Press Release

The National Geographic Society and Kia Collaborate to Fund Innovative Leaders in Science, Conservation, Education, Technology and Storytelling

The two organizations will fund 45 recipients of the Wayfinder Award presented by Kia

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 11, 2024) — Today, the National Geographic Society and Kia announced their multi-year collaboration to recognize and fund 45 National Geographic Explorers who are influential leaders and innovators in their fields.

The Wayfinder Award presented by Kia identifies and spotlights achievements among individuals whose work is closely aligned with the Society’s mission to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. The 15 newly named Explorers for 2024 — who are pushing the boundaries of innovation in science, conservation, education, technology and storytelling — were announced on June 6.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Kia to support 45 award recipients over the next three years who will drive global impact through exploration and unforgettable storytelling,” said Kara Ramirez Mullins, chief advancement officer at the National Geographic Society. “With Kia’s support, we are accelerating the amazing work undertaken by these Explorers around the world.”

Kia’s philanthropic support of the awards aligns with its Accelerate the Good charitable initiative, which has provided more than $22 million in funding to various charities and nonprofit organizations since 2019, and demonstrates their ongoing commitment to fund changemakers advancing sustainability around the world.

“Kia is proud to collaborate with the National Geographic Society to drive awareness of their all-important mission and provide funds to help advance innovation in science, conservation, education, technology and storytelling,” said Steven Center, COO and EVP, Kia America. “Working together, we aim to inspire exploration and support leaders who are innovating for a sustainable future.”

Recipients of this year’s award include projects that champion Black history and voices in public education, explore the mysteries of deep space through robotic spacecraft and tackle misinformation by building trust in scientists through workshops and comics. The Society’s collaboration with Kia will amplify and accelerate the impactful work of these Explorers.

About Kia America

Headquartered in Irvine, California, Kia America continues to top automotive quality surveys and was recognized as one of the TIME100 Most Influential Companies of 2023. Kia serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and offers a range of gasoline, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles sold through a network of over 775 dealers in the U.S., including several cars and SUVs proudly assembled in America*. The Sportage (excludes HEV and PHEV models), Sorento (excludes HEV and PHEV models), and Telluride are assembled in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts.

Media Contact

General Media Contact
If you are a member of the media with an inquiry or interview request, please call during regular business hours or email
(202) 857 7027
Chris Fisne
Specialist, PR & Media Relations, Strategic Communications
Back to Top
About The National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 15,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content.

To learn more, visit or follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.