April 20, 2015
The Atlantic Council announced today the four recipients of its annual Distinguished Leadership Awards, to be presented on the evening of April 30 in Washington, DC: President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani; Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Philip M. Breedlove; Chairman, President, and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation Marillyn A. Hewson; and American country music singer-songwriter and record producer Toby Keith


“Each year we honor remarkable individuals who represent four pillars of global leadership – political, military, business and artistic,” said Governor Jon Huntsman, Atlantic Council Chairman.  “It is hard to imagine a more deserving and diverse quartet of leaders who through bravery, perseverance, ingenuity and integrity have served as an inspiration to countless others.”

Said Frederick Kempe, President and CEO of the Atlantic Council, “The Atlantic Council’s annual awards have gained international notice – at a time when their ilk of leadership is so sorely needed – both due to the stature of those we honor and the global audience we convene.” The awards dinner will convene a prominent array of some 900 individuals from more than fifty countries, including leaders from the administration, Congress, business, military, media and civil society.

The Atlantic Council will recognize President Ghani, following his historic election this year in Afghanistan’s first democratic transition of power, for his selfless and courageous commitment to democracy and human dignity. (He personally accepted the award, presented to him by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, on March 25 in Washington before an audience of NATO leaders, ambassadors and generals.) 

The Council will salute General Breedlove, at a time of historic challenges for the alliance, for his role in leading the most significant shift in NATO’s defense posture since the end of the Cold War. He will be introduced by Admiral James Alexander "Sandy" Winnefeld, Jr. 

The Council will recognize Marillyn A. Hewson of Lockheed for her impressive record of business success, personal leadership and philanthropic commitment in leading one of the world’s largest global security and aerospace companies.  She will be introduced by Chairman and CEO of The Boeing Company W. James McNerney, Jr.

The Council will honor country music legend Toby Keith for his remarkable musical contributions and support for US troops around the world.  He will be introduced by General James L. Jones, former Supreme Allied Commander Europe.

DATE:                 Thursday, April 30

TIME:                  7:00 p.m. 

LOCATION:         Washington, DC

                           Details to be provided upon accreditation

This event is on-the-record and open to press. To request accreditation or for additional details, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by April 28. Location and timing details will be provided upon confirmation of accreditation.

Follow @AtlanticCouncil and use #ACAwards for LIVE updates from the Distinguished Leadership Awards.

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