Hillary Clinton, ExxonMobil Foundation, Solar Sister and Thunderbird School honored at ICRW Gala

Press Release Subtitle

Awards Presented by Actor and Women’s Activist Ashley Judd

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) will tonight honor Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her lifelong dedication to advocating for the rights, protection and prosperity of women and girls everywhere during its 2012 Champions for Change Gala at the Ritz-Carlton.

The greatest challenges we face as a nation, whether building stability and peace around the world or countering violent extremism or promoting democracy and freedom, depend on the full participation of women and girls. That’s why I’ve put women and girls at the center of what we do at the State Department,” said Secretary Clinton, ICRW’s 2012 Champion for Change Leadership honoree in a pre-recorded video speech.

That means enhancing women’s civic and political participation, strengthening the role of women in their economies, bolstering their efforts in peace and security issues. It means taking on discrimination and marginalization and cultural attitudes that treat women and girls as second-class citizens. It also means building the partnerships and supporting the innovations that will help women around the world live up to their own God-given potentials, whether that’s developing new irrigation tools for women farmers in Tanzania or making clean cook stoves available to mothers in Indonesia. Much of that work begins with the research going on every day at ICRW,” she added.

ICRW, the world’s leading research institute on the many challenges faced by women and girls across the globe, presented its 2012 Champion for Change Vision award to the ExxonMobil Foundation for its deep commitment to helping women prosper and drive economic and social change in their communities. The ExxonMobil Foundation was also a key partner in Bridging the Gender Divide, a 2010 ICRW research study. It examined the ways in which technological innovations in fields like energy and agriculture can economically advance women around the world, from Indonesia to Uganda.

Champion for Change Innovator awards went to clean energy social enterprise, Solar Sister, and the Thunderbird Emerging Market Labs of the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Thunderbird collaborated with Solar Sister to help optimize its groundbreaking, market-based initiative in which rural women sell safe, energy-efficient solar lamps to other rural women as a means to boost their income and savings, benefiting families on both sides of the transaction. ICRW researchers have studied the scheme in Uganda and have provided guidance on how to monitor and evaluate its performance.

“It is a great privilege to work with people who devote their skills to ensure that evidence – not intuition, not ideology – informs policy and funding, and provides solutions to problems that others have yet to identify,” said ICRW President Sarah Degnan Kambou. “This evidence has helped innovators from a broad spectrum of backgrounds – development, government, corporate, academic and media – in their own efforts to advocate and work on behalf of – and alongside – the world’s poorest women and girls.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Sandy Won, (202), 742-1216, [email protected]

Mission Statement:

About ICRW
The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) is a global research institute with headquarters in Washington, D.C., and regional offices in Nairobi, Kenya, and New Delhi, India. We also have a project office in Mumbai. ICRW is comprised of social scientists, economists, public health specialists and demographers, all of whom are experts in gender relations. We are thought leaders driven by a passion to alleviate poverty and rectify injustice in the world. And we believe that women and girls – in collaboration with men and boys – are essential to the solutions. We know that when their quality of life improves, families are healthier and economies are stronger. ICRW’s mission is to empower women, advance gender equality and fight poverty in the developing world. To accomplish this, ICRW works with partners to conduct empirical research, build capacity and advocate for evidence-based, practical ways to change policies and programs. Learn more at www.icrw.org.

About ExxonMobil Foundation
ExxonMobil Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) in the United States. Globally, ExxonMobil and the ExxonMobil Foundation provide funding to improve basic education, promote women as catalysts for development, and combat malaria and other infectious diseases in developing countries. In 2010, together with its employees and retirees, ExxonMobil, its divisions and affiliates, and ExxonMobil Foundation provided $237 million in contributions worldwide, of which $110 million was dedicated to education. Additional information on ExxonMobil’s community partnerships and contribution programs is available at www.exxonmobil.com/community.

About Solar Sister
Solar Sister eradicates energy poverty by empowering women with economic opportunity. We combine the breakthrough potential of solar technology with a deliberately woman-centered direct sales network to bring light, hope and opportunity to even the most remote communities in rural Africa. Investing in women is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. Solar Sister creates sustainable businesses, powered by smart investment in women entrepreneurs. When you invest in a woman, you invest in the future. Join us by making an investment in a Solar Sister Entrepreneur today. For more about Solar Sister, please visit: www.solarsister.org.

About Thunderbird
Thunderbird is the world’s No. 1-ranked school of international business with more than 60 years of experience in developing leaders with the global mindset, business skills and social responsibility necessary to create real, sustainable value for their organizations, communities and the world. The Thunderbird Emerging Markets Laboratory (TEM Lab) is a six-week, full-time class guided by Thunderbird faculty. Teams of Thunderbird student consultants work with clients on-location to solve a specific business problem. TEM Lab targets areas with high growth potential in the emerging markets of Latin America, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, and Asia because they account for 80 percent of the world’s population and are experiencing significant social and economic infrastructure changes. For more about Thunderbird, please visit: www.thunderbird.edu.