In October 2012, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania awarded the Dean’s Medal, the School’s highest honor, to Sukanto Tanoto.
Sukanto Tanoto is the Founder and Chairman of RGE, a global resources-based group of companies with corporate offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Indonesia. At the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Tanoto has supported the Wharton School through his contributions to the Chinese language edition of Knowledge@Wharton, the Global Alumni Forums, the Wharton Fund and the Wharton West Program Seed Fund. He is a member of the Wharton Board of Overseers, the Wharton Executive Board for Asia and the INSEAD International Council.
A self-made entrepreneur, Mr. Tanoto pioneered the plywood business in Indonesia in 1973. His company, RGE, has manufacturing operations in China, Indonesia and Brazil, as well as sales offices in four continents. He advocates the importance of social corporate responsibility in all of his endeavors, citing that operations must be “good for the community, good for the country and good for the company.” Mr. Tanoto is also passionate about using his success to help people in his native Indonesia and across the globe. In 2001, he and his family formed the Tanoto Foundation to help reduce poverty and advance human achievement; its primary focus is on education, empowerment and enhancement. The Foundation makes available scholarships to students, helps train teachers, builds schools and distributes equipment and books, in addition to providing health care in remote areas and rapid-response assistance in earthquakes and other natural calamities.
Mr. Tanoto is a Wharton Graduate Fellow, having completed an Executive Education program at the School in 2001. He and his wife Tinah have four children, three of whom are active alumni at Wharton.
Wharton School Dean’s Medal recognizes outstanding leaders of private enterprise, public service and academia.
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