Dave Eggers, writer, editor, publisher and founder of 826 Valencia writing laboratories, has been named this year’s winner of the $250,000 Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities category.

The Heinz awards were established in 1993 by Teresa Heinz in memory of her late husband Senator John Heinz of Pennsylvania. The awards, according to the Heinz Family Foundation, which administers them, “recognize exceptional leadership and accomplishments in areas of special interest to Sen. Heinz” and honor “six extraordinary Americans whose pioneering achievements have helped expand human understanding, spur innovation and enhance the world’s capacity to sustain itself.”

Eggers is being honored both for his literary achievements—which include his bestselling debut A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and his most recent factually based novel, What is the What, about a survivor of violence in Sudan—and his humanitarian work as founder of 826 Valencia, a writing workshop and literacy center started in San Francisco, and which now operates centers in five cities.