, Congressman Stauber serves on the House Natural Resources Committee, the Small Business Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Congressman Stauber believes that Northeastern Minnesota deserves strong, principled leadership in Washington, D.C. and is focused on unleashing the economic engine in the region. Prior to his time in Congress, Mr. Stauber played professional hockey, served as a St. Louis County Commissioner, City Councilor in Hermantown, and as a police officer in Duluth for over two decades.

Read more about Congressman Pete Stauber.

Marián ÁvilaMarián Ávila

Spanish Model and self-advocate

Marián Ávila is a Spanish model that in 2018 made her dream come true by walking the New York Fashion Week. She stands out for her responsibility, willpower and her determination to improve, to achieve her goals, her dreams. Her motto is: “I can”.

Read more about Marián Ávila.

sRoy Blunt

U.S. Senator

Elected to the United States Senate in 2010, Senator Roy Blunt serves as the Chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee and as the Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee. He also serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee; the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He is the Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. In this role he helped deliver a significant increase in Down syndrome research funding. Senator Blunt is also member of the Congressional Task Force on Down Syndrome and served as co-host at GLOBAL’s Acceptability Gala in 2018.

Read more about U.S. Senator Roy Blunt.

sMegan Bomgaars

Actress and self-advocate

A tv personality, public speaker, artist, and entrepreneur, Megan Bomgaars is a leader in the Down syndrome community. The 26-year-old stars on A&E’s reality television show Born This Way, which features 7 adults with Down syndrome navigating through life in pursuit of their dreams. To date, the show has several awards, including three Emmy Awards and two Critics’ Choice Real TV Awards. Megan was recognized by the A&E producers while giving a keynote presentation at the NDSC Annual Convention in 2015 and invited to participate in the show.

Read more about Megan Bomgaars

sAmanda Booth

Supermodel and Actress

Amanda Booth is an American supermodel and actress. She has worked on fashion editorials for Italian Vogue, Australian Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle and appeared in advertising campaigns for Lancome, Fiat, Hershey’s, Target, Old Navy, and more. She has been featured on network television shows including “Hot in Cleveland,” “Maron,” and “Community.” In addition to her modeling and acting career, Booth utilizes her media presence to advocate for the differently-abled community. She loves to write about her passions and her beautiful son Micah, who happens to have Down syndrome.

Read more about Amanda Booth

Jamie BrewerJamie Brewer


Jamie is best known for her recurring guest star roles on three seasons of the award-winning TV series “American Horror Story”. She plans to work in this exciting industry for a very long time, while continuing to be an advocate and a role model for people with disabilities in all aspects of her life.

sCheri Bustos

U.S. Congresswoman

Cheri Bustos (D-IL) was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for Illinois’ 17th District in 2013. In 2019, she assumed a leadership position as the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Cheri is married to the Sheriff of Rock Island Count and together, she and Gerry Bustos have three sons and two grandchildren.

Read more about U.S. Congresswomen Cheri Bustos.

Tom Cole

Congressman, Oklahoma

Tom Cole is the Congressman from Oklahoma’s Fourth Congressional District. He was identified as “one of the sharpest minds in the House,” by Time Magazine and “the hardest working Member of Congress,” by Newsmax. In 2017, Representative Cole was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

Read more about Tom Cole.

2022 Q Awardee Senator Steve DainesSteve Daines

U. S. Senator

U.S. Senator Steve Daines is from the great State of Montana, and he is the founder and chair of the first ever Senate Pro-Life Caucus. Daines is a fifth generation Montanan and a father of four and grandpa to three!

Read more about Steve Daines.

Eric DaneEric Dane

Award-winning Actor

Award-winning television and film actor Eric Dane has been a fan-favorite since his television roles in the 2000s. Dane is best known for his role as the hunky “Dr. Mark Sloan” in ABC’s critically-acclaimed, Golden Globe-award-winning, and Emmy-nominated tv series Grey’s Anatomy. Dane appeared in 138 episodes of the show. Along with his costars, Dane won the Satellite Award for Best Cast and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. Currently, Dane can be seen in the HBO drama series Euphoria starring as “Cal Jacobs” alongside award-winning actress Zendaya.

Read more about Eric Dane.

