The Clinton Global Citizen Awards™ were established in 2007 to recognize extraordinary individuals who have demonstrated visionary leadership in solving pressing global challenges. Through their work, these citizens have proven that diverse sectors of society including philanthropic, public service, corporate, and civic organizations can work together successfully to implement and devise solutions that effect positive, lasting social change.
Nominated by a group of global leaders, the 2009 honorees were chosen based on their innovative and effective approaches to making positive global change, and on their work's potential for scalable growth and sustainability. These are leaders whose efforts transcend borders, change lives, and set an example for us all.
The 2009 awards ceremony took place at CGI's Fifth Annual Meeting on Thursday, September 24.
View the 2009 Awards photo gallery.
Asha Hagi Elmi Amin
Chairperson, Save Somali Women and Children
Asha Hagi elmi Amin is co-founder and chairperson of Save Somali women and children (SSwc) and a member of the transitional federal Government in Somalia. Amin has been deeply involved in the struggle for peace and reconciliation in her war-ravaged country and has worked tirelessly to carve out a role for women in public life.
Amin founded SSwc in 1992, aiming to establish a safe environment that would help women cope with war, marginalization and famine in Somalia. SSwc promotes the rights of women and provides tools and programs for female empowerment, including leadership training, computer instruction, and hygiene education. it also offers emergency and long-term development programs for internally displaced people.
Somali women were sidelined from peace talks until the “Sixth clan” was formed by SSwc and other women in 2000. Through this historic new clan, these daring women convinced the five male-dominated clans to accept a new role for women around the negotiating table. This became the first time that women were represented in a peace process in Somalia, and Amin has participated in the talks ever since. in 2004, she was one of the first women to sign a Somali peace accord.
Amin was a 2005 women and public policy fellow at Harvard university’s kennedy School of Government and a 2008 winner of the right Livelihood Award.
President, Apne Aap Women Worldwide
Ruchira Gupta is a journalist, activist, and policymaker who has worked relentlessly for the past 24 years to end human trafficking and to empower some of the most marginalized girls and women in the world. She is best known for her current work with Apne Aap women worldwide, a community-based initiative started by women in prostitution in the khetwadi/kamatipura red light area of mumbai in 1998. Gupta founded the organization along with 22 women who helped with her sex-trafficking documentary, “The Selling of innocents,” which won an emmy in 1997.
Apne Aap (translated to “self-help” in Hindi) combats trafficking by building up the capacity of girls and women through small “self-help” social and economic cooperatives. Through these cooperatives, the organization provides access to education, income-generation training and legal protection. Apne Aap now protects women and girls through 67 such cooperatives, and has a goal to reach 200 cooperatives (3,000 girls and women) in one year’s time. Since its founding, Apne Aap has assisted thousands of women and girls working in prostitution, transforming them from victims into leaders. in addition to her work with Apne Aap, Gupta has provided policy support to the Government of India, the united nations and USAID.
Chief Executive Officer, TNT
As CEO of TNT, Peter Bakker has set a new standard for how the corporate sector can work successfully with civil society to reduce hunger, curb carbon emissions, fight disease and contribute to disaster relief. Shortly after Bakker became CEO in 2001, TNT, a global transportation and distribution company, began a partnership with the united nations world food programme (WFP). TNT committed to sharing its resources and logistical know-how in emergencies, particularly natural disasters. Through this partnership, TNT has helped WFP deliver aid in more than 30 emergency situations. in response to the 2005 Southeast Asia tsunami, TNT’s quick supply of trucks, aircrafts and humanitarian supplies – a total of €2.3 million of in-kind support – was a key factor in WFP’s ability to provide food for 750,000 people in less than three weeks.
Under Bakker’s leadership, TNT has also taken major strides to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Since 2005, TNT has put emphasis on improving its carbon footprint transparency, reducing its co 2 emissions, and encouraging its 160,000 employees to do the same in their private lives. Bakker says that these initiatives are “the start of our quest to become the first zero emissions express and mail company in the world.”
