NEW YORK, NY – The Atlantic Council this evening will present its third annual Global Citizen Awards to Burma’s opposition politician and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, America’s legendary global strategist and Nobel laureate Henry Kissinger, Japan’s former UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata, and American musician-humanitarian Quincy Jones.

“Tonight the Atlantic Council and its supporters have the unique privilege of celebrating the extraordinary lives and accomplishments of four diverse leaders for their contributions to global citizenship,” said Senator Chuck Hagel, Atlantic Council Chairman. “By recognizing these individuals with a Global Citizen Award, we were not simply looking to congratulate them, but also to amplify their achievements and inspire others to follow their path.”

“A host of global challenges face the Atlantic community and its friends, from the Arab Awakening to the growing significance of Asia,” said Frederick Kempe, Atlantic Council president and CEO. “Each of these honorees shares with us our mission to establish a collective global cause, and each has made notable accomplishments in pursuing that mission.”

Each honoree was recognized for his or her distinct achievements as a global citizen: 

  • After being silenced for the past twenty years, Aung Sun Suu Kyi celebrated a historic victory in April by winning a seat in the Burmese Parliament.  She is honored for her dedication to democracy and human rights, and her role as an international symbol of freedom. Christine Lagarde, IMF Managing Director and a 2011 Global Citizen Award recipient, will present the Global Citizen Award to Suu Kyi this year. 
  • From his writings on nuclear deterrence, negotiating the Paris Peace Accords, and his work to reshape US relations with China, Henry Kissinger has served as a role model in the creation of strategies dealing with our interconnected global relations.
  • A devoted and courageous campaigner of human rights and a leader in many major emergency-response operations, Sadako Ogata has also held prominent academia positions at several universities in China. World Economic Forum Founder Professor Klaus Schwab—the inaugural recipient of the Global Citizen Award—will present Ogata with the award.
  • Admired for his work with musical legends including Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones is also a passionate humanitarian who founded The Quincy Jones Foundation to raise awareness and resources for global children’s issues in areas of need. Fittingly, two young musical prodigies—Andreas Varady and Emily Bear—will perform in his honor.

Now in its third year, the Global Citizen Awards recognizes visionary leaders who embody the Council’s mission to renew the transatlantic community for global challenges and promote discussion and provide solutions to some of our most critical international issues.

Additional past recipients include US Senator John Kerry and the former Prime Minister of Lebanon Rafik Hariri (posthumous award) in 2011, and Professor Klaus Schwab in 2010. 

Tonight the Council will also launch its Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, under the chairmanship of former National Security Advisor General James L. Jones, Jr., which will engage traditional transatlantic allies and global partners on meeting the urgent policy demands of a dramatically changing world. Named after the nation’s only two-time National Security Advisor General Brent Scowcroft, the Center will replace the Council’s current International Security Program and build an expanded staff of experts to increase the Council’s capacity to address cutting-edge regional and global security issues.


The Atlantic Council is a nonpartisan organization that promotes constructive US leadership and engagement in international affairs based on the central role of the Atlantic community in meeting today’s global challenges.  For more information, please visit or Follow us on Twitter at @AtlanticCouncil.