Refugees International Celebrates Its 39th Anniversary

Board Member Emeritus and Master of Ceremonies Sam Waterston opens the 39th Anniversary Dinner.

On April 24, 2018, Refugees International (RI) hosted its 39th Anniversary Dinner. The occasion drew attention to the plight of refugees and displaced people around the world and honored three outstanding humanitarians who work to improve the lives of refugees and to defend their rights. The 2018 honorees were: Chobani Founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya who received the 2018 McCall-Pierpaoli Humanitarian Award; Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota who received the 2018 Congressional Leadership Award; and Iraq Health Access Organization Executive Director Hala al-Sarraf, who receive the 2018 Richard C. Holbrooke Award.

Refugees International Board Chair Eileen Shields-West addresses the attendees at the 39th Anniversary Dinner

The evening was also dedicated to increasing support for RI’s Waterston Emergency Fund, which is named for Board Member Emeritus Sam Waterston.  The fund allows RI to respond quickly to fast moving events, traveling to unfolding displacement and refugee crises around the world.  If you would like to contribute to this fund and help RI expand its lifesaving work, please visit our donate page.

Queen Noor al-Hussein of Jordan presents the 2018 McCall-Pierpaoli Humanitarian Award to Chobani Founder Hamdi Ulukaya
Kati Marton presents the 2018 Richard C. Holbrooke Award to Hala al-Sarraf of the Iraq Health Access Organization.
Refugees International President Eric Schwartz presents the 2018 Congressional Leadership Award to Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota

“We all stand on the shoulders of immigrants and refugees.”

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, 2018 Congressional Leadership Award Recipient
Honorary Chairs Ambassador Domingos Fezas Vital and Isabel Vital with Board Members Sarah Bacon (far left), Darya Nasr (second from right) and Lisa Barry (far right).
Global Partnership Initiative Chair Sarah Bovim
Queen Farah with Refugees International Board Member Demet Öger

“We need individual heroes. simple heroes. in the streets, in the refugee camps, in the business community, every single day.”

2018 McCall-Pierpaoli Award Recipient Hamdi Ulukaya
Farida Kathwari and Board Member Emeritus Farooq Kathwari
RI Advocate Alexandra Lamarche with Board Chair Eileen Shields-West and Board Member Emeritus Sam Waterston.
Board Members Jan Weil and Natacha Weiss
Senator Chris Dodd, Hadassah Lieberman, Senator Joe Lieberman, and Senator Amy Klobuchar
Maria and Fabio Trabocchi present their generous gift to Refugees International