Indonesia's Sukanto Tanoto receives highest honour from Wharton School


Sukanto Tanoto, Founder and Chairman of the RGE group of companies, has been awarded the Wharton Dean’s Medal, which recognizes individuals for their contributions to the enlargement of the global economy and to the improvement of lives worldwide.

In its congratulatory message, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania recognized Mr. Tanoto for his “extraordinary leadership in global business, his innovation of industry in Indonesia and China; for his focus on solving poverty through the provision of education to future generations; for his tireless advocacy and meaningful philanthropy; and for his visionary guidance that continues to ensure Wharton’s preeminence throughout the world”.

Wharton Dean Thomas S. Robertson said, “The Dean’s Medal recognizes the outstanding achievements of today’s leaders of global business, who also embody the School’s three pillars of social impact, innovation and global presence.”

The Dean’s medal was presented to Mr. Tanoto on October 11 in Philadelphia, USA, at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania’s campus.

Since its creation in 1983, the Dean’s Medal has been awarded to individuals from nearly a dozen countries and previous recipients include Fidel Ramos, President of the Philippines, Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Lewis Platt, former Chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard Company and Reginald H. Joes, Chairman Emeritus of General Electric Company.

Mr. Tanoto is the Founder and Chairman of RGE, a global resources-based group of companies in palm oil, forestry, pulp and paper, dissolving wood pulp and viscose staple fiber; and energy resources development with corporate offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Indonesia. RGE has manufacturing operations in China, Indonesia and Brazil and sales offices worldwide.

In 2001, Mr. Tanoto and his family formed the Tanoto Foundation to pioneer poverty alleviation models through education, empowerment and enhancement. Mr. Tanoto believes strongly that rural people must have a sustainable way to earn a living, and his family foundation has developed programs to improve the lives of local people where his businesses operate. It provides scholarships to students, helps train teachers, builds schools and distributes equipment and books.

The Foundation and its corporate partners also implement income generation and livelihood programs for communities, as well as programs to improve access to health care, clean water and electricity in remote areas. For example, some 29,000 families have benefitted from a smallholder scheme in which land, seed, fertilizer and training are given to local rural communities to become palm oil farmers. Their harvested palm fruits are purchased at fair trade prices, helping to boost the income and sustainability of the local community. In addition, the Foundation also provides rapid-response assistance in earthquakes and other natural calamities.

Mr.Tanoto said, “The Wharton Dean’s Medal reinforces my long-standing, guiding philosophy for sustainable and successful business entrepreneurship. I firmly believe that in business, a company can only be sustainable and successful if it follows this principle: Good for the Community, Good for the Country and Good for the Company”.

About the Dean’s Medal

Created in 1983, the Wharton School Dean’s Medal recognizes outstanding leaders of private enterprise, public service, and academia. The awardees are chosen for their contributions to the enlargement of the global economy and to the improvement of lives worldwide. The dean selects individuals who, through excellence in management, have truly made a difference in the creation of wealth and value, and in the promotion of a peaceful and prosperous world. Past recipients of the award include two Nobel Prize winners, presidents of five countries, and many chairmen and chief executive officers from thirteen countries worldwide. For more information, please visit:

About the Wharton School

Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates ongoing economic and social value around the world. The School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs; and a powerful alumni network of 91,000 graduates.

About RGE

RGE comprises a group of world-class companies focused on resource-based manufacturing industries. Our products are transformed into a variety of end products that improve the daily lives of millions of people around the globe.
Assets held by RGE companies exceed US$12 billion with a combined workforce of 50,000 people worldwide. RGE companies are involved in various business segments including:
· Fiber, pulp and paper – APRIL
· Agro industry – Asian Agri
· Dissolving wood pulp & viscose staple fiber – Sateri
· Energy resource development – Pacific Oil & Gas

For more information, please visit:

Sukanto Tanoto Website

Sukanto Tanoto is a visionary entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the Founder and Chairman of Royal Golden Eagle (RGE), which manages a global group of companies in resources manufacturing. Tanoto is also the co-founder of Tanoto Foundation, a philanthropy that aims to improve lives by alleviating poverty.