Established in 2007, the Clinton Global Citizen Awards honor outstanding individuals for their exemplary leadership and groundbreaking work that has effected positive, lasting social change. Through their uncommon abilities to strengthen civil society, these visionaries inspire us all to take action and to become true global citizens.
Leadership in Public Service
Juan Manuel Santos Calderón
President, Republic of Colombia
Juan Manuel Santos has been the president of the Republic of Colombia since 2010. Previously, President Santos was minister of defense, minister of finance, minister of foreign trade, designate to the presidency, and chief of the Colombian delegation before the International Coffee Organization. He created the Good Government Foundation (Fundación Buen Gobierno) and founded Colombia’s largest political party, Partido de la U. President Santos was awarded the King of Spain Prize and was president of the Freedom of Expression Commission for the Inter American Press Association. He has published several books, including “The Third Way,” co-written with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and “Check on Terror” (Jaque al Terror). President Santos is a graduate of the London School of Economics, Harvard University, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
Leadership in Civil Society
Founder, Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation
Hawa Abdi Diblaawe was born in 1947 in Mogadishu, Somalia. After her mother’s death, Abdi raised her four younger sisters in conditions of poverty, yet never lost sight of her dreams. With the support of her father and a Soviet scholarship, Abdi studied medicine in Kiev and became Somalia’s first female gynecologist. She then completed a law degree at the Somali National University, where she later became an assistant professor of medicine. She opened a clinic on her family’s ancestral land in the Afgooye Corridor using the profits from the land to provide free health care. When the Somali Civil War began in 1991, Abdi started housing her employees on her land, feeding them, and caring for them. Soon after, their friends and relatives came seeking shelter, and Abdi welcomed them, providing shelter to all those who came. In 2012, Abdi’s land housed more than 90,000 refugees, mostly women and children. Today, Abdi continues to fight for the women, children, and elderly people of the Hawa Abdi Village. With the help of her daughters, Deqo and Amina, both of whom are doctors, Abdi continues to keep a candle of light lit for the people of the Afgooye Corridor. Abdi has won numerous distinctions and awards, including the John Jay Justice Award, Vital Voices’ Women of the Year Award, and a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012.
Leadership in Philanthropy
Jon Bon Jovi
Chairman, JBJ Soul Foundation
Self-reliance, optimism, and community are key concepts Jon Bon Jovi embodies in his music and charitable efforts. These common threads have resulted in heightened awareness on issues that adversely impact our society, as well as millions of dollars raised. Bon Jovi is the frontman of the iconic, Grammy Award-winning band, Bon Jovi, who have set the bar for over three decades as one of the most successful rock bands in the world. Globally, they have sold more than 130 million albums, performing more than 2,900 concerts in over 50 countries for more than 37.5 million fans. Bon Jovi is also the chairman of the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing about positive change and helping the lives of those in need, “one SOUL at a time.” The Soul Foundation funds partnerships that address the issues of hunger and shelter, benefiting temporary shelters, transitional housing for teens, permanent supportive housing—including housing for veterans and special needs populations—as well as providing home ownership opportunities. In October 2011, the foundation opened the first JBJ Soul Kitchen in Red Bank, New Jersey to address issues of food insecurity, and has since served over 50,000 meals. Staying true to Bon Jovi’s roots, the foundation aided in local recovery efforts in the days following Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The following year, Bon Jovi donated $1 million to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund.
Leadership in Private Sector
Chairman of Godrej Group, Godrej Industries Limited
Adi Godrej is chairman of the Godrej Group, a more than 100-year-old family conglomerate, with operations in India and several other countries. Godrej is chairman of the board of the Indian School of Business and former president of the Confederation of Indian Industry. He has been a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management and a member of the Wharton Asian Executive Board. Godrej is the recipient of several awards and recognitions, including the Rajiv Gandhi Award (2002), the American India Foundation Leadership in Philanthropy Award (2010), The Entrepreneur of the Year for the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards (2010), Chemexcil’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2010), AIMA-JRD Tata Corporate Leadership Award (2010), Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year (2012), Padma Bhushan (2012), and All India Management Association-Business Leader of the Year (2015). Godrej holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from MIT.
Leadership in Civil Society
Yazidi Human Rights Activist and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, Nadia Initiative
Nadia Murad was born and raised in the quiet agricultural village of Kocho, Iraq. A member of the Yazidi community, she and her family lived a peaceful, happy life. On August 3, 2014 her village was attacked by ISIS, marking the beginning of its savage genocidal campaign against the Yazidi people. Six of her nine brothers were executed on the spot. Murad, along with her two sisters and thousands of other men, women, and children were taken captive and subjected to unspeakable crimes. Murad was initially held hostage in a building with thousands of families. She witnessed young children given to ISIS soldiers as sexual “gifts.” She was raped and tortured on a daily basis. But after facing unimaginable brutality, she was able to escape.
Murad immigrated to Germany where she received medical attention and was reunited with other survivors. In total, she lost 18 family members. With the assistance of Yazda, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Yazidi survivors and defending the rights of marginalized ethnic and religious minorities, Murad has been able to tell her story on the world stage, forcing world leaders to listen to the horrors of the ongoing genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. She is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
About the Award
In 2012, CGI partnered with Donna Karan to design the Clinton Global Citizen Award. The collaboration was inspired by Karan’s design aesthetic and her efforts in Haiti to bring artisan products to a global market. Karan reached out to her longtime friends Nadia Swarovski of Swarovski Crystal and Cookie Villiard, a Haitian metal artist, to work together to create an award emblematic of CGI and its mission. The handcrafted design is an illustration of the magic that happens when individual voices come together to take positive action.