InterAction Awards Banquet

InterAction will host its 2017 Awards Banquet on Wednesday, June 21. The evening honors the legacy of aid workers who lost their lives in service this past year, acknowledges the achievement of individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the world's poor and most vulnerable people, and recognizes individuals and organizations that support InterAction.

The Awards Banquet will be held at the Convention Center from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.

The Awards Banquet Program

  • Dinner & Open Conversation
  • Welcome & Opening Remarks
  • Keynote Address
  • Memorial Presentation 
  • Award Presentations
  • Closing Remarks

The following awards will be presented at the banquet:

Julia Vadala Taft Outstanding Leadership Award

The Julia Vadala Taft Outstanding Leadership Award honors outstanding and distinguished leaders in the community of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organizations. The award celebrates the leadership of an individual within this community whose career and vision has transcended his or her own organization by raising the influence and profile of the U.S. NGO sector as a whole. It celebrates the very best of who we are as a sector.

Since 1994, Neal Keny-Guyer has served as Chief Executive Officer of the global humanitarian organization Mercy Corps. Under his leadership, Mercy Corps has grown into one of the most respected international relief and development agencies in the world, with ongoing operations in more than 40 countries, a staff of nearly 5,000, and global revenue of roughly $450 million. Fast Company ranked Mercy Corps one of the most innovative social-change organizations in the world and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof calls Mercy Corps “a first-rate aid group.”

Keny-Guyer holds a B.A. in Public Policy and Religion from Duke University, a master’s degree in Public and Private Management (M.P.P.M.) from Yale University, and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Portland State University, Oregon.

A former trustee of the Yale Corporation, Keny-Guyer remains very involved with the University, serving on the Yale President’s Council on International Affairs and the Board of Advisers of the Yale School of Management (SOM). He is chairman of the board of InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based international NGOs; a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the Humanitarian System.

Keny-Guyer lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, Alissa, who is a state legislator. They have three adult children.

Humanitarian Award

InterAction's Humanitarian Award recognizes an individual or individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in support of NGOs and the people they serve in the developing world. Our community’s national staff and counterparts often surmount significant obstacles to carry out their work effectively in their own home countries or regions. InterAction seeks to honor these individuals for their bravery and commitment to the most vulnerable populations in their own communities.

Marielena HincapiéMarielena Hincapié is the executive director of the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), the main organization dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of low-income immigrants in the U.S. Under her leadership, NILC has grown to be one of the premier immigrants’ rights organizations, strategically using a combination of litigation, policy, communications, and alliance-building strategies to affect social change.

Before joining NILC, Hincapié worked for the Legal Aid Society of San Francisco’s Employment Law Center, where she founded the Center’s Immigrant Workers’ Rights Project. She holds a juris doctor degree from Northeastern University School of Law, served on the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration, and is currently a member of the Jobs with Justice, Welcome.US, and Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) boards of directors.

Among the awards Hincapié has received are Univision’s Corazón Award, the Latina of Influence award from Hispanic Lifestyle, the National Public Service Award from Stanford Law School, and was selected as a Prime Mover Fellow by the Hunt Alternatives Fund. She also recently served as the Northeastern University School of Law Daynard Distinguished Visiting Fellow and the Practitioner-in-Residence at the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

Hincapié immigrated as a child from Medellín, Colombia, to Central Falls, Rhode Island. She is the youngest of 10 children.

Omar Jadwat

Omar Jadwat directs the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, which is dedicated to expanding and enforcing the civil liberties and civil rights of immigrants, including refugees, and to combating public and private discrimination against them. Since its founding in 1985, IRP has been at the forefront of almost every major legal struggle on behalf of immigrants’ rights.

Jadwat joined IRP as a Skadden Fellow in 2002 and has litigated numerous groundbreaking cases, including suits challenging the Trump administration’s Muslim ban; Arizona’s SB 1070 and other state and local anti-immigrant laws; and ICE’s immigration detainers. He graduated from NYU Law School and was a law clerk for Judge John G. Koeltl of the Southern District of New York. He is also an adjunct professor at NYU Law.


Disability Inclusion Award

The Disability Inclusion Award honors member agencies that have worked toward greater disability inclusion in programs/management and have expanded leadership opportunities for people with disabilities. The award recognizes our own community’s innovative efforts to promote disability inclusion as a human rights issue.

Judith (Judy) HeumannJudith (Judy) Heumann was the Special Advisor for International Disability Rights at the U.S. Department of State from 2010-2017, a new position created by the Obama administration.  She had responsibility for advancing the human rights of disabled people around the world. In this capacity, she and her team helped State Department employees in the U.S. and around the world learn about the work of Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) and governments and to advance knowledge to improve the rights of people with disabilities.

Heumann served as the first Director of the District of Columbia’s Department of Disability Services and as the first Senior Adviser on Disability and Development at the World Bank. She was the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services at the U.S. Department of Education under the Clinton administration from 1993-2001.

For more than 20 years Heumann worked to help establish numerous DPOs including Disabled in Action in New York City, the first Center for Independent Living in Berkeley, California, and the World Institute on Disability in Oakland, California. She has served on numerous boards of directors and has received awards for her work to advance the rights of disabled people around the world. She is a frequent lecturer at universities and conferences and recently did a TEDx talk.  

Security Advisory Group Distinguished Achievement Award

The InterAction Security Advisory Group Distinguished Achievement Award recognizes exceptional performance by NGO security professionals, particularly those who significantly contribute to NGOs' abilities to protect their personnel, assets, information, or operations overseas.

Mohammad Shoaib AlamyarMohammad Shoaib Alamyar is the Operations Room Supervisor for CARE Afghanistan (Pamlarana) and a member of the country office’s Risk Management Unit. Shoaib manages all operations room activities at CARE’s offices in Kabul. He is an experienced trainer and delivers safety and security training to staff on how to use safe areas. He leads office lockdown drills and is part of the leadership team that assesses and manages operational risks, supporting program continuity and sustainability.

In September 2016, after a truck bomb detonated outside of the CARE compound in Kabul and three armed men laid siege to the compound, Shoaib played an instrumental role in assuring that all 11 CARE staff trapped inside survived the attack, putting himself at personal risk out of concern for his colleagues.

A native of Kabul, Shoaib and his family left Afghanistan during the civil war in the 1990s and lived in Pakistan, where he graduated from Harvard Model School in Peshawar. He returned to Kabul and earned a degree in business administration from Kardan University. Shoaib, who has worked at CARE for 13 years, lives in Kabul with his wife and two children.

Highlights from:  Forum 2018 | Forum 2017 | Forum 2016 | Forum 2015 | Forum 2014 | Forum 2013