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While we were not able to gather in person for the 2020 Rescue Dinner, we wanted to take a moment to recognize your support and bring a bit of the event home to you. We are so grateful for the solidarity shown this year amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, which has allowed the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to continue our work helping refugees and displaced peoples rewrite their own stories.

With the IRC by their side, millions of people striving to survive the world's worst crises are turning headlines to hope. Learn more about the video.

2020 Freedom Award recipient

The Freedom Award is presented annually to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions in support of the world’s most vulnerable people and have championed the cause of liberty, individual freedom and dignity.

The Honorable Samantha Power

The IRC is pleased to present the Freedom Award to Samantha Power for her exemplary leadership as a human rights activist, public servant and foreign policy scholar.

Samantha Power
2020 Freedom Award recipient Ambassador Samantha Power

Ambassador Power is the Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and the William D. Zabel Professor of Practice in Human Rights at Harvard Law School.

From 2013 to 2017, she served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and as a member of President Barack Obama's cabinet. Before that she served on the National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights. Ambassador Power began her career as a journalist, reporting from places such as Bosnia, East Timor, Kosovo, Rwanda, Sudan, and Zimbabwe, and she was the founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School.

Ambassador Power's book, "A Problem from Hell": America and the Age of Genocide won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003.  She is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers Chasing the Flame: One Man's Fight to Save the World (2008) and The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir (2019), which was named one of the best books of 2019 by the New York Times, Washington Post, The Economist, NPR and TIME.

Ambassador Power earned a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. She immigrated to the United States from Ireland at the age of 9 and today lives in Concord, Massachusetts with her husband Cass Sunstein and their two young children.

I don’t lose hope in an age of impunity because the IRC is an example of what individuals are doing everywhere in the world right now ... and doing so in the name of a principle that has defined the IRC’s work since the very beginning, and that is dignity.

We are proud to honor Ambassador Power, who continually inspires many of us in the humanitarian sector to raise our ambitions and achieve more for vulnerable people affected by war, disaster and political conflict.

Watch Ambassador Power's acceptance remarks.

2020 John C. Whitehead Humanitarian Award recipients

The John C. Whitehead Humanitarian Award was created in recognition of the half-century of transformational leadership and support that Mr. Whitehead dedicated to the IRC. It is presented annually to individuals who embody his spirit and passion for humanitarian causes.

Judith and Russell Carson

John C. Whitehead Humanitarian Award recipients Judith and Russell Carson

The IRC is pleased to present the John C. Whitehead Humanitarian Award to Judith and Russell Carson. For more than 20 years, Mr. and Mrs. Carson have supported our work around the world. They have championed the security, prosperity and dignity of thousands of refugee, asylee and immigrant populations throughout the United States, as well as ensured the welfare of those displaced by crisis and disaster across the globe.

The Carson Family Charitable Trust invests in education, health care, medical research, poverty alleviation, culture and quality of life. In addition to supporting IRC, Mr. Carson, a private equity investor, is chairman emeritus of the Rockefeller University. He holds board and leadership roles with the New York Genome Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York-Presbyterian Hospital System, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Columbia Business School, Dartmouth College and more.

Mrs. Carson, an arts educator, is the founder and director of "Learning to Look," a program that teaches art appreciation to inner-city children of the Archdiocese of New York. She has lent philanthropic leadership to the Inner-City Scholarship Endowment Fund, the Metropolitan Opera, the American Red Cross of Greater New York, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York Public Radio, the Central Park Conservancy and more.

The IRC is the perfect definition of a private/public partnership … the best possible answer to trying to help the nearly 80 million people around the world who have been driven from their homes.

Collectively, Carson family members serve on 15 boards of non-profit organizations in New York City and are committed to distributing Carson Family Charitable Trust funds by 2050.

We are humbled and honored to have the support of Mr. and Mrs. Carson and are inspired by their compassionate commitment to refugees and displaced families.

Read Mr. and Mrs. Carson's acceptance remarks.


Thank you!

Because of your generous support, the IRC can provide relief to families around the world affected by crisis. None of this work would be possible without you—especially at this critical moment in history.



Honorees' Circle ($450,000+)

BlackRock, Inc.
Judith & Russell Carson

Rescue Builder ($250,000+)

Katherine Farley & Jerry I. Speyer
Carole & Timothy Geithner
Ruth & David Levine
Christy & John Mack
Gillian M. Shepherd & Eduardo G. Mestre
Jillian & Peter Muller
Gail & Michael O'Neill
Sandra & Tony Tamer
Catherine & Tracy Wolstencroft

Rescue Patron ($100,000+)

FX & Natasha de Mallmann
Antoinette Delruelle & Joshua L. Steiner
Cheryl & Blair Effron
Vicki & David Foley
Maria Hummer-Tuttle & Robert Tuttle
The Ronald and Jo Carole Lauder Foundation
Morgan Stanley
Kathleen & Omar Saeed
Eric Schmidt
Marilyn & Jim Simons
The Starr Foundation/Starr International Foundation
Lise Strickler & Mark Gallogly
Sally Susman & Robin Canter
Ikbal & Ercument Tokat

Rescue Sponsor ($50,000+)

American Express
Jane & Alan Batkin
Leslie & George Biddle
Mary & David Boies
Andrew H. Brimmer
Andra & John Ehrenkranz
Kristin & Corydon Gilchrist
Golub Capital
Agnes Gund
JPMorgan Chase
Thomas Nides
Sarah & Peter O’Hagan
Anjali & Ashish Pant
The PepsiCo Foundation
Pfizer Inc
Kathleen M. Pike
Gideon Rose
Ruth & Arne Sorenson
Bradley Tusk
Joy Foundation on behalf of Leah Joy Zell

Rescue Partner ($25,000+)

Johanna & Laurent Alpert
Anne Bass & Julian Lethbridge
Drs. Georgette Bennett & Leonard Polonsky
Betsy Blumenthal & Jonathan Root
Tom & Meredith Brokaw
Georgia B. Gosnell
Laurie Lindenbaum & Bob Horne
HSBC Global Markets
Kulsoom Saeed & Aly S. Jeddy,
McKinsey & Company
Kathwari Family Foundation
Jennifer Lake & Donald Francis Donovan
Michaels Family Foundation on behalf of Alice & Lorne Michaels
Nancy & George Rupp
Anya & Albert I Salama
Pamela Saunders-Albin
Jonathan A. Schaffzin & Melissa E. Benzuly
Gillian Sorensen
George Soros
Stanley M. Street Philanthropic Foundation
Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.
Liv Ullmann
Warner Bros. Television Group
Yahoo Finance

Contributor ($10,000+)

Eurasia Group
Barbara & Peter Georgescu
J & AR Foundation
Jackie & Andrew Klaber
Rob Marks & Mary Shaw Halsey
Louise Shackelton & David Miliband
ZC & Tom Schick
Ambassador Louis and Marjorie Susman
Leslie Williams & James Attwood

(Listings as of June 29, 2020)