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Champions for Change – 2016 Honorees

This year, to celebrate 40 years of research empowering women and girls, ICRW will confer the Champions for Change Awards on Melinda French Gates, Co-Chair and Trustee, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, U.S. Supreme Court, Associate Justice; and Jill Sheffield, Founder & President, Women Deliver. In addition, the inaugural Paula Kantor Award for Excellence in Research – launched to honor the legacy of former ICRW colleague Paula Kantor while recognizing the work of a young, promising researcher – has been awarded to Dr. Soumya Gupta.

Melinda French Gates
Co-Chair and Trustee, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg
U.S. Supreme Court
Associate Justice
The 2016 Champions for Change Leadership Award to Melinda French Gates for her unwavering commitment to ensuring that every person has the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life. The Award also recognizes her leadership in galvanizing global momentum toward the empowerment of women and girls around the world.  The 2016 Champions for Change Award for Vision to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, for her unwavering commitment to women’s health, well being, and equal citizenship stature, and her courageous vision for legal systems that respect the dignity of all humankind.
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Dr. Soumya Gupta
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Tata-Cornell Agriculture and Nutrition Initiative at Cornell University
Jill Sheffield
Founder & President, Women Deliver
The inaugural Paula Kantor Award for Excellence in Field Research to Dr. Soumya Gupta, for her critical research assessing the empowerment status of women in India in relation to agricultural determinants and nutritional outcomes. The 2016 Champions for Change Lifetime Achievement Award to Jill Sheffield, for her enduring dedication to women’s reproductive rights and lasting contributions to the improvement of maternal health across the world.
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Dr. Geeta Rao Gupta
President Emerita, ICRW, former Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF

geeta

The 2016 Champions for Change Award for Innovation to Dr. Geeta Rao Gupta
for her steadfast leadership throughout her career in securing the health and wellbeing
of women and girls, including her twenty-one years of dedicated service to ICRW.
Her groundbreaking research on the causes of women’s vulnerability to HIV changed
the face of the global fight against AIDS and her pioneering spirit established ICRW’s
presence in India and built its reputation across Asia and the world.

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The Champions for Change Award celebrates the possibilities of a gender equitable world and honors the leaders and visionaries who are helping to make that world a reality. Past Champions for Change celebrations have featured awardees of the highest caliber, including: The Rt Hon William Hague MP, Leader of the House of Commons and Former Foreign Secretary of Great Britain (2015); Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Institute for Women, Peace and Security, Georgetown University (2013); Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, US State Department (2012); and Bobbi Silten, Gap Foundation (2011). The Paula Kantor Award for Excellence in Field Research is designed to honor the legacy of former ICRW colleague Paula Kantor, who was killed while working in Afghanistan, while honoring the work of a young, promising researcher.