Global Leadership Awards Honor Trailblazers Advancing the United Nations’ Goals Around the World

The UN Foundation Recognizes U.S. President Barack Obama And Other Esteemed Honorees Championing Solutions To The Planet’s Most Urgent Challenges

New York, New York

October 19, 2016


Megan Rabbitt

During tonight’s annual Global Leadership Awards Dinner, the United Nations Foundation will recognize five honorees who are working alongside the United Nations to tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time. The gathering will pay tribute and thank champions from multiple sectors who are advancing peace and well-being around the world through bold and visionary actions.

The 2016 Global Leadership Award recipients include:

U.S. President Barack Obama will receive the “Champion for Global Change” Award in recognition of his strong leadership at the United Nations and globally, which has helped bring peace to war-torn areas and build resilience against climate change. President Obama has worked in solidarity with international partners for a better world.

Ertharin Cousin will be recognized for her leadership at the World Food Programme, the UN specialized agency that ensures millions of people have food to eat every day while pioneering innovative solutions to end hunger for all. Under Cousin’s leadership, WFP has innovated new approaches to emergency response, hunger prevention, food security, and malnutrition.

Walgreens Boots Alliance will be honored for its vision and commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals by advancing global health, most notably through the “Get a Shot. Give a Shot.” campaign, which has provided life-saving vaccines to more than 15 million children across the globe in partnership with the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign. The award will be accepted by Ornella Barra, Co-Chief Operating Officer.

Rovio Entertainment and SONY Pictures’ “Angry Birds for a Happy Planet” initiative will be honored as a global marketing and outreach campaign that raised awareness of the need for both urgent climate action and eco-friendly lifestyles. Rovio Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Kati Levoranta will accept the award.

Maina Kiai will receive the “Leo Nevas Human Rights Award” for his groundbreaking leadership as the first Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association. In this role he has traveled around the world documenting human rights abuses to lend his voice to those who may otherwise be voiceless in the struggle for human rights.

“These honorees have helped people all over the world lead healthier and more rewarding lives by taking actions that support the UN’s ambitious goals,” said Kathy Calvin, President and CEO of the UN Foundation. “Their leadership has inspired others – from world leaders and businesses to local communities and villages – to think boldly about how to solve the planet’s most urgent challenges.”

In addition to drawing attention to the work of the UN and supporters who are helping to build a better and more prosperous future, the gathering raises funds for the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA), a UN Foundation-led membership organization that informs, educates, and inspires Americans in support of the UN’s work.

To learn more about the awards and the UN Foundation, please visit:

Media Contact:

Andrea Risotto,, 202-862-6319


About the United Nations Foundation

The United Nations Foundation links the UN’s work with others around the world, mobilizing the energy and expertise of business and non-governmental organizations to help the UN tackle issues including climate change, global health, peace and security, women’s empowerment, poverty eradication, energy access, and U.S.-UN relations.

The United Nations Foundation is honored to work with the United Nations to foster a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world.