President Bill Clinton, Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Chelsea Clinton kicked off the 10th Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting with the Clinton Global Citizen Awards, hosted by Seth Meyers, of NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”
The awards, which honor outstanding individuals who exemplify global citizenship through their vision and leadership, recognized Greg Asbed and Lucas Benitez for their work on behalf of farm workers throughout the United States, Leonardo DiCaprio for his dedication to environmental causes and preservation efforts of the world’s oceans, Hayat Sindi for her work to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship among young people in the Middle East, Dr. Irwin Mark Jacobs for bringing the transformative power of wireless technology to underserved communities globally including developing women’s access to wireless technology and their economic empowerment, and President of the Republic of Kosovo Atifete Jahjaga for promoting reconciliation in the region and building Kosovo’s political and economic institutions to gain EU membership.
“These honorees represent some of the most visionary leaders in the world and embody what it means to be a true global citizen,” said President Bill Clinton. “Having brought together and lifted a nation, given a voice to marginalized populations, worked to protect our fragile environment, and equipped our next generation with the skills they need to succeed, I’m encouraged by their efforts and optimistic about our collective future.”
Leonardo DiCaprio, an award-winning actor and a four-time Academy Award nominee, has been an outspoken advocate for environmental issues throughout much of his career. In 1998, at the age of 24, DiCaprio established his foundation with the mission of protecting the Earth’s last wild places and implementing solutions to build a more harmonious relationship between humanity and the natural world. Through grantmaking, public campaigns, and media projects, DiCaprio has worked to bring much-needed attention and funding to three focus areas — protecting biodiversity, ocean and forest conservation, and climate change. Over the last several years, his foundation has rapidly scaled up its grantmaking operation, allocating over $10 million to projects that protect fragile ecosystems and key species around the globe, while also improving the lives of local communities. Recently, he led several innovative fundraising events, raising over $60 million for projects the foundation is developing and supporting. Additionally, in an effort to empower his fans to make a difference, DiCaprio uses digital media to inform and inspire the public, offering them ways to take action on an array of issues – from protecting sharks in California and Elephants in Africa to supporting the transition of our society to clean, renewable energy.
The event featured musical performances by Aloe Blacc, Natalie Merchant, Jason Mraz with special guests Raining Jane, Harlem Samba, Jeremy Ellis, and The Roots, with appearances by Madeleine Albright, Eva Longoria, Former All-Pro NFL Player and Chairman & Co-Founder of The Asomugha Foundation Nnamdi Asomugha, President and CEO of the World Wildlife Fund Carter Roberts and Randy Jackson, who served as music director for the event.
The Clinton Global Citizen Awards have honored outstanding individuals in civil society, philanthropy, public service, and the private sector who exemplify global citizenship through their vision, leadership, and impact in addressing global challenges since the first Clinton Global Citizen Awards in 2007.