Honoree Program

Each year, the Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards honors and celebrates women leaders around the world working to strengthen democracy, increase economic opportunity and protect human rights.

Each year, Vital Voices the Global Leadership Awards, honoring women leaders at the frontlines of change at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

Our investment in the Honorees does not begin and end with one night; it extends beyond, to an innovative and unparalleled initiative, the Global Leadership Awards Honoree Program.

The Honoree Program includes an intensive, week-long initiative – tailor-made for each Honoree – in which we provide the women leaders we honor with targeted training and capacity building to support their leadership and professional development.

We continue to partner with the Honorees to provide individualized investments, visibility opportunities and connections to bolster their platform, strengthen their goals and bring further credibility to their work.

Meet the 2020 Honorees

NADIA MURAD | Iraq

Global Trailblazer Award | A Yazidi human rights activist who galvanizes global attention and support for survivors of genocide and sexual violence.

 

 

 

DOLLS CLAN: MAYKI GRAFF & SUAM FONSECA | Honduras

Human Rights Award |Honduras’ first group of feminist graffiti artists, Dolls Clan creates art and music that defy taboos, protest femicide and defend women’s reproductive rights.

 

 

OBIAGELI EZEKWESILI | Nigeria

Leadership in Public Life |A globally acclaimed economic expert and pathbreaking advocate who leads and mobilizes movements that challenge corruption, extremism and violence against women and girls in Nigeria and beyond.

 

 

LEAH LIZARONDO | Philippines, United States 

Economic Empowerment Award |A pioneering social entrepreneur who’s using technology to engage Americans in the fight to end hunger, eliminate food waste and combat climate change.

 

 

 

JOY BUOLAMWINI | Ghana, United States

Power to Empower Award |A poet of code who uses art and research to illuminate the social implications of artificial intelligence.

 

 

 
The light that you've shined on me tonight, let me turn it around, let me redirect it to the women who are yearning for change. When you see me, please see them.
Kakenya Ntaiya, 2008 Honoree  

Past Honorees

2019

  • GLOBAL TRAILBLAZER AWARD: Diane von Furstenberg, United States
  • LEADERSHIP IN PUBLIC LIFE AWARD: Saskia Niño de Rivera, Mexico
  • ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT AWARD: Habiba Ali, Nigeria
  • HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD: Rouba Mhaissen, Syria, Lebanon
  • LIGHT OF FREEDOM AWARD: Amanda Nguyen, United States

2018

  • GLOBAL TRAILBLAZER AWARD: Esra’a al Shafei, Bahrain
  • LEADERSHIP IN PUBLIC LIFE AWARD: Jamira Burley, United States
  • ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT AWARD: Lina Khalifeh, Jordan
  • HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD: Wirawan “Boom” Mosby, Thailand
  • LIGHT OF FREEDOM AWARD: Kiran Bir Sethi, India

2017

  • GLOBAL TRAILBLAZER AWARD: Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan
  • LEADERSHIP IN PUBLIC LIFE AWARD: Chief Theresa Kachindamoto, Malawi
  • ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT AWARD: Ariela Suster, El Salvador
  • HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD: Nadia Bushnaq, Jordan
  • LIGHT OF FREEDOM AWARD: ElsaMarie D’Silva, India

2016

  • LEADERSHIP IN PUBLIC LIFE AWARD: Hafsat Abiola, Nigeria
  • ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT AWARD: Akanksha Hazari, India
  • HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD: Khanim Latif, Iraq
  • LIGHT OF FREEDOM AWARD: Yoani Sánchez, Cuba

2015

SPECIAL EDITION VANGUARD AWARD HONOREES

  • Karla Ruiz Cofiño, Guatemala
  • Samar Minallah Khan, Pakistan
  • Yin Myo Su, Myanmar
  • Kah Walla, Cameroon
  • Amira Yahyaoui, Tunisia

2014

  • LEADERSHIP IN PUBLIC LIFE AWARD: Claudia Paz y Paz, Guatemala
  • ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT AWARD: Dr. Victoria Kisyombe, Tanzania
  • HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD: Priti Patkar, India
  • FERN HOLLAND AWARD: Suaad Allami, Iraq
  • GLOBAL TRAILBLAZER AWARD: Razan Zaitouneh, Syria

2013

  • HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD: Sandra Gomes Melo, Brazil
  • LEADERSHIP IN PUBLIC LIFE AWARD: Tep Vanny, Cambodia
  • ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT AWARD: Manal Yaish Zraiq, Palestine
  • FERN HOLLAND AWARD: Dr. Hawa Abdi, Somalia
  • GLOBAL TRAILBLAZER AWARD: Malala Yousafzai, Pakistan
  • SOLIDARITY AWARD: The Kant Brothers, India