Rosa DeLauro

Congresswoman, Connecticut

Rosa DeLauro is the Congresswoman from Connecticut’s Third Congressional District. Representative DeLauro serves in the Democratic leadership as Co-Chair of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, and she is the Ranking Member on the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, where she oversees our nation’s investments in education, health, and employment.

Read more about Rosa DeLauro.

Sujeet DesaiSujeet Desai

Accomplished musician and self-advocate

Sujeet Desai is an accomplished musician born with Down syndrome. Sujeet has mastered seven instruments: Bb and bass clarinet, alto saxophone, violin, piano, trumpet, and drums. In June 2001, he graduated from high school with honors and in May 2003, he graduated from the Berkshire Hills Music Academy in Massachusetts after a two-year residential post-secondary study in Music and Human Services. He made his Carnegie Hall debut on May 20, 2015. Watch Sujeet Desai’s Rehearsal for Carnegie Hall in this video from the Niagara Gazette.

Read more about Sujeet Desai.

DeOndra Dixon

Grammy Awards dancer and Self-Advocate, Global Down Syndrome Foundation Ambassador

A loving tribute to GLOBAL Ambassador DeOndra Dixon

DeOndra was Global’s inaugural Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award recipient and a Global Ambassador since 2011. DeOndra lived in California with her brother, Jamie Foxx, her parents and extended family. DeOndra was very grateful her family for helping her her reach her potential and in turn she helped others with Down syndrome do the same.

Read more about DeOndra Dixon.

David EganDavid Egan

Author & Advocate

Born with Down syndrome, David Egan is an eager advocate for people with intellectual disabilities and a leader at the local, national, and international level.
David has always dreamed big. When he was eight years old, he started out as a Special Olympics swimmer and dreamed about winning competitive races. In his adolescent years, his dreams grew beyond sports. He aspired to have a job and find ways to change attitudes towards people with intellectual disabilities. David achieved his dreams and along the way inspired others to live theirs. He has had a competitive job for over two decades, starting in a clerk position at Booz Allen Hamilton and transitioning to a career of advocacy. He is currently working as a Community Relations Coordinator at SourceAmerica near his home in Vienna, Virginia. The author of “More Alike Than Different: My Life With Down Syndrome,” he inspires his readers to see our shared humanity and possibilities rather than limitations. He focuses on the power of inclusion in his life.

Read more about David Egan.

Colin Farrell

Award-winning Actor

A native of Ireland, Colin Farrell continues to turn heads in Hollywood. Last year, he starred in The Killing of a Sacred Deer opposite Nicole Kidman for A24 – his second project with director Yargos Lanthimos. That same year, he co-starred with Denzel Washington in the Sony film Roman Isreal, Esq., written and directed by Dan Gilroy.

Read more about actor Colin Farrell.

Bobby Farrelly

Bobby Farrelly photo

Acclaimed Film Director, Screenwriter, and Producer

Along with his brother Peter, the Farrelly Brothers are world-famous for their iconic comedies, including Dumb & Dumber, There’s Something About Mary, Kingpin, Hall Pass, and many others. Their films have grossed well over $1 billion at the box office.

Read more about Bobby Farrelly.

Jamie Foxx

Grammy and Academy Award Winner

Jamie Foxx — often described as a triple threat for his versatility as an actor, musician and comedian.

Read more about actor and musician Jamie Foxx.

Karen GaffneyKaren Gaffney

Champion swimmer and self-advocate

From the moment she was born, Karen Gaffney began an incredible journey that continues today. Karen is the President of a non-profit organization dedicated to championing the journey to full inclusion in families, schools, the workplace and the community for people with developmental disabilities. Watch Karen’s captivating TEDx Talk All Lives Matter.

Read more about Karen Gaffney.

Zack GottsagenZack Gottsagen


Zachary Robin Gottsagen, “Zack,” made his first debut as the star of a natural childbirth instructional film on April 22, 1985. He has been a very enthusiastic performer since his first role as a frog at age three. Zack was the first child with Down syndrome to be fully included in the Palm Beach County school district and graduated from Dreyfoos School of the Arts, as a theatre major in 2004.

Read more about Zack Gottsagen.

Tom Harkin

U.S. Senator, Iowa

Senator Tom Harkin was born in Cumming, Iowa. After graduating from Dowling High School in Des Moines, he attended Iowa State University on a Navy ROTC scholarship, earning a degree in government and economics. Following graduation, Tom served in the Navy as a jet pilot on active duty from 1962 to 1967.

