Two-time Academy Award® winner Sean Penn has become an American film icon in a career spanning over three decades. Penn has been nominated five times for the Academy Award® as Best Actor for "Dead Man Walking," "Sweet and Lowdown," "I Am Sam" and won his first Oscar® in 2003 for his searing performance in Clint Eastwood's "Mystic River" and his second Oscar® as Best Actor in 2009 for Gus Van Sant's "Milk." The performance as gay rights icon Harvey Milk also garnered Penn "Best Actor" awards from The Screen Actors Guild, New York Film Critics Circle and Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
Penn has also received Best Actor awards at the Cannes ("She's So Lovely") and Berlin ("Dead Man Walking") Film Festivals, as well as being a two-time winner of Best Actor honors at the Venice Film Festival ("Hurlyburly," "21 Grams").
Penn's humanitarian work found him in New Orleans in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and more recently in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. In January 2010, Penn established the J/P Haitian Relief Organization (J/P HRO). J/P HRO is dedicated to saving lives and building sustainable programs with the Haitian people quickly and effectively.
In 2012, Penn was named Ambassador at Large for Haiti and was presented with this honor by President Michel Martelly at a ceremony in Port-Au-Prince in 2012. More recently, Penn was presented with the 2012 Peace Summit Award at the 12th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, a tribute for extraordinary solidarity by the Haitian Parliament in a combined meeting of the National Assembly and the International Humanitarian Service Award from the American Red Cross. In December 2012, he was also named Special Advisor to Haiti's Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe.