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Atlantic Council Announces Recipients of its Top Leadership Awards: Former Secretary of State Clinton, NATO Secretary General Rasmussen, Chevron Chairman and CEO Watson, Singers Tony Bennett and Juanes

Atlantic Council to launch Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center

WASHINGTON – The Atlantic Council on May 1 will present its top global leadership awards to former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Chevron Chairman and CEO John S. Watson, legendary performer and humanitarian Tony Bennett, and musician and social activist Juanes.

“These awards are designed to spotlight the inspired leadership our complex world requires,” said Brent Scowcroft, Atlantic Council interim chairman, “while at the same time representing essential pillars of the transatlantic relationship: political, business, arts, and humanitarian leadership.”

On the same evening, the Atlantic Council will officially launch its Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, further expanding its activities that now span the globe.

Said Frederick Kempe, Atlantic Council President and CEO: “With the founding of the Arsht Latin America Center, we further underscore our mission of renewing and enlarging the Atlantic community for global challenges.” 

The awards will be presented, and the new center launched, at the Atlantic Council’s annual Distinguished Leadership Awards Dinner in Washington, DC before an audience of government, legislative, business, and civil society leaders from more than fifty countries.  

Secretary Clinton and Secretary General Rasmussen will each receive the Distinguished International Leadership Award, given to remarkable global political leaders who have made an enduring contribution to the international community.

Clinton will be honored for her service as first lady, senator, and in particular as 67th US Secretary of State. Her “smart power” approach to foreign policy repositioned American diplomacy and development for the 21st century. Clinton played a central role in restoring America’s standing in the world, reasserting the United States as a Pacific power, imposing crippling sanctions on Iran and North Korea, responding to the Arab Awakening, and negotiating a ceasefire in the Middle East. She was the most widely traveled secretary in history, traveling to 112 countries during her tenure.

Rasmussen will be honored for his principled leadership of the world’s most successful and enduring alliance as NATO’s 12th secretary general as well as his commitment to transatlantic cooperation during his tenure as prime minister of Denmark. As secretary general, he led the alliance in its efforts to protect civilians in Libya, managed the transition in Afghanistan, cultivated new global partnerships, and is preparing NATO for the future amid global change and financial pressures.

Previous recipients of this award include President George H.W. Bush, President Bill Clinton, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.  

Chevron Chairman and CEO Watson will receive the Distinguished Business Leadership Award. Watson is responsibly and successfully leading America’s third largest corporation at a time of revolutionary changes in the global energy market. Chevron has been a leader in not only the dramatic growth of US gas and oil production, but global production of energy resources vital to human progress, economic growth, and energy security.

The legendary performer Tony Bennett will receive the award for Distinguished Artistic Leadership. A seventeen-time Grammy winner, Bennett at age 86 is the oldest artist to make a Billboard charts number one record with Duets II and has performed with musicians ranging from Paul McCartney to the Dixie Chicks to Lady Gaga. Bennett has made a career of social activism as well, from his march in 1965 for racial equality with Martin Luther King, Jr., to his work for children’s health and arts education.

Grammy-winning Colombian musician Juanes will receive the award for Distinguished Humanitarian Leadership. Inspired by his childhood experiences in Medellin, when he witnessed a civil war that left thousands dead, he has worked to engage Colombian youth in constructing a more peaceful, secure country through founding Mi Sangre Foundation.


Only credentialed and accredited media will be permitted to cover the event, but space is limited. For more information or to apply for press accreditation, please send your full name, title, and media organization to by April 26. Timing, location, and other details to be confirmed upon granting of press accreditation.


The Atlantic Council is a nonpartisan organization that promotes constructive US and European leadership and engagement in international affairs based on the central role of the Atlantic community in meeting today’s global challenges.