2012

  • HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD: Rosana Schaack, Liberia
  • LEADERSHIP IN PUBLIC LIFE AWARD: Ruth Zavaleta Salgado, Mexico
  • ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT AWARD: Adimaimalaga (Adi) Tafuna’I, Samoa
  • FERN HOLLAND AWARD: Samar Minallah Khan, Pakistan
  • GLOBAL TRAILBLAZER AWARD: Women Transforming the Middle East and North Africa: Shatha Al-Harazi, Yemen; Manal Alsharif, Saudi Arabia Salwa Bugaighis, Libya; Marianne Ibrahim, Egypt Amira Yahyaoui, Tunisia

2011

  • 10,000 WOMEN ENTREPRENEURIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Fatema Akbari, Afghanistan
  • FERN HOLLAND AWARD: Liron Peleg-Hadomi and Noha Khatieb, Israel
  • GLOBAL TRAILBLAZER AWARD: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma
  • HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD: Sunitha Krishnan, India
  • LEADERSHIP IN PUBLIC LIFE AWARD: Kah Walla, Cameroon

2010

  • 10,000 WOMEN ENTREPRENEURIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Andeisha Farid, Afghanistan
  • ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT AWARD: Roshaneh Zafar, Pakistan
  • FERN HOLLAND AWARD: Rebecca Lolosoli, Kenya
  • GLOBAL TRAILBLAZER AWARD: Melinda French Gates, USA
  • HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD: Panmela Castro, Brazil
  • LEADERSHIP IN PUBLIC LIFE AWARD: Afnan Al Zayani, Bahrain

2009

  • 10,000 WOMEN ENTREPRENEURIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Temituokpe Esisi, Nigeria
  • FERN HOLLAND AWARD: Chouchou Namegabe Nabintu and Marceline Kongolo-Bice, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • GLOBAL TRAILBLAZER AWARD: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, USA
  • HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD: Somaly Mam, Cambodia
  • RISING VOICES AWARD, Sadiqa Basiri Saleem, Afghanistan

2008

  • FERN HOLLAND AWARD: Mariane Pearl, France
  • GLOBAL TRAILBLAZER AWARD: Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, United Arab Emirates
  • HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD: Khin Ohmar and Charm Tong, Burma
  • POLITICAL PARTICIPATION AWARD: Laura Alonso, Argentina
  • RISING VOICES AWARD: Kakenya Ntaiya, Kenya

2007

  • ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY AWARD: Maria Pacheco, Guatemala
  • FERN HOLLAND AWARD: Awut Deng Acuil, Sudan
  • GLOBAL TRAILBLAZER AWARD: Muhammad Yunus, Bangladesh
  • POLITICAL PARTICIPATION AWARD: Margaret Alva, India
  • SPECIAL RECOGNITION: The Women of China

2006

  • ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY AWARD: Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria
  • FERN HOLLAND AWARD: Mukhtaran Mai, Pakistan
  • GLOBAL TRAILBLAZER AWARD: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia
  • HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD: Rita Chaikin, Israel
  • SPECIAL RECOGNITION: The Women of Kuwait

2005

  • ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY AWARD: Jaya Arunachalam, India
  • FERN HOLLAND AWARD: The Women of Ukraine
  • HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD: Mu Sochua, Cambodia
  • POLITICAL PARTICIPATION AWARD: Dr. Latifa Jbabdi, Morocco

2004

  • ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY AWARD: Reyna McPeck, Venezuela
  • FERN HOLLAND AWARD: Fatima Hassan Mohammed Al-Migdadi, Iraq
  • HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD: Marina Pisklakova, Russia
  • POLITICAL PARTICIPATION AWARD: Amat Al Aleem Ali Alsoswa, Yemen
  • SPECIAL RECOGNITION: The Women of Haiti; Danielle Saint-Lôt and Marie Lucie Bonhomme

2003

  • ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY AWARD: Arije Al-Amad, Jordan
  • HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD: Dr. Saisuree Chutikul, Thailand
  • POLITICAL PARTICIPATION AWARD: Anabella De Leon, Guatemala
  • SPECIAL RECOGNITION: The Women of Israel and The Palestinian Territories

2002

  • ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY AWARD: Dawn Marole, South Africa
  • HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD: Oksana Horbunova, Ukraine
  • POLITICAL PARTICIPATION AWARD: Inez McCormack, Northern Ireland
  • SPECIAL RECOGNITION: The Women of Afghanistan