Avella native Robert J. Cindrich recently was named to the board of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, a panel that chooses the recipients of the century-old Carnegie Medal.
The Carnegie Medal is awarded to civilians in the United States and Canada who put their lives at danger in order to save the life of another. The commission releases honorees quarterly and has issued the medal to 9,576 individuals since the award was created in 1904.
“Over the last 108 years, awardees have come from all walks of life,” said Douglas Chambers, director of external affairs for the commission. “They’re all people who have made a rescue or attempted to make a rescue in order to save another.”
Cindrich’s background makes him fit for the task of selecting which nominees will receive the award for selfless acts of bravery. He has served in both the U.S. Army Reserve and U.S. Air Force Reserve before most recently working as a senior adviser to the president of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He also was a onetime UPMC senior vice president and chief legal officer. After being appointed by President Bill Clinton, Cindrich served as a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania between 1994 and 2004. He graduated from Wittenberg University in Ohio and from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
The private foundation released the new board appointees in a letter sent out Friday. About 20 awardees of the Carnegie Medal are named quarterly.