SOURCE: X PRIZE Foundation

November 15, 2007 07:00 ET

The X PRIZE Foundation Elects Author Arianna Huffington and Game Developer Will Wright to Board of Trustees

Huffington, Author and Co-Founder of Huffington Post, and Wright, Designer of "The Sims" Video Games, Join Exclusive X PRIZE Board

SANTA MONICA, CA--(Marketwire - November 15, 2007) - The X PRIZE Foundation announced today two new board members: Arianna Huffington and Will Wright. Huffington is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post, a leading news and blog source on the Internet, as well as the author of 11 books. Wright is a globally recognized visionary in interactive entertainment and EA's chief designer behind the block-buster game franchises "SimCity™," "The Sims™" and the soon-to-be-released universe simulator "Spore™."

The X PRIZE Foundation Board of Trustees is comprised of over twenty individuals, including inventor Dean Kamen, geneticist J. Craig Venter, PayPal co-founder Elon Musk, artificial intelligence expert Ray Kurzweil, first female private space explorer Anousheh Ansari, and Google co-founder Larry Page. The Board's guidance is essential in exploring new industries where the X PRIZE Foundation can have a significant impact by creating innovative, high-profile competitions that motivate individuals across all boundaries to solve grand challenges.

"I am honored to be part of the X PRIZE Foundation," said Huffington. "I love the way it inspires people to dream big, and to push the limits of creativity and ingenuity in service of a better world. I look forward to helping the Foundation further its noble mission as a member of its Board of Trustees."

Even prior to joining the Board, Huffington had been a champion of the Foundation. On September 20, she hosted a reception at her Los Angeles home in honor of the X PRIZE Foundation. She was also present to lend her support when the Foundation made its Commitment to Action at the Clinton Global Initiative on September 27.

Inventor Will Wright was involved with the X PRIZE Foundation prior to his appointment as a member of the Board of Trustees. In October of this year, Wright joined the Foundation in a full-day prize development session, helping identify and articulate areas of government and industry where a prize model could potentially break through barriers of progress for the benefit of humanity.

"I've spent my career creating games that are based on the idea of having no endings," said Wright. "While each individual X PRIZE has a defined conclusion, the power of the Foundation is boundless. Prize philanthropy has the potential to improve so many industries, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this organization."

"Arianna and Will are going to be remarkable additions to the Board of Trustees," said Tom Vander Ark, President of the X PRIZE Foundation. "They each bring a unique and important perspective to the table. I'm confident that their creativity and experience will help the X PRIZE Foundation reach new heights."


Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, a nationally syndicated columnist, and author of 11 books. She is also co-host of "Left, Right & Center," public radio's popular political roundtable program. In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that has quickly become one of the most widely-read, linked to, and frequently-cited media brands on the Internet. In 2006, she was named to the Time 100, Time Magazine's list of the world's 100 most influential people. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At 21, she became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union.


Will Wright is best known for creating "SimCity™" and "The Sims™" game franchises. As a highly respected video game designer, Wright has received numerous awards for his work. In 2007, he received a fellowship from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. He was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by PC Magazine in 2005, a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Game Developers Choice Awards in 2001, and was the fifth person inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Hall of fame in 2002. Wright's next video game, "Spore™," is scheduled for release in 2008.


The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational nonprofit prize institute whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. On October 4, 2004, the X PRIZE Foundation captured world headlines when Mojave Aerospace Ventures, led by legendary aircraft designer Burt Rutan and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, built and flew the world's first private vehicle to space twice in two weeks to win the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE. The X PRIZE Foundation has since launched the $10 million Archon X PRIZE for Genomics and the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE, and will continue to offer new prizes for breakthroughs in the areas of life improvement, exploration, equity of opportunity and sustainability. The Foundation is widely recognized as the leading model for fostering innovation through competition. For more information, please visit or email

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