Refugees International hosted its 40th Anniversary Dinner on April 30, 2019, to celebrate four decades of work, advocacy, and to honor individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and commitment to humanitarian action.
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. Those honored for their outstanding humanitarian work to improve their lives and defend the rights of refugees and displaced people included: 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.
On April 24, 2018, Refugees International hosted its 39th Anniversary Dinner, honoring humanitarians who work to improve the lives and protect the rights of refugees and displaced people in the United States and worldwide. This year’s event honored Chobani Founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and Hala al-Sarraf, executive director of the Iraq Health Access Organization.
In advance of Refugees International’s 38th Anniversary Dinner on April 25, 2017, Ambassador Vlora Çitaku of Kosovo hosted a luncheon the mark the occasion. The luncheon took place at the Meridian International Center in Washington, D.C. Ambassador Çitaku, the event’s honorary chair, addressed the luncheon and paid tribute to the 2017 RI humanitarian award winners, the Syria Civil Defense (the White Helmets) and Hassan Shire of Defend Defenders. Eileen Shields-West, RI’s board chair, and Congressman Ed Royce also addressed the gathering.
Refugees International's 38th Anniversary Dinner took place at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium on April 25, 2017 in Washington, DC. The White Helmets (Syria Civil Defense) were awarded RI's highest humanitarian award, the McCall-Pierpaoli Award. The Congressional Leadership Award was presented to Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and the Richard C. Holbrooke Award was presented to Hassan Shire.
Members of our 38th Anniversary Dinner Benefit Committee gathered at the Newseum on March 1 1, 2017 for a special viewing of the REFUGEE photo exhibit, as well as remarks from Benefit Chair Maria Trabocchi, Global Partnership Chair Sarah Bovim, RI President Michel Gabaudan, and RI Board President Eileen Shields-West.
Friends of Refugees International convened for the 14th Annual New York Circle on November 1, 2016. RI President Michel Gabaudan discussed the current state of refugees around the world, and Fatima Muriel de Florez described her inspiring story as a displaced woman and women's rights activist in Colombia.
Refugees International's 37th Anniversary Dinner took place at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium on April 26, 2016 in Washington, DC. Sir Richard Branson was awarded RI's highest humanitarian award, the McCall-Pierpaoli Award. The Congressional Leadership Award was presented to Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and the Richard C. Holbrooke Award was presented to Ukrainian humanitarian Olena Honcharova.
Friends of Refugees International convened in New York City on December 2, 2015 to hear "The Refugee Experience," a panel featuring two displaced people with whom RI has worked and moderated by RI Board Member Sam Waterston. The panelists included Abdi Iftin Nor, a refugee from Somalia now living in the United States, and Sigifredo Ponce, a young man from Mexico internally displaced by cartel violence.
On November 18, 2015, the Washington Circle gathered for dinner at the residence of His Excellency The Ambassador of Italy, Claudio Bisogniero at to Villa Firenze. The evening featured remarks by former aid worker Jessica Buchanan as she described her experience being held hostage in Somalia for three months.
On November 12, 2014, Refugees International supporters gathered in Midtown Manhattan for the 12th Annual New York Circle. The evening included a presentation on RI's work in Iraq and atime to honor Ann Curry, renowned national and international journalist and recipient of RI’s 2014 Exceptional Service Award. Long-time RI board member Matt Dillon, who presented the award, praised Ms. Curry for her tireless work to showcase humanitarian crises often overlooked or unheard of by the American public.
On September 30, 2014, the Washington Circle gathered for dinner at the residence of His Excellency The Ambassador of Spain, Ramón Gil-Casares. As the Honorary Chair of RI's 36th Anniversary Dinner, the Ambassador spoke of his time serving as the Spanish Ambassador to Sudan and South Sudan. In addition, the evening featured an around-the-world presentation and a back-from-the-field report on the displacement crisis in Iraq by RI President Michel Gabaudan.