NEW YORK — The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative announces Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power as the newest member of the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity Selection Committee. As a part of the Selection Committee, Ambassador Power will join the other esteemed humanitarians, human rights activists and former heads of state to determine future recipients for the annual $1.1 million Aurora Prize.
“We are very excited to welcome Ambassador Power to the Aurora Prize Selection Committee. With her notable experience on the world stage, she has made great strides in aiding those in the developing world and standing up for the most vulnerable members of our global community,” said Noubar Afeyan, co-founder of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative. “With her unparalleled expertise in human rights around the world, we are honored that she will review Aurora Prize nominations and help shape the future of the Aurora Prize.”
Ambassador Samantha Power served as the 28th U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and as a member of President Obama’s cabinet, and became known as one of the country’s foremost thinkers on foreign policy. Prior to her work at the United Nations, she served on the U.S. National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, where she focused on atrocity prevention, United Nations reform, LGBT and women’s rights and the promotion of religious freedom, among other issues. She also authored the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide.” Given her influential work in human rights and democracy, she has been recognized several times over, including as one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People” and Foreign Policy’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers.”
“The Aurora Prize and its laureates recognize that, while it is essential to remember past atrocities, we each have the power to assist those who are saving lives in the present,” said Ambassador Power. “I take great pride in being part of the Prize’s Selection Committee, which seeks to honor those who make great sacrifices to help others, and who find a way to mobilize human kindness and persevere amid steep odds.”
She will join current Aurora Prize Selection Committee members Nobel Laureates Oscar Arias, Shirin Ebadi and Leymah Gbowee; former president of Ireland Mary Robinson; former president of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo; human rights activist Hina Jilani; Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London Lord Ara Darzi; President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group and former foreign minister of Australia Gareth Evans; Medecins sans Frontieres Founder Bernard Kouchner; President of Carnegie Corporation of New York Vartan Gregorian; and Academy Award-winning actor and humanitarian George Clooney.
The Aurora Prize, now in its third year, was founded on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors. The Selection Committee will convene in Berlin, Germany on December 4, 2017 to review nominations from this year’s process, which gathered 750 submissions from 115 countries. Concurrent to their meeting in Berlin, the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative will host its first Aurora Dialogues outside of Armenia, titled “Millions on The Move: Need for Development and Integration.” The Aurora Dialogues Berlin is a joint effort of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, Global Perspectives Initiative, Robert Bosch Stiftung and Stiftung Mercator, and will be held on December 4-5, 2017. Speakers will address the state of the global migration crisis and look at the role of different actors in advancing positive change.
The 2018 Aurora Prize finalists will be announced on April 24, 2018, the day of commemoration of the Armenian Genocide in 1915. The Aurora Prize, established on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors, provides the laureate with a $100,000 grant and the opportunity to continue the cycle of giving by nominating organizations to receive a $1,000,000 award. The third annual Prize will be announced on June 10, 2018, at a ceremony in Armenia.