top of page

Rinaldo S. Brutoco Wins Local U.N. Peace Prize

The United Nations Association (UNA) of Santa Barbara & Tri Counties has awarded its inaugural 2017 Santa Barbara Peace Prize to environmental leader Rinaldo S. Brutoco, founding president of the World Business Academy.

Started in 1947, the United Nations Association of Santa Barbara & Tri Counties is the oldest chapter in the nation.

The UNA has engaged locally with important global topics, such as the Fukushima nuclear disaster, youth in peril, climate change, and educating the community about human trafficking and the plight of refugees internationally.

To celebrate its 70th year, the UNA decided to honor contributions made by local people working toward a more peaceful world.

UNA created the Santa Barbara Peace Prize for nominees who live locally and have achieved measurable progress in creating peace in the world, advancing the cause of human rights internationally, and/or advancing the progress of developing nations.

UNA of Santa Barbara will honor Brutoco, of Santa Barbara, with its first Santa Barbara Peace Prize on United Nations Day, Tuesday, Oct. 24, at a 5:30 p.m. dinner at Moby Dick Restaurant on Stearns Wharf. Tickets may be purchased at

“In this first year of the Santa Barbara UNA Peace Prize, the United Nations Association of Santa Barbara received excellent nominations that were very impressive in terms of the breadth and scale of accomplishments worldwide by people in our community," said Barbara Gaughen-Muller, president.

"Google Rinaldo S. Brutoco, and you’ll be stunned by what he’s accomplished,” she said.

Brutoco is the founding president of the World Business Academy, a Santa Barbara-based think tank, now in its 30th year.

World Business Academy addresses climate change and advocates for sustainable energy use and other timely environmental issues by working to elevate the consciousness of people in the business community and urge them to use their power and influence to take responsibility for the environment.

Jerry Brown, director of the academy’s Beyond Nuclear Energy Initiative, nominated Brutoco, calling him a visionary leader who inspires cooperation for the common good.

Among his accomplishments, Brutoco has served on the board of directors of nonprofits including: the Gorbachev Foundation, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, State of the World Forum, Omega Point Institute and National Peace Academy.

Brutoco is also co-author of Profiles in Power: The Anti-Nuclear Movement and the Dawn of the Solar Age (1997) and Freedom from Mid-East Oil (2007).

Brutoco played a key role in helping establish and grow the National Peace Academy, which is an affiliate of the George Mason University School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution.

Brutoco also serves on the Permanent Drafting Committee for the Geneva-based group that is developing A Global Bill of Rights (, appointed in 2017. He was the founding chairman of Unstoppable, a nonprofit humanitarian organization that has built schools and provided clean drinking water for some 10,000 African children and their parents.

Brutoco’s other accomplishments, awards and honors:

Recipient, Congressional Commendation, 2010, for humanitarian service and outstanding contribution to the culture of peace.

Recipient, Ellis Island Medal, 2017, for lifetime achievements as an immigrant himself to the U.S.

Recipient, Citizens for Peaceful Resolutions, Earth Charter Award, 2008, for his “commitment to ecological integrity.”

Co-founder, JUST Capital. JUST Capital annually surveys the American people to find out what they value most when it comes to corporate behavior and then ranks the 1,000 largest publicly-traded corporations based on the priorities Americans share.

President and/or board member, Chopra Foundation, 2013-present.

— Jennifer Goddard Combs for United Nations Association of Santa Barbara & Tri Counties.

Article originally published on Noozhawk

bottom of page