Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to Receive IRC's Freedom Award
The award will be announced at the IRC's annual Freedom Award Benefit Dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 8, at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York.
Johnson-Sirleaf will not be able to attend, but in remarks taped earlier, she said she was grateful that the award would spotlight Liberia, which was founded by freed American slaves and became Africa's first independent republic in 1847. Because of its past, Johnson-Sirleaf said Liberians had a unique relationship with the United States. "As Liberia goes through the process of renewal and reconstruction to become ever more self- reliant, I am hopeful that this special relationship will grow even stronger," she said.
Other honorees this year include Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, who will receive the Excellence in Media Award, and Pfizer Inc., which is being given the Corporate Responsibility Award.
Tom Brokaw, former managing editor and anchor of the NBC Nightly News, will be master of ceremonies at the event, which will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution. Also attending and taking part in a discussion with Brokaw will be Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina. Other speakers will include author Kati Marton, an IRC overseer who fled Hungary as a child for the United States; and John C. Whitehead, a past Freedom Award honoree and an IRC board member.