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About the Awards

The Atlantic Council’s Distinguished Leadership Awards celebrates the highest achieving individuals who embody the essence of the pillars of the transatlantic relationship. Each year, the event convenes an elite, international audience – including current and former heads of state, foreign dignitaries, ambassadors, members of Congress and the administration, military commanders, international business leaders, and leading members of the media. The event is regularly featured by national and international media outlets, including the Associated Press, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, POLITICO, Thomson Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, among others.

Distinguished leaders

2022 Honorees

The Atlantic Council honors individuals for their achievement in the fields of political, military, business, humanitarian, and artistic leadership. These luminaries have made exceptional and distinctive contributions across the Atlantic and around the world.

H.E. Mario Draghi

Distinguished International Leadership Award

President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic

INTRODUCED BY: The Hon. Janet L. Yellen, United States Secretary of the Treasury


Distinguished Artistic Leadership Award

Singer-songwriter, the winner of Eurovision song contest 2016

Accepted on behalf of all Ukrainian artists

INTRODUCED BY: Adrienne Arsht, Executive Vice Chair; Founder, Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center; Founder, Adrienne Arsht – Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center

Claudio Descalzi

Distinguished Business Leadership Award

CEO, Eni

INTRODUCED BY: H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, United Arab Emirates Special Envoy for Climate Change; Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology; Group CEO and Managing Director, Abu Dhabi National Oil Corporation (ADNOC)

The People of Ukraine

Distinguished Leadership Award

INTRODUCED BY: The Hon. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker, US House of Representatives


Gen. James L. Jones, Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander; Executive Chairman Emeritus, Atlantic Council

A special tribute to Secretary Madeleine K. Albright

RECORDED REMARKS BY: The Hon. Hillary R. Clinton, Former US Secretary of State


The Hon. Condoleezza Rice, Former US Secretary of State

Selected coverage

Rewatch the event

Honoring the Ukrainian people

A message from President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Zelenskyy offers a moving, personal dedication to the heroism of the Ukrainian people under Russian assault.

A special tribute to the people of Ukraine

The Atlantic Council stands with these heroes today and in the days to come.

Recap blog

New Atlanticist

May 11, 2022

The 2022 Distinguished Leadership Awards: Recognizing bravery and vision in wartime

By Dan Peleschuk

The Atlantic Council’s premier gala honored Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, business leader Claudio Descalzi, Ukrainian singer Jamala, and more for their commitment to the transatlantic relationship.

Conflict Italy



Celebrating our 60th Anniversary

Sponsoring the Awards dinner

Sponsors of the Distinguished Leadership Awards are supporting the Atlantic Council’s work in promoting constructive US leadership and engagement in the world based on the central role of the Atlantic community, working with its allies and partners, to meet global challenges.

Sponsors are also able to access benefits such as invitations to a reception with the honorees, recognition with their company logo in all printed and online dinner materials, and at the event, a two-page advertisement and/or congratulatory note to the honorees in the printed dinner program, and an acknowledgment from the podium during the dinner.


The best ideas are born from diverse, informed people across the depth and breadth of the organization—it is the role of leadership to seek, hear, and implement those ideas.

General Joseph L. Votel, Distinguished Military Leadership, 2016

Recap past Distinguished Leadership Award events

2020 Virtual Distinguished Leadership Awards
2019 Distinguished Leadership Awards
2018 Distinguished Leadership Awards
2017 Distinguished Leadership Awards
2016 Distinguished Leadership Awards
2015 Distinguished Leadership Awards
2014 Distinguished Leadership Awards
2013 Distinguished Leadership Awards