November 22, 2017

Selection Committee Will Gather To Review 2018 Aurora Prize Nominations

The Selection Committee of the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity will gather in Berlin, Germany on December 4, 2017.

The Selection Committee of the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity will gather in Berlin, Germany on December 4, 2017 to review the nominations for the 2018 Aurora Prize. The Selection Committee is comprised of humanitarians, human right activists and former heads of state and is chaired by Academy-award winning actor and philanthropist George Clooney.

The members of the committee are Nobel Laureates Oscar Arias, Shirin Ebadi and Leymah Gbowee; former president of Ireland Mary Robinson; human rights activist Hina Jilani; former foreign minister of Australia and President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group Gareth Evans; former president of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo; Médecins Sans Frontières co-founder and former foreign minister of France Bernard Kouchner; Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London Professor the Lord Ara Darzi; President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York Vartan Gregorian.

For the third annual Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, there were received 750 submissions for 509 unique candidates. Entries were submitted in 12 languages from 115 countries including USA, Russia, Egypt, Armenia, India, Germany, UK, Pakistan, Ukraine, and Kenya.

The Independent Expert Panel has already reviewed all eligible nominations in accordance with the Aurora Prize Selection Criteria and narrowed the shortlist of nominees for the Selection Committee’s attention.

The Expert Panel is part of the Aurora Prize Secretariat and is comprised of humanitarian professionals and leaders of humanitarian and civil society organizations. The members of the 2018 Aurora Prize Expert Panel are:

  • Ms. Maria Elena Aguero, Secretary General of Club de Madrid
  • Ms. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, activist, author, founder of AHA Foundation
  • Dr. Comfort Ero, Crisis Group's Nairobi-based Africa Program Director
  • Dr. Tom Catena, medical doctor, 2017 Aurora Prize Laureate
  • Mr. Sasha Chanoff, co-founder and Executive Director at RefugePoint
  • Dr. Jonathan Fanton, President of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Mr. Konstantin Khabenskiy, founder of Khabenskiy Charitable Foundation
  • Ms. Chulpan Khamatova, co-founder of "Gift of Life" Foundation
  • Ms. Lesley-Anne Knight, former CEO of The Elders
  • Mr. Nicholas Koumjian, International Co-Prosecutor at The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
  • Mr. Pedro Mouratian, expert-consultant to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, Undersecretary General for Partnerships at IFRC
  • Dr. Aryeh Neier, President Emeritus of the Open Society Foundations
  • Mr. John Prendergast, Director of the Enough Project
  • Ms. Nancy Soderberg, former US Deputy National Security Advisor and Ambassador to the United Nations
  • Dr. Mego Terzian, President of Medecins Sans Frontieres France
  • Ms. Monique Villa, CEO of Thomson Reuters Foundation
  • Ms. Sarah Leah Whitson, Director of the Middle East and North Africa division of Human Rights Watch

The finalists of the 2018 Aurora Prize will be announced on April 24, 2018, the annual day of remembrance of the Armenian Genocide. The $1 million Aurora Prize, established on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors, will be awarded for the third time on June 10, 2018 in Armenia. The laureate is invited to share $1million with organizations which inspire their work.

The 2017 Aurora Prize was awarded to Dr. Tom Catena, a Catholic missionary from Amsterdam, New York, who has saved thousands of lives as the sole surgeon permanently based in Sudan’s war-ravaged Nuba Mountains where humanitarian aid is restricted. Marguerite Barankitse was awarded the inaugural Aurora Prize in 2016 for her tireless commitment to restoring children’s dignity and hope as the founder of Maison Shalom and the REMA Hospital in Burundi.

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