Read more about Sen. Tom Harkin.

Tim HarrisTim Harris

In October of 2010, Tim Harris’ dream came true with the grand opening of Tim’s Place – a restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Watch this video to see the joy Tim gets from serving people good food and his diner’s most famous export: hugs!

Read more about entrepreneur Tim Harris.

Brad HenneferBrad Hennefer

Athlete, golfer and self-advocate

Born in 1988 in Philadelphia, Brad seems to have been destined to play “golf for life.” He started playing mini golf at age 2 with his 7-year-old brother Bob, who is now an accomplished PGA golf professional. Brad, who is a lefty, was somehow able to maximize his visual learning skills and master his brother’s right-handed golf swing at a very early age. Together, these two inseparable brothers spent countless hours and years practicing their skills and competing in golf tournaments. Watch this inspiring video of Brad with his friend, Cleveland Cavaliers J.R. Smith.

Read more about Brad Hennefer.

Jaime Herrera BeutlerJaime Herrera Beutler

U.S. Congresswoman, Washington

Congresswoman Herrera Beutler was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 and is one of the youngest women currently serving in Congress. Prior to her election, she served in the Washington State House and, before that, was a senior healthcare aide to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA).

Read more about Jaime Herrera Beutler.


2022 Q Awardee Senator John HickenlooperJohn Hickenlooper

U.S. Senator

As Colorado’s 42nd Governor, Hickenlooper signed into law several important pieces of legislation to help improve the lives for individuals and families living with Down syndrome. He has helped raise awareness of issues of importance to the Down syndrome community by hosting GLOBAL’s World Down Syndrome Day celebrations at the Colorado Capitol building and he regularly participated in many other important events like the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show. Elected to the U.S. Senate in 2020, he continues his work to increase federal funding for Down syndrome research and expand access to medical care in Washington, D.C.

Read more about John Hickenlooper.

Beverly JohnsonBeverly Johnson

Mother, actress, author, activist, businesswoman, TV personality, and icon.

Beverly Johnson is a Founder, Chairwoman and CEO of BJE LLC. She is the first African-American supermodel. Her stunning features and superstardom landed her on the cover of Vogue magazine in 1974, making world history as the first African-American model to ever grace the acclaimed magazine’s cover, and forever changing the beauty ideal in the fashion world.

Read more about Beverly Johnson

Patrick J. Kennedy

Congressman, Rhode Island

Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy served 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives representing Rhode Island’s First District. Kennedy, like his father, Senator Ted Kennedy, and many of his extended family, consistently served and protected the most vulnerable Americans, including those who are differently-abled.

Read more about Patrick J. Kennedy.


Eva Longoria

Award-winning Actress and Philanthropist

Eva Longoria is a Golden Globe-nominated, Screen Actors Guild- and ALMA Award-winning actress, producer, director, entrepreneur, philanthropist and “Desperate Housewives” alum.

John LynchJohn Lynch

Super Bowl Champion & General Manager of the 49ers

One of the most respected players to ever play the game of football, and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021, John Lynch is in his fifth season as the 49ers’ General Manager following a 15-year playing career and more than eight seasons as an NFL analyst. Following a 13-3 regular season record and a trip to Super Bowl LIV, Lynch was named the 2019 Executive of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America after his third season as the team’s general manager.

Read more about John Lynch.

John C. McGinley

Award-winning actor, Global Down Syndrome Foundation Board Member, International Spokesperson and parent-advocate

By 2000, John C. McGinley had amassed decades of stellar work on stage and screen, including six collaborations with Oscar-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone. John has said that Platoon was one of his favorite rolls and one of the hardest. But despite being considered one of his generations finest movie actors, he joked that he wasn’t pretty enough for television. “They like Ken dolls and I look more like Ken’s creepy uncle.”

Read more about John C. McGinley.

Jerry MoranJerry Moran

U.S. Senator, Kansas

Senator Moran has been recognized by the National Down Syndrome Society for his efforts to advance policies promoting positive change for individuals with Down syndrome. He is a sponsor of the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act), and has worked to raise the profile of research relating to Down syndrome, including its connection with Alzheimer’s disease.

