A partner of Newsweek and The Daily Beast's annual Women in the World summit, Vital Voices is a non-profit, international organization dedicated to empowering talented women and fostering their leadership potential. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the organization's Global Leadership Awards, where social entrepreneurs, businesswomen, human rights leaders, and political figures from around the world are recognized for encouraging democracy and creating greater economic opportunity within their community. This year's honorees will be recognized at Washington's John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on April 12th, and they will include Sunitha Krishnan of India, an anti-human trafficking pioneer, and Fatema Akbari of Afghanistan, whose carpentry business promotes financial independence for women in her community. Presenters for the 2011 awards include Newsweek and The Daily Beast editor-in-chief Tina Brown, Sally Field, Nicholas Kristof, Michele Norris, Diane von Furstenberg, and Brian Williams.
WATCH VIDEO of two award-winners from years' past, whose unique visions have helped create a better world.
Maria Pacheco, 2007
Vital Voices honored Maria Pacheco, a biologist and organic farmer from Guatemala, with a 2007 Leadership Award that inspired her to create a Vital Voices chapter in Guatemala. She has since spread Vital Voices' mission throughout Central America, connecting and empowering thousands of women in the region.
Kakenya Ntaiya, 2008
Kakenya Ntaiya, an educator and women's activist from Kenya, won the Vital Voices Global Leadership Award in 2008. She has since gone on to build the first primary boarding school for girls in a Maasai village, helping to provide a younger generation with the same educational opportunities she had.