Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy honored with Atlantic Council Global Citizen Award in Kyiv


KYIV, UKRAINE – May 30, 2023 – In recognition of his historic leadership during the Ukrainian people’s brave defense of their freedom, Atlantic Council Chairman John F.W. Rogers and President and CEO Frederick Kempe today presented Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with the Atlantic Council’s highest honor, its Global Citizen Award, a recognition conferred on unique individuals who contribute toward improving the state of the world.  

Rogers and Kempe joined Ambassador John Herbst, senior director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, and General David H. Petraeus, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and a member of the Atlantic Council Board of Directors, to deliver the award during a previously unannounced visit to Kyiv on Tuesday.  

“On behalf of the Ukrainian people, I am honored to accept the Atlantic Council Global Citizen Award,” said President Zelenskyy after a meeting of his team with the Atlantic Council delegation. “This is recognition for our people, for our heroes. Ukrainians are fighting not only for their existence and freedoms, but also for the freedoms of Europe and the Transatlantic Community. I thank the Atlantic Council for this award and its work to help Ukraine defeat Russia’s aggression.”  

“President Zelenskyy embodies the spirit of the Atlantic Council Global Citizen Awards,” said Atlantic Council Chairman John F.W. Rogers. “He has led the people of Ukraine in a heroic fight against Russian aggression and the full might of Moscow’s military. His leadership, courage, and commitment to an independent and democratic Ukraine inspire others around the world.” 

The Atlantic Council Global Citizen Award is typically presented in New York in September, on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly. “We made an exception and travelled to Ukraine’s capital because the situation is exceptional,” said Atlantic Council President Frederick Kempe. “Even as the Kremlin’s rockets and drones were being launched against the city, we wanted to honor the man who is inspiring the lovers of freedom everywhere.” 

Each year, the Atlantic Council Global Citizen Awards convenes a high-level audience of more than 500 global government, business, and civil society leaders in New York during United Nations General Assembly week. The event underscores the Atlantic Council’s significantly expanded global mission and celebrates unique individuals who embody the notion of global citizenship, ranging from heads of state to world-renowned artists.  

The Atlantic Council Global Citizen Awards is a globally recognized event. Previous awardees have included renowned heads of state and government, Nobel Prize winners, and prominent artists.   

The awards are typically covered and mentioned by hundreds of media outlets across six continents, including the New York Times, ABC, CBS, CNBC, TIME, BBC World, Politico, Vogue, The Globe and Mail, Reuters, and various Voice of America services, among others. 

This year’s Global Citizen Awards will take place on September 20 in New York, where President Zelenskyy’s honor will be recognized alongside others, who will be announced later. 

For more information on the Global Citizen Awards, please visit: 

Photos of Zelenskyy receiving the award are available here.