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Global Leadership Awards

The Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards honor international women leaders in the fields of human rights, economic empowerment, or political reform. The event takes place annually in early spring at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.[1]

The 2009 program was named that year's "Most Inspirational Event" by Washington Life Magazine.[2] The 15th annual Global Leadership Awards were held on March 9, 2016.

Past presenters include Ben Affleck, Christiane Amanpour, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Sheila Bair, Candice Bergen, Wolf Blitzer, Laura Bush, United States Secretary of State and Vital Voices co-founder Hillary Clinton, Sally Field, Honorary Co-Chair Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Angelina Jolie, Avon CEO Andrea Jung, Angelique Kidjo, Nicholas Kristof, Lisa Ling, Time Inc. CEO Ann S. Moore, Suze Orman, Queen Rania of Jordan, Zain Verjee, board member Diane von Fürstenberg, Reese Witherspoon, Brian Williams, and many others.


  • Leadership in Public Life Award (formerly Political Participation Award)
  • Human Rights Award
  • Economic Empowerment Award (formerly Economic Opportunity Award)
  • Fern Holland Award, named in honor of the young lawyer who was killed in Iraq while working to create centers for Iraqi women. The award is given to a woman who works for human rights and women's empowerment.
  • Rising Voices Award, given to a young woman leader.
  • Global Trailblazer
  • 10,000 Women Entrepreneurial Achievement Award, part of a partnership between Vital Voices and Goldman Sachs as an initiative to provide women around the world with entrepreneurial education.

Past recipients


2003: "Voices of Hope in a Time of Global Challenge"

2004: "Changing the Face of Leadership"

2005: "A Call to Action"


2007: "Women Changing Our World"


2009: "Women Leading Change Across the World"

2010: "Impact Through Innovation: Women Inspiring Change"



  • Human Rights Award: Rosana Schaack, Liberia
  • Leadership in Public Life Award: Ruth Zavaleta Salgado, Mexico
  • Fern Holland Award: Samar Minallah Kahn, Pakistan
  • Economic Empowerment Award: Adimaimalaga Tafuna’i, Samoa
  • Global Trailblazer Award: Shatha Al-Harazi, Manal Alsharif, Salwa Bugaighis, Marianne Ibrahim and Amira Yahyaoui[5]


  • Tep Vanny, Cambodia, Vital Voices Global Leadership Award
This section needs expansion with: years since 2011. You can help by adding to it. (September 2016)


  1. ^ "Global Leadership Awards | Vital Voices". Archived from the original on 2016-03-26. Retrieved 2016-03-21.
  2. ^ "The 2010 Social List: Year in Review". Washington Life. Retrieved 2010-03-06.
  3. ^ "Past Global Leadership Awards | Vital Voices". Archived from the original on 2016-10-27. Retrieved 2011-02-22.
  4. ^ "2011 Global Leadership Awards". Vital Voices. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  5. ^ "Women leaders receive Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards at Kennedy Center". Washington Post. Retrieved 9 October 2021.[permanent dead link]

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Global Leadership Awards
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