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Refugees International 40th Anniversary Dinner

  • Andrew Mellon Auditorium 1301 Constitution Avenue Northwest Washington, DC, 20229 United States (map)

Refugees International’s annual Anniversary Dinner is an awards ceremony and celebration honoring individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and commitment to humanitarian action. More than 500 people attend this event each year.


This year’s McCall-Pierpaoli Award, RI’s highest humanitarian award, will be presented to the Honourable Louise Arbour, C.C., G.O.Q., Senior Counsel at Bordon Ladner Gervais LLP and Former Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for International Migration. 

In bestowing RI’s McCall-Pierpoli Humanitarian Award, RI is recognizing Ms. Arbour’s lifetime of work in the pursuit of justice and human rights. Ms. Arbour has achieved the highest levels of leadership whether it be at the UN, as a jurist, or at a leading advocacy organizations. What characterizes her leadership is her willingness in these roles to take on the most difficult challenges, to push the international community to do better, and the vision and drive to bring about systemic, transformational change in the pursuit of justice and human rights.

The McCall-Pierpaoli Humanitarian Award will also be awarded to President Jorge Fernando Branco de Sampaio and Dr. Vartan Gregorian for their philanthropic work with the Global Platform for Syrian Students and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.


Taller Salud, an inspirational humanitarian aid group in Puerto Rico, will be honored with the Richard C. Holbrooke Award for providing critical services and unwavering support in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and María. 


U.S. Representative Will Hurd of Texas will receive Refugees International’s 2019 Congressional Leadership Award for his commitment to public service, recognition that principles of humanitarianism and humanity must inform policy making toward those who have been forced to flee their homes, and commitment to the resolution of challenging migration issues through civil discourse based on facts and not fear.


Mayor Wilmot Collins of Helena, Montana will receive Refugees International’s Exceptional Service Award for his extraordinary advocacy on behalf of refugees not only in Helena, Montana but throughout the United States. He has highlighted the stories of refugees and displaced persons, including his own compelling personal story as a resettled refugee and has effectively championed the importance of the U.S. refugee resettlement program while reminding the public about the enormous positive contributions of refugees to our society.


Mariela Shaker, refugee, advocate, and classical violinist will also perform at the event.


Darya and Vali Nasr will serve as the evening’s Benefit Chairs, and Sarah Bovim, Vice President of Government Affairs at the Whirlpool Corporation and Jodi Bond, Executive Vice President of Global Government & Industry Affairs at Chubb, will co-chair the Global Partnership Initiative. 

Ambassador to the United States from Costa Rica, Fernando Llorca Castro and Evelyn Cermeño, will serve as the evenings Honorary Chairs.

2019 Sponsors

40th Anniversary Celebratory Circle

Eileen Shields-West and Robin West

Lifesaving Circle

Maureen White and Steven Rattner

Humanitarian Circle

Jan Weil and Amos Avgar


Gilead Sciences • Rachel Pearson • Nina and Dino Saglimbeni • Kathwari Family Foundation


Anonymous • Chubb • Repsol Oil & Gas USA, LLC • Frederica and George Valanos


Anonymous (2) • Joy and Jonathan Alferness • Darcy Bacon and Sarah Hogate Bacon • Lisa Barry and James Gale • Caterpillar • Martina Jones and William Braun Jones, Jr. • Vaithehi Muttulingham and Bala Cumaresan • Darya and Vali Nasr • Demet Oger • Tat Maxwell and Ted Weaver • Natacha and Anthony Weiss


Anonymous • Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP • Bradley Charitable Fund • Citigroup • Discovery, Inc. • Dow • Cheryl Feigenson and Jeffrey Tindell • Mary and Robert Haft • Diane and Michael Hawkins • Maxine Isaacs • LigaDATA • Linda Lipsett and Jules Bernstein


Jodi Hanson Bond • Kathleen and Chris Matthews • Lee Murphy • Dane Nichols • Maureen Orth • Helene Patterson and Leo Mullen • Ridgewells • Annie Totah

For more information about sponsorships and tickets, click here.

To learn more about RI’s 39th Anniversary Dinner, click here.