2020 International Women of Courage Honorees


2020 IWOC Honoree’s Bios2020 IWOC Celebration Program

The International Women of Courage Award

The International Women of Courage Award was established by the U.S. Department of State in 2007 to honor women who are making a substantial difference in the lives of women around the globe. Nominated by U.S. embassies and NGOs, the candidates are selected by the State Department for their courageous and selfless efforts advocating for human rights, women’s equality, and social progress, often in the face of great personal risk. Honorees travel to the U.S. for an award ceremony at the State Department and an opportunity for cultural exchange across the country.

The International Women of Courage Award

The International Women of Courage Award was established by the U.S. Department of State in 2007 to honor women who are making a substantial difference in the lives of women around the globe. Nominated by U.S. embassies and NGOs, the candidates are selected by the State Department for their courageous and selfless efforts advocating for human rights, women’s equality, and social progress, often in the face of great personal risk. Honorees travel to the U.S. for an award ceremony at the State Department and an opportunity for cultural exchange across the country.

AWIU’s International Women of Courage Celebration

Since 2008, American Women for International Understanding has had the unique privilege to work with the State Department in hosting the International Women of Courage Celebration, an evening event that recognizes the awardees and celebrates their exemplary efforts. In addition, AWIU provides each of the awardees with a monetary grant to support continued efforts in her home country. The observance of International Women’s Day provides the backdrop for this prestigious dinner event.

AWIU’s International Women of Courage Celebration

Since 2008, American Women for International Understanding has had the unique privilege to work with the State Department in hosting the International Women of Courage Celebration, an evening event that recognizes the awardees and celebrates their exemplary efforts. In addition, AWIU provides each of the awardees with a monetary grant to support continued efforts in her home country. The observance of International Women’s Day provides the backdrop for this prestigious dinner event.

International Women of Courage Honorees

The International Women of Courage come from all walks of life and share the same unshakeable commitment to the rights and well-being of women around the globe. Their exceptional leadership and courage are helping to transform their societies despite tremendous challenges.

International Women of Courage Honorees

The International Women of Courage come from all walks of life and share the same unshakeable commitment to the rights and well-being of women around the globe. Their exceptional leadership and courage are helping to transform their societies despite tremendous challenges.

The State Department Award Ceremony

The U.S. Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award Ceremony and Reception is held at the Department of State. Since the inception of this award in 2007, the State Department has recognized more than 120 women from more than 65 different countries. U.S. diplomatic missions overseas nominate one woman of courage from their respective host countries. The finalists are selected and approved by senior Department officials.

The State Department Award Ceremony

The U.S. Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award Ceremony and Reception is held at the Department of State. Since the inception of this award in 2007, the State Department has recognized more than 120 women from more than 65 different countries. U.S. diplomatic missions overseas nominate one woman of courage from their respective host countries. The finalists are selected and approved by senior Department officials.

Courage is the ability to challenge norms. It is the ability to move beyond words and act upon something that will challenge the present and bring change to the future.

I appreciate the work that American Women of International Understanding (AWIU) is doing to generate awareness on women’s issues around the globe. Their support, empathy, effort and time as a volunteer, to feature problems that women face within and outside the U.S. is simply commendable. Raising awareness on women’s issues is a crucial step towards progress and so is working together in global solidarity.

We can change the world. Without us, it will not be done. Hand in hand, we will make the world a better place.

Women leaders around the world are working on issues, which promote peace, justice, and progress for societies. As Margareth Mead famously said, all it takes to change the world is a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens. In their work, AWIU recognizes efforts and lasting achievements of women around the globe and encourages them to take action. Thus, this group of committed citizens becomes stronger and leads the world towards lasting peace, respect to human rights and international solidarity.

We are not driven by revenge But the desire that history never repeats itself.

Economies cannot prosper and countries cannot be free unless women are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. That was as true in 2006 when we created this award as it is today. Together [the International Women of Courage] represent the leading edge of the women’s empowerment movement and are an inspiration to us all.

Courage is the ability to challenge norms. It is the ability to move beyond words and act upon something that will challenge the present and bring change to the future.

I appreciate the work that American Women of International Understanding (AWIU) is doing to generate awareness on women’s issues around the globe. Their support, empathy, effort and time as a volunteer, to feature problems that women face within and outside the U.S. is simply commendable. Raising awareness on women’s issues is a crucial step towards progress and so is working together in global solidarity.

We can change the world. Without us, it will not be done. Hand in hand, we will make the world a better place.

Women leaders around the world are working on issues, which promote peace, justice, and progress for societies. As Margareth Mead famously said, all it takes to change the world is a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens. In their work, AWIU recognizes efforts and lasting achievements of women around the globe and encourages them to take action. Thus, this group of committed citizens becomes stronger and leads the world towards lasting peace, respect to human rights and international solidarity.

We are not driven by revenge But the desire that history never repeats itself.

Economies cannot prosper and countries cannot be free unless women are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. That was as true in 2006 when we created this award as it is today. Together [the International Women of Courage] represent the leading edge of the women’s empowerment movement and are an inspiration to us all.

2020 IWOC Sponsors & Patrons

Thank you to our Generous Sponsors and Patrons

Global Leadership

Deloitte

Freedom and Equality

Hahn & Hahn LLP

O’Melveny & Meyers LLP

The Walt Disney Company

Empowerment Through Education

BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse

Griffith Foods

JAMA and JAMA Network

Providence Foundations of Southern California

UCLA Anderson School of Management

USC Viterbi School of Engineering

Nancy McAniff Annick
Willow Bay
Denise Hammett Bieker
Susan Chandler
Mellody L. Hobson
Khin-Onma Lwin
Jerilyn McAniff
Cynthy Moffatt
Margaret Heflin Sabbag
Janice Meagher Trojan
Carol Ann Warren
Jane Mursener Wetzel

Women For Others

Northern Trust Corporation

Martha A. Atherton • Jennifer Meagher Convery
Wendy Gladney • Cynthia Heard • Ingrid Johnson

Opening Doors

Coleen M. Ball • Sidney Barney • The Courtney Family Girls
Lian Dolan • Sarah Dusseault • Diane Mitchell Henry
Ann Horton • Mary Kresky • Annette Colin Madden
Marsha Niazmand •
Pooja Chandra Pama
Julie Power Pantiskas • Louise Simon Schoene
Maria Emmi Schory • Laura D. Schuldt 

Inclusion and Diversity

Elizabeth Conovitz • Ambassador Tatiana C. Gfoeller • Carole J. Lewis
Carol Robertson Lopez • Patricia Maloney • Diane M. McGlinchey
Sherry Lee Mueller • Ellen A. Pansky • Laura Li Pollard
Barbara Rubio • Mary Machado Schammel
Inez Parker Sharp • Sarah Shelton

Awareness and Appreciation

Suzanne M. Barnes • Debra L. Beck • Mary Ann Bernath
Bloomingdale’s • M. Monique Boutros • Margaret Caldwell
Sheryl Crockey • Molly Davin • Virginia Dedeaux
Earlie Douglas • Merry Lee Eilers • Nancy Emslie
Mitsuko Felton • Stelle Feuers • Suzanne Hart
Katherine Heffernan • Maureen Hollingsworth • Betty J. Houbion
Margaret Huebner • Kathleen Huston • Judith Jakaitis
Sharon Kolby • Linda Kukler • Julie Chan Lin
Lucia Logan • Jane Marks •
Deborah H. Marriott
The McAniff Family • Kendra Miller • Stacy Miller
Gayle Graham Morin • Eddie Newman • Robin Winter Odem
Brenda O’Neil • Genny Sanchez • Susan Seitz
Monica E. Skinner • Mary Meg Symes •
Jo Ann Troha
Barbara Voron • Carrie Walker • Amy Wohl

Other Patron Donation

Cynthia Beart • Sarah Deschenes
 Janet Elliott • Olivia Garfield
Nannette Gueye • Patricia Mar • Llui Montero
Paula Steele • Betty Ting • Josh & Melissa Wasserman

2020 Sponsors