September 21, 2014
Sep 21

10th Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting Opens with the 8th Annual Clinton Global Citizens AwardsTM

New York, NY
Press Release

Seth Meyers hosted 8th Annual Clinton Global Citizen Awards™ honoring Leonardo DiCaprio, Founder, Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation; Atifete Jahjaga, President of the Republic of Kosovo; Hayat Sindi, Founder and CEO, i2 Institute; Dr. Irwin Mark Jacobs, Founding Chairman and CEO Emeritus, Qualcomm Incorporated; and Greg Asbed and Lucas Benitez, Co-founders, Coalition of Immokalee Workers; with appearances by Madeleine Albright, Eva Longoria, Randy Jackson and musical performances by Aloe Blacc, Natalie Merchant, Jason Mraz with special guests Raining Jane, and The Roots

New York, NY —Today, President Bill Clinton, Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Chelsea Clinton kicked off the 10th Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting with the Clinton Global Citizen AwardsTM, hosted by Seth Meyers, of NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”

The awards, which honor outstanding individuals who exemplify global citizenship through their vision and leadership, recognized Greg Asbed and Lucas Benitez for their work on behalf of farm workers throughout the United States, Leonardo DiCaprio for his dedication to environmental causes and preservation efforts of the world’s oceans, Hayat Sindi for her work to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship among young people in the Middle East, Dr. Irwin Mark Jacobs for bringing the transformative power of wireless technology to underserved communities globally including developing women’s access to wireless technology and their economic empowerment, and President of the Republic of Kosovo Atifete Jahjaga for promoting reconciliation in the region and building Kosovo’s political and economic institutions to gain EU membership.

“These honorees represent some of the most visionary leaders in the world and embody what it means to be a true global citizen,” said President Bill Clinton. “Having brought together and lifted a nation, given a voice to marginalized populations, worked to protect our fragile environment, and equipped our next generation with the skills they need to succeed, I’m encouraged by their efforts and optimistic about our collective future.”

The event featured musical performances by Aloe BlaccNatalie MerchantJason Mraz with special guests Raining Jane, Harlem Samba, Jeremy Ellis, and The Roots, with appearances by Madeleine Albright, Eva Longoria, Former All-Pro NFL Player and Chairman & Co-Founder of The Asomugha Foundation Nnamdi Asomugha, President and CEO of the World Wildlife Fund Carter Roberts and Randy Jackson, who served as music director for the event.

The Clinton Global Citizen Awards have honored outstanding individuals in civil society, philanthropy, public service, and the private sector who exemplify global citizenship through their vision, leadership, and impact in addressing global challenges since the first Clinton Global Citizen AwardsTM in 2007. The 2014 Clinton Global Citizen Award recipients include the following outstanding leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector:

Leadership in Philanthropy

Leonardo DiCaprio, Founder, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation

Leonardo DiCaprio, an award-winning actor and a four-time Academy Award® nominee, has been an outspoken advocate for environmental issues throughout much of his career. In 1998, at the age of 24, DiCaprio established his foundation with the mission of protecting the Earth’s last wild places and implementing solutions to build a more harmonious relationship between humanity and the natural world. Through grantmaking, public campaigns, and media projects, DiCaprio has worked to bring much-needed attention and funding to three focus areas — protecting biodiversity, ocean and forest conservation, and climate change. Over the last several years, his foundation has rapidly scaled up its grantmaking operation, allocating over $10 million to projects that protect fragile ecosystems and key species around the globe, while also improving the lives of local communities. Recently, he led several innovative fundraising events, raising over $60 million for projects the foundation is developing and supporting. Additionally, in an effort to empower his fans to make a difference, DiCaprio uses digital media to inform and inspire the public, offering them ways to take action on an array of issues – from protecting sharks in California and Elephants in Africa to supporting the transition of our society to clean, renewable energy.

Leadership in Public Service

Atifete Jahjaga, President of Kosovo

Atifete Jahjaga is the President of the Republic of Kosovo. Before assuming this position, President Jahjaga was the deputy general director of the Police of Kosovo. She graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Prishtina and pursued postgraduate programs at the University of Leicester, the University of Virginia, the George C. Marshall Center, and the FBI National Academy. Since taking office, President Jahjaga has contributed to strengthening democratic institutions, normalizing relations with neighboring countries, and changing Kosovo’s image abroad. She is very active in promoting a European reform agenda and is determined to fight corruption and consolidate the rule of law in Kosovo. Under her leadership, women empowerment in Kosovo has advanced. She has taken a firm stance on the issue of victims of rape during war, with a focus on the acknowledgement of their legal status. President Jahjaga has worked hard to build bridges between Kosovo’s estranged communities, and she has been very active in interfaith dialogue among Kosovo’s different religious communities, viewing it as a way to address radicalization and promote reconciliation.