Read more about Senator Jerry Moran

Eleanor Holmes NortonEleanor Holmes Norton

U.S. Representative, District of Columbia

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, now in her twelfth term representing the District of Columbia, is Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit. She is one of four co-chairs on the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus and is a co-sponsor of the ABLE Act, which aims to provide a pathway to a better economic future for the differently-abled.

Read more about Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton.

Kyra PhillipsKyra Phillips

Kyra Phillips is the award-winning journalist who anchors “Raising America with Kyra Phillips” on HLN. This daytime interactive broadcast focuses on news stories told through a parental lens and how they impact the modern American family.

Read more about journalist Kyra Phillips.

Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris Rodgers

U.S. Representative, Washington

Cathy McMorris Rodgers was born into a farming family and was the first in her family to attend college. She worked her way through Pensacola Christian College in Florida and later earned her Executive MBA from the University of Washington.

Read more about Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

Bryan Russell MujicaBryan Russell Mujica

Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award Winner

Bryan Russell made history when he declared his candidacy for the Peruvian Congress in 2019. Entering the race in the 2020 election, he became the first person with Down syndrome to run for public office anywhere in the world.

Read more about Bryan Russell Mujica.

Lucille RoybalLucille Roybal

U.S. Congresswoman, California

Congresswoman Roybal-Allard was elected to the House of Representatives in 1992 and is currently serving her 15th term. She is the first Latina member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, which held a hearing on Down syndrome research in October 2017.

Read more about Lucille Roybal.

sCaterina Scorsone

Grey’s Anatomy Star

Caterina Scorsone is a Canadian American Actress who has garnered the attention of audiences around the world portraying powerfully complex characters that bring real-world emotion to the screen. Scorsone began acting when she was eight years old on the long running Canadian children’s program, Mr. Dressup.

Read more about Caterina Scorsone.

Pete Sessions

U.S. Representative, Texas

A conservative community leader, United States Congressman Pete Sessions has combined hard work, innovative thinking, and common-sense principles to successfully represent the 32nd Congressional District of Texas.

Read more about Pete Sessions

Anna and John J Sie
Anna and John J. Sie

In 2005, Anna and John established the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation. The Foundation supports the sharing of knowledge among peoples and cultures throughout the global community. Its main interests are Down syndrome, International Security and Diplomacy, Education, Arts and Culture, and Media.

Frank Stephens

Frank Stephens is an active spokesman for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation and a member of the Board of Directors of Special Olympics Virginia.

Madeline Madeline Stuart

Fashion Model

Madeline is a unique 20-year-old model from Brisbane, Australia. Madeline notably, has been dubbed by the press as not only a Super Model, but “the world’s most famous model with Down syndrome”.This incredibly courageous, beautiful, and talented young woman has had astonishing success in the short time she has been modelling, and has captured media attention both in Australia and internationally.

Timothy Shriver

Timothy P. Shriver

President and CEO, Special Olympics

Timothy P. Shriver is a social leader, an educator, activist, film producer and business entrepreneur. He is the Chairman & CEO of Special Olympics, and in that capacity he serves nearly 3.5 million Special Olympics athletes and their families in more than 170 countries.

Read more about Timothy P. Shriver.

Madison Tevlin

Model, Advocate, Actor

Madison Tevlin began her career at the age of 12 when her cover of John Legend’s All of Me went viral. Born and raised in Toronto Ontario, Madison is a model, advocate, and actor. Her credits include Mr. D, Who Do You Think I Am, hosting the red carpet at the Canadian Screen Awards, and her iconic role as Cosentino in the film Champions, starring Woody Harrelson and directed by Bobby Farrelly.

Read more about Madison Tevlin.

Chris Van HollenChris Van Hollen

U.S. Representative, Maryland

Chris Van Hollen has served in Congress since 2003 representing Maryland’s 8th District. He serves as the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, where he works to advance policies that support job creation and economic growth, reduce the deficit, and put America on a path to fiscal sustainability and broadly-shared prosperity.

Read more about Rep. Chris Van Hollen.

Luke Zimmerman


Whether it’s athletics, acting or music, Luke Zimmerman has never let anyone put limits on his dreams. Through his own determination and the support of his family, he has become a TV star and a role model for the differently-abled. See Luke’s IMDb profile.

Read more about Luke Zimmerman.