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12 December 2014
Human Rights Awards Reception

Join us for the 2014 Human Rights Awards Reception! In celebrating the 66th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UNA-NCA will recognize four outstanding individuals who are working to improve human rights in their communities and around the world.

When: Friday, December 12, 2014
                Advanced Access (Premium ticket holders) - 6:00 pm
                General Admission - 6:30 pm 
Where: Caucus Room, Cannon House Office Building
                 New Jersey and Independence Avenues SE
                 Washington, DC 20515

Cost: Young Professional/Student - $40
            Member - $55
            Non-member - $70
            Member Premium (includes early access at 6 pm and recognition in program book) - $80
            Non-member Premium (includes early access at 6 pm and recognition in program book) - $95

Louis B. Sohn Award - Juan Mendez, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Professor of Human Rights Law in Residence, American University's Washington College of Law
Perdita Huston Award - Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini, Co-Founder, International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN)
Special Award for the Use of Diplomacy to Advance Human Rights - Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director, PEN American Center
Distinguished Community Human Rights Award - Terri Lee Freeman, Former President,  Community Foundation for the National Capital Region



juanmendezphotoJuan E. Méndez

Juan E. Méndez is Professor of Human Rights Law in Residence at the American University-Washington College of Law and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment since November 2010.

He is the author – with Marjorie Wentworth – of Taking a Stand (New York: Palgrave-MacMillan, October 2011).  He has been an advisor on crime prevention to the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court.  In 2010 and 2011 he was also Co-Chair of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association.

Until May 2009 he was the President of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and Scholar-in-Residence at the Ford Foundation in New York (summer 2009).  Concurrent with his duties at ICTJ, he was Kofi Annan’s Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide (2004 to 2007).  Between 2000 and 2003 he was a member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States, and served as its President in 2002.  

He has taught international law and human rights at Oxford University (UK), Notre Dame Law School (USA), Georgetown and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.  He worked for Human Rights Watch in Washington and New York (1982-1996) and as Executive Director of the Inter-American Institute on Human Rights in San Jose, Costa Rica (1996-1999).

Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini

Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini is co-founder of the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) and an MIT research associate and fellow between 2005-2014. In 2011, she was the first Senior Expert on Gender and Inclusion on the UN’s Mediation Standby Team. For nearly two decades she has been a leading international advocate, researcher, trainer and writer on conflict prevention and peacebuilding. In 2000, she was among the civil society drafters of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.sanamheadshot08

Between 2002 and 2005, as Director of the Women Waging Peace Policy Commission, Ms. Anderlini led ground breaking field research on women’s contributions to conflict prevention, security and peacemaking in 12 countries. Since 2005, she has also provided strategic guidance and training to key UN agencies, the UK government and NGOs worldwide, including leading a UNFPA/UNDP needs assessment into Maoist cantonment sites in Nepal. Between 2008 - 2010, Ms. Anderlini was Lead Consultant for a 10-country UNDP global initiative on “Gender, Community Security and Social Cohesion" with a focus on men's experiences in crisis settings. She has served on the Advisory Board of the UN Democracy Fund (UNDEF), and was appointed to the Civil Society Advisory Group (CSAG) on Resolution 1325, chaired by Mary Robinson in 2010. In 2013, she was appointed to the Working Group on Gender and Inclusion of the Sustainable Development Network for the post-2015 agenda.

Ms. Anderlini has published extensively on gender, peace and security issues, including the book Women building peace: What they do, why it matters. She holds an M.Phil in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University. Iranian by birth, she is a UK citizen, and has twin daughters 

Suzanne Nossel

suzanne nosselSuzanne Nossel was named Executive Director of the PEN American Center in January, 2013. Her career has spanned government service and leadership roles in the corporate and non-profit sectors. Prior to joining PEN she served as Executive Director of Amnesty International USA.  Before joining Amnesty, Nossel served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations at the U.S. Department of State, where she was responsible for multilateral human rights, humanitarian affairs, women’s issues, public diplomacy, press, and congressional relations.  Nossel has also served as Chief Operating Officer for Human Rights Watch and deputy to the ambassador for U.N. Management and Reform at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. In the private sector, she has served as vice-president of U.S. Business Development at Bertelsmann Media Worldwide, vice-president of strategy and operations for the Wall Street Journal and a consultant at McKinsey & Company.

During the early 1990s Nossel worked in Johannesburg, South Africa, on the implementation of South Africa’s National Peace. Nossel is the author of a 2004 article in Foreign Affairs magazine entitled "Smart Power" and coined the term that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a defining feature of U.S. foreign policy.

Nossel is also a columnist for Foreign Policy magazine and has published hundreds of blog entries, op-ed pieces and numerous scholarly articles. She is the author of Presumed Equal: What America’s Top Women Lawyers Really Think About Their Firms and has served as a senior fellow at the Century Foundation, the Center for American Progress and the Council on Foreign Relations. Nossel is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.   She serves on the Board of Directors for the Tides Foundation and is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

During her service in the State Department, Ms. Nossel played a critical role in leading U.S. initiatives that fundamentally changed the culture and focus of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) from a body that focused disproportionately on Israel and that did little to address the urgent human rights situations of the day, into a body that began to live up to its mandate. During her tenure, the US moved step by step to build the support and coalitions needed to restore the Special Rapporteur on Iran, abolished when the US lost its seat at the Human Rights Commission some years earlier. With her lead, the US convinced the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to take an entirely new approach to addressing the so-called defamation of religion, one that emphasizes practical measures, such as dialogs and condemnation of hateful speech rather than bans on expression that is offensive to religious sensibilities. Very early in the Syria crisis, Suzanne obtained a green light from within multiple layers of the State Department for US leadership to pass the UN’s first resolution on the Syria crisis and establish a UN Commission of Inquiry that has provided crucial documentation of the crisis. Suzanne was also actively involved in securing the UN’s first-ever resolution on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.

Terri Lee Freeman 

Terri Freeman led The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region from 1996 through 2014. As president of the Community Foundation, Freeman was responsible for providing thought leadership and facilitating individual, family, and organizational giving to improve the quality of life in the metropolitan Washington region. She led the Foundation’s growth from $52 million to more than $350 million in assets, so that it is now the largest funder of local nonprofit organizations in the metropolitan Washington region. Under her leadership, the Foundation focused on helping all residents achieve economic security by funding in the areas of education, workforce training and homelessness prevention.  She also spearheaded a youth philanthropy initiative in Washington, DC and Montgomery County, Maryland. Immediately following September 11th, The Community Foundation established the Survivors’ Fund as an LLC, the largest devoted to the needs of the victims and families of the attack on the Pentagon, with more than $16 million in contributions recorded.

Prior to joining The Community Foundation, Ms. Freeman was the founding executive director of the Freddie Mac Foundation, one of the five largest corporate foundations in the metropolitan Washington region. Washingtonian magazine recently identified Freeman as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Washington. She has served on the advisory board of the Washington, DC office of the Children's Defense Fund and the board of directors of the National Association of Child Advocates. She is a past chair of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers as well as past chair of the board of directors of the Association of Black Foundation Executives.

In 2014 Ms Freeman left the Community Foundation in DC to take the job of president at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.

Ms. Freeman obtained her bachelor's degree in journalism/communication arts from the University of Dayton and received a master's degree in organizational communication management from Howard University.

Thank you to our event sponsors


United Nations Federal Credit Union
Creative Associates International, Inc.

Community Foundation for the National Capital Region 

The Institute for Inclusive Security

Northern Trust

American University Washington College of Law

Hansen Business Solutions

Kay Spiritual Life Center - American University

oodrow Wilson House

F. Allen "Tex " and Jeanie Harris 
A. Edward Elmendorf
Burt Wides
Dr. Isobel Coleman
Ambassador Donald T. Bliss (retired)
Sarah Degnan Kambou and Gerard Kambou