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Press Release: 2009 Clinton Global Citizen Award Honorees Announced by President Clinton

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Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Asha Hagi Elmi Amin, Peter Bakker, Dr. Rola Dashti, Ruchira Gupta, and Quincy Jones honored

Ceremony Hosted by Ben Stiller, featuring Gen. Wesley Clark, Lisa Ling, Demi Moore, and Usher Raymond, along with performances by Alicia Keys and Juanes

New York –In a special ceremony, President Clinton tonight presented the 2009 Clinton Global Citizen Awards, which recognize remarkable individuals for their leadership in improving the lives of people around the globe. The ceremony took place during the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). CGI's Annual Meeting convenes leaders from across sectors of society, giving them a forum to develop and then implement workable solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges.

“Our honorees tonight see hope where others see despair,” President Clinton said. “They come from different countries and play different roles in society. But all six have fostered positive partnerships and relationships and used them to change the world. We owe them for their commitments, which embody the spirit of CGI.”

Award winners were nominated by a collection of global leaders and selected for their visionary leadership, demonstrated impact, and sustainable and scalable work in solving pressing global challenges. Honorees were chosen from government, civil society, the private sector, and the philanthropic community.

Actor Ben Stiller was the master of the ceremonies, which included musical performances by Alicia Keys, co-founder of Keep A Child Alive, and Juanes, founder of the Mi Sangre Foundation. Other presenters included General Wesley Clark, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO; Lisa Ling, Oprah correspondent and Nightline contributor; Usher Raymond IV, founder and chairman of Usher's New Look; and actress Demi Moore, co-founder of the Demi and Ashton Foundation.

For photos of the ceremony, please email The Fifth Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative continues until Friday. For more information or to watch the live webcast, please visit

Introducing the 2009 Clinton Global Citizen Award honorees:

His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda
Leadership in Public Service

His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, has led his nation through an unparalleled transformation. A brilliant military commander, President Kagame joined Rwanda's transitional government after leading the force which ended the 1994 genocide. He was elected President in 2000, and re-elected in 2003. President Kagame's national leadership has proven to be as bold as his military campaigns: creating visionary policies, innovative national programs and strong international partnerships to support the development of the new Rwanda. President Kagame has worked to develop infrastructure, boost tourism, increase access to energy and health care in rural areas, expand exports, and develop ties to the international business community. After the 1994 civil war, he 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. From crisis, President Kagame has forged a strong, unified and growing nation with the potential to become a model for the rest of Africa and the world.

Asha Hagi Elmi Amin, Chairperson, Save Somali Women and Children
Leadership in Civil Society

Asha Hagi Elmi Amin is co-founder and chair 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 economic and public life. Somali women were sidelined from any peace talks until the “Sixth Clan” was formed by Amin and her peers in 2000. Through the historic Sixth 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. 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.

Peter Bakker, Chief Executive Officer, TNT
Leadership in the Corporate Sector

As CEO of TNT, Peter Bakker has set a new standard for corporate responsibility. Shortly after Bakker became CEO in 2001, TNT launched a partnership with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). The global transportation and distribution company committed to sharing resources and logistical know-how in emergencies, particularly natural disasters. Since then, TNT has helped the 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 in in-kind support – was a key factor in the WFP's ability to give food to 750,000 people in less than three weeks. In 2005, TNT launched its Driving Clean initiative, which is designed to reduce its vehicular emissions significantly over time. And in 2007, under Bakker's leadership, TNT decided to improve transparency regarding its carbon footprint, reduce carbon emissions, and stimulate its 159,000 employees to do the same in their private lives. Bakker says these initiatives are “the start of our quest to become the first zero emissions express and mail company in the world.”

Dr. Rola Dashti, Member of Parliament, State of Kuwait
Leadership in Public Service

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 achieved – 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 the 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 to deepen the role of women in politics and decision making. Dr. Dashti has also broken down barriers throughout her career as an economist. She is currently chairperson of the Kuwait Economics Society, where she is advocating for increased economic transparency and working to empower a new generation of entrepreneurs. Dr. Dashti's victories for Kuwaiti women and for Kuwaiti democracy have proven that deliberate persistence and tenacity can lead to historic change.

Ruchira Gupta, President, Apne Aap Women Worldwide
Leadership in Civil Society

Ruchira Gupta is a journalist, activist, and policymaker who has worked relentlessly for the past 24 years to end human trafficking. She is best known for her 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 were featured in her sex-trafficking documentary, “The Selling of Innocents,” which won an Emmy Award in 1997. Apne Aap (“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 has provided 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. In addition to her work with Apne Aap, Gupta has provided policy support to the Government of India, the United Nations and USAID. Through commitment and perseverance, Gupta has shown that it is possible to bring hope and change even in some of the world's most marginalized communities.

Quincy Jones, Founder, Quincy Jones Foundation
Leadership in Philanthropy

Quincy Jones stands as one of the most successful and admired creative artist/executives in the entertainment world. 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 the single “We Are The World,” he pioneered the model of using celebrity to raise money and awareness about a cause. The song remains one of the best-selling singles of all-time, and raised more than $63 Million for Ethiopian famine relief. 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. In 2007, he joined forces with the Harvard School of Public Health to advance the health and well-being of children worldwide through Project Q, which challenges leaders and citizens of the world to provide essential resources to enable young people to achieve their full potential. In a career spanning more than six decades, in both his music and his philanthropy, Jones has sho wn time and again that he is truly a citizen of the world.

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About the Clinton Global Citizen Awards
The Clinton Global Citizen Awards began in 2007. Past winners include: Andre Agassi, founder of the Andre Agassi Foundation; Fazle Hassan Abed, founder of the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee; Cisco CEO John Chambers; and Vicky Colbert, founder of the Escuela Nueva Foundation; Jennifer and Peter Buffett, co-chairs of the NoVo Foundation; Xiaoyi (Sheri) Liao, founder of the Global Village of Beijing; Julio Frenk, dean of the Harvard School of Public Health; and Nevill Isdell, then-chairman of the Coca-Cola Company.
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