In a 2006 CGI commitment to Action, TNT and WFP founded the north Star foundation (NSF), aiming to reduce the prevalence of HIV and AIDS along major highways in sub-Saharan Africa. The NSF has established a network of roadside health clinics at truck stops and border crossings in sub-Saharan Africa, with a goal of eventually expanding to India and China. Ten clinics have been opened to date, and by 2013 the NSF aims to open clinics covering 85 percent of cross-border traffic in sub-Saharan Africa.
Founder, Quincy Jones Foundation
Quincy Jones is a master of so many trades conductor, producer, arranger, executive, entrepreneur and humanitarian – that he stands as one of the most successful and admired creative artist/executives in the entertainment world. His creative magic has crossed musical genres from post-swing to be-bop to pop, and his career has spanned over six decades. named by Time Magazine as one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century, Jones has been honored with a record 79 Grammy nominations and 27 Grammy awards, including the Grammy Legend Award in 1991.
His eclectic compilation of humanitarian projects rivals his plethora of musical accomplishments. Jones has been a tireless advocate of using the arts to generate social change. in 1985, with “We Are The World,” he pioneered the model of using celebrity to raise money and awareness. The song remains one of the best-selling singles of all-time, and raised more than $63 million for Ethiopian famine relief.
As founder of the Quincy Jones foundation, Jones has fought for children’s welfare, malaria eradication, clean water, and efforts to restore the Gulf coast. in 2004, Jones helped launch the We Are The Future initiative, a project that has raised money for children in impoverished and conflict-ridden areas in Africa and the Middle East, and has established centers to run programs in health, nutrition, information technology, sports, and the arts. in 2007, Jones and the Harvard School of Public Health joined forces to advance the health and well-being of children worldwide through project Q. The project challenges leaders and citizens of the world to provide essential resources to enable young people to achieve their full potential.
His Excellency Paul Kagame
President of the Republic of Rwanda
Paul Kagame has led his nation through an unparalleled transformation. A brilliant military commander, Kagame joined Rwanda’s transitional government after the end of the 1994 genocide. He was elected president in 2000, and re-elected in 2003. president Kagame's national leadership has led to the creation of visionary policies, innovative national programs, and strong international partnerships to support the development of the new Rwanda.
President Kagame has worked to strengthen infrastructure, develop rural health and education systems, boost tourism, increase access to energy in rural areas, and develop ties to the international business community. After the 1994 civil war, president Kagame helped usher in a decade of 7.6 percent annual economic growth, and last year, in the midst of global decline, Rwanda’s economy grew 11.2 percent. The country’s government boasts the highest percentage of women parliamentarians in the world. He has made information technology a priority in the belief that it promotes entrepreneurship, increases transparency, improves education, and provides "fewer excuses for intolerance and poverty." together with the First Lady, president Kagame has also focused the nation’s attention on combating HIV/AIDS.
By 2020, president Kagame aims to find paying jobs for half of Rwanda's subsistence farmers, to boost GDP sevenfold, and to continue to transform his country into a technology hub for Africa.
Dr. Rola Dashti
Parliament Member, State of Kuwait
A gender-equality activist and champion of democratic reform, Dr. Rola Dashti exemplifies the CGI mission of turning ideas into action. in 2005, she fought for – and won – a decree that would permit Kuwaiti women to vote for and run in parliamentary elections for the first time. She was the first woman to file her papers at the election department when registration opened, and she herself was a candidate in the 2006 parliamentary election. In the 2009 parliamentary elections, Dr. Dashti and three other women won seats to become the first women to enter the Kuwaiti parliament, setting the stage for deepening the role of women in politics and decision making.
Dr. Dashti has also broken down barriers throughout her career as an economist. She was the first woman named to lead the Kuwait economics Society. As chairperson, she is advocating for increased economic transparency and working to empower a new generation of entrepreneurs. She is also a member of the executive committee of young Arab Leaders, a network of men and women spreading modern leadership values in the Arab world, and working to build a bridge of understanding between Arab countries and the rest of the world.