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 2019 Honorees

DIANE VON FURSTENBERG | Founder and Chairman, DVF Studios, United States

Global Trailblazer Award | An iconic fashion designer and entrepreneur who uses her platform to elevate women’s voices and advance the global women’s movement.




ROUBA MHAISSEN | Founder & Directo, Sawa for Development and Aid, Syria, Lebanon

Human Rights Award | An activist who promotes locally-led solutions in Syrian refugee and host communities across Europe and the Middle East.


SASKIA NINO de RIVERA | Founder & President, Reinserta, Mexico

Leadership in Public Life | A pioneering advocate who’s creating a safer Mexico by transforming its prison system and reintegrating young offenders and children who are born and raised behind bars.



HABIBA ALI | Founder, Managing Director and CEO, Sosai Renewable Energies, Co., Nigeria

Economic Empowerment Award | An entrepreneur who’s bridging the energy gap by bringing renewables to rural Nigeria.



AMANDA NGUYEN | Founder, Rise, United States

Light of Freedom Award | An American civil rights advocate who’s expanding survivors’ rights through legal reform and citizen activism.



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