Leadership in Civil Society

Hayat Sindi, Founder and CEO, i2 Institute

One of the first female members of the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia, Hayat Sindi is the founder and CEO of i2, Institute for Imagination and Ingenuity, which is a nongovernmental organization aiming to create an ecosystem of entrepreneurship and social innovation for scientists, technologists, and engineers in the Middle East and beyond. Dr. Sindi is also the co-founder of Diagnostics For All, which offers cost-effective point-of-care diagnostic tools that enable treatment for people who don’t have easy access medical care. The first Saudi woman to be accepted to study biotechnology at Cambridge University, where she received her PhD, and the first woman from the Arabian States of the Persian Gulf to complete a doctoral degree in the field, Sindi is a member of the UN Secretary-General’s Scientific Advisory Board and is a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for her efforts in promoting science education in the Middle East, especially for girls.

Greg Asbed and Lucas Benitez, Co-founders, Coalition of Immokalee Workers

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) is a worker-based human rights organization recognized for its achievements in the fields of corporate social responsibility, community organizing, and sustainable food. Over the past several years, CIW has become an important national and statewide presence and, as co-founders, Lucas Benitez and Greg Asbed are continuing this growth. Asbed is a principal author of the CIW’s Fair Food Program, a breakthrough, worker-driven approach to verifiable corporate accountability recognized by the United Nations and the White House for its unique effectiveness. He also works closely with Benitez on the CIW’s Anti-Slavery Campaign, recognized by the U.S. State Department for its pioneering work in the prevention of forced labor. Benitez is a key organizational leader and member of the Fair Food Program worker education team, and is one of the earliest farmworker leaders in the Fair Food movement. He also works with consumer allies to organize national actions—renowned for their creativity and effectiveness—designed to bring pressure on the large retail purchasers of Florida produce to join the Fair Food Program. The CIW’s Campaign for Fair Food is the subject of a feature-length documentary directed by Sanjay Rawal entitled “Food Chains,” set for nationwide release November 21st.

Leadership in the Private Sector

Dr. Irwin Mark Jacobs

Irwin Mark Jacobs is the founding chairman and CEO emeritus of Qualcomm, a company he co-founded in 1985. As CEO through 2005 and chairman through 2009, he led the growth from start-up to Fortune 500 Company, which now employs over 30,000 people worldwide. Qualcomm pioneered the CDMA wireless technology used by all third-generation cellular networks to deliver broadband Internet access to over 2.2 billion customers, and is the leader in supplying fourth-generation technology. Through continuing innovation, Qualcomm has become the world’s largest semiconductor supplier for mobile devices. For 15 consecutive years, it has been named to FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. Since 2006, Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach program has brought wireless technology to underserved communities globally and invests in projects that foster entrepreneurship, aid in public safety, enhance the delivery of health care, enrich teaching and learning, and improve environmental sustainability. Many projects place emphasis on women’s empowerment through cell phones. Personally, Jacobs and his wife Joan support the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute and have been recognized by Business Week and Chronicle of Philanthropy for being among the 50 Most-Generous Philanthropists in the United States.

Please visit regularly for the latest program details and list of participants. Follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at for meeting news and highlights. The event hashtag is #CGI2014.

About the Clinton Global Citizen AwardsTM
Established in 2007, the Clinton Global Citizen Awards embody President Bill Clinton’s call to action by honoring outstanding individuals who exemplify global citizenship through their vision and leadership. These citizens have proven that diverse sectors of society can work together successfully to devise solutions that effect positive, lasting social change. Nominated by Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) members and other global leaders, honorees are chosen based on their innovative approaches, and on the demonstrated results and sustainability of their work. Through their uncommon abilities to strengthen civil society, these visionaries inspire us all to take action and to become true global citizens.

The 2014 Clinton Global Citizen Awards will be presented during a special ceremony at the CGI Annual Meeting, on the evening of September 21. The evening’s program will include special appearances by individuals who embrace the mission of an integrated, shared world. In past years, special appearances have been made by Ben Affleck, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Barbra Streisand, Ben Stiller, President Festus Mogae, Iman, Kevin Spacey, Morgan Freeman, Prime Minister MorganTsvangirai, Salma Hayek, General Wesley Clark, and more. Musical entertainment has included: Sting, K’Naan, Alicia Keys, James Taylor, Juanes, Youssou N’Dour, The Roots, Elvis Costello, and Angelique Kidjo.

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