November 30, 2018 - 10:51 AMT
Aurora Prize Selection Committee welcomes two new members

The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative has announced additions to the 2019 Selection Committee for the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity.

The Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity is a global humanitarian award established to recognize modern day heroes and the exceptional impact their actions have made on preserving human life and advancing humanitarian causes in the face of adversity. On behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors, an Aurora Prize Laureate is honored each year between 2015 and 2023, in remembrance of the eight years of the Armenian Genocide 1915-1923, with a US$100,000 grant as well as the unique opportunity to continue the cycle of giving by nominating organizations that inspired their work for a US$1,000,000 award.

During the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative’s Chronicle of Compassion event in Moscow, co-founder Ruben Vardanyan announced two new additions to the prestigious Selection Committee for the Aurora Prize. Joining the Committee are celebrated human rights advocate and campaigner John Prendergast as well as famed Moscow based conductor and patron of the arts, Valery Gergiev.

John Prendergast is a world renowned human rights activist and founder of the Enough Project, an initiative established to end genocide and crimes against humanity, as well as the Co-Founder with George Clooney of The Sentry, and board member of Not On Our Watch (NOOW). He has worked in and written extensively about pressing issues in Sudan, Darfur, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Valery Gergiev is a widely-respected conductor based in the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. He was a former Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and has performed in over 45 countries around the world. He founded the charitable Valery Gergiev Foundation to support the growth of artistic, social and cultural projects in Russia and promote young gifted performers and musical groups performing classical music.

The Aurora Prize Selection Committee includes Nobel Laureates Shirin Ebadi and