The Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School awards annually the Gleitsman Activist Award, created in 1993 by the late Alan Gleitsman, to honor exceptional leaders and innovators who have sparked positive social change and inspired others to do the same. Mr. Gleitsman once described the intent of this honor to “recognize people who make a difference, tell their story, and make other people aware of what one person can do.”
The winner of the Gleitsman Activist Award receives a $125,000 prize and a specially commissioned sculpture designed by Maya Lin, the creator of the Vietnam War Memorial. The awardee is honored at a ceremony and dinner on or near the Harvard University campus.
The Gleitsman International Activist Award, given biennially (alternating with the Citizen Activist Award), honors leadership in social activism that has improved the quality of life around the world. Read more about our 2015 Gleitsman International Activist Award Winners, Fartuun Adan and Ilwad Elman.
GLEITSMAN INTERNATIONAL ACTIVIST AWARD WINNERS
2015: Fartuun Adan and Ilwad Elman, Founders, Elman Peace and Human Rights Center
2013: Sasha Chanoff, Founder and Executive Director, RefugePoint
2011: Teresa Ulloa Ziáurriz, Regional Director, Coalition Against Trafficking Women
2009: Karen Tse, Founder, International Bridges to Justice
2007: Sakena Yacoobi, Executive Director, the Afghan Institute of Learning
2005: Han Dongfang, International Advocate of the worker's movement in China; Patrick Alley, Charmain Gooch, and Simon Taylor, Founders, Global Witness
2003: Fazle Abed, Jaya Arunachalam, Roman Imboden, and Roy Prosterman, Leaders in the Struggle Against Poverty
2001: Bernie Krisher, Creator of schools in Cambodia; Martin Macwan, Advocate of Dalits ("Untouchables") Rights
1999: Advocates for reconciliation in the Middle east, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), Yossi Beilin, Bassem Eid, Yitzhak Frankenthal, Galia Golan, Faisel Husseini, Terje Rod Larsen and Mona Juul, Ahmed Qurie (Abu Ala), Uri Savir and Stanley Sheinbaum, posthumous awards in memory of Anwar Sadat, Yitzhak Rabin, and King Hussein
1997: Maria Adela Antokoletz, Argentinean founder of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo; Muhammad Yunus, Founder, Grameen Bank
1995: Jose Ramos-Horta, East Timor independence advocate; Beate & Serge Kiarsfeld, Prominent Nazi hunters
1993: Nelson Mandela, President, African National Congress; Wei Jingsheng, Advocate of democracy in China