2019 InterAction Award Winners

2019 InterAction Award Winners

Every year, InterAction’s annual awards recognizes outstanding leaders within the global development and humanitarian sectors. These individuals are leaders who are shaping the evolution of the U.S. NGO sector and who have made significant contributions to defend and advance the rights of people living in the poorest and most vulnerable communities across the globe.

Here are our 2019 award winners:

Co-Recipients Carrie Hessler-Radelet and Abby Maxman – Julia Vadala Taft Outstanding Leadership Award

The Julia Vadala Taft Outstanding Leadership Award honors outstanding and distinguished leaders in the U.S. NGO community whose career and vision has transcended their own organization by raising the influence and effectiveness of the U.S. NGO sector as a whole. The award is named for a distinguished American humanitarian and celebrates the very best of who we are as a sector. Julia’s leadership has and will continue to inspire many in the NGO community as she mobilized its members to curb poverty and relieve human suffering abroad.

InterAction is pleased to announce that this year’s co-recipients are Carrie Hessler-Radelet, President and CEO, Project Concern International and Abby Maxman, President and CEO, Oxfam America.  Since 2017, Carrie and Abby have led the NGO sector in the collective effort to create a safe environment where our staff and program beneficiaries thrive.  They have championed the prevention of sexual harassment and abuse, instilled survivor-centered approaches and ensured that that training, safeguarding and reporting mechanisms are in place within their organizations.  As InterAction Task Force Co-chairs, their leadership was instrumental in the task force crafting 16 organizational commitments for InterAction’s CEO Pledge on Preventing Sexual Abuse, Exploitation, and Harassment by and of NGO Staff which now has 127 signatories.

Janeth Marquez, CARITAS Venezuela – Humanitarian Award

The Humanitarian Award recognizes an individual or individuals whose work reflects important leadership qualities in humanitarian practice such as courage, initiative, creativity, grace under pressure, integrity and sacrifice.

Janeth Marquez, the director of Caritas Venezuela, has led the largest humanitarian response in the country. Facing food shortages, a devastated health system and social unrest, Janeth has led Caritas Venezuela and its 100 staff to overcome personal and professional obstacles as they bring critical—in some cases, life-saving—food and medicine to Venezuelans across10 states and the capital.  Under Janeth’s leadership, Caritas continues to provide lifesaving assistance across Venezuela in the face of significant obstacles, including government interference and a decentralized supply chain.

Rafael Khusnutdinov, Save the Children – Distinguished Security Achievement Award

The Distinguished Security Achievement Award recognizes exceptional performance in the field of NGO security. It is awarded to those who through their exceptional efforts have helped enable programming to continue in extremely challenging security conditions and provided safety and security services that have gone above and beyond their duties and responsibilities.

Rafael Khusnutdinov is the Senior Director of Global Safety and Security at Save the Children. His work with Save the Children helped establish and expand programs for children and families affected by conflict, as well as promote good practice by integrating security perspectives within programs, crisis management, operations, and humanitarian response. Rafael is an active member of various security groups and forums, lending his expertise to the security culture of the humanitarian, development and aid sectors.

Women’s Refugee Commission – Disability Inclusion Award

InterAction established the Disability Inclusion Award in collaboration with Mobility International USA in 2009 in honor of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD). Recipients of the award demonstrate a commitment to ensure the full inclusion of people with disabilities and approach disability as an important cross-cutting issue, which uses a human rights lens throughout all aspects of their organization’s work.

The Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) works to improve the lives and protect the rights of women, children and youth displaced by crisis and conflict, including those with disabilities. WRC has been at the forefront of researching the needs of this group, identifying solutions, and advocating change in humanitarian policy and practice. Since WRC’s first global research into the situation of refugees with disabilities resulted in the 2007 Disabilities Among Refugees and Conflict-affected Population report, they have collaborated with a wide range of stakeholders to advance the rights of displaced women, children and youth globally; produced tools and resources for Women’s Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs), and they have undertaken research on GBV prevention among sub-populations of refugees in urban settings in addition to research into the resilience-based approaches in humanitarian action and the implications for inclusion of women, children and youth with disabilities.

The Awards will be presented on Wednesday, June 12 at 5:30pm at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.

For more information on Forum, please visit https://www.interaction.org/forum-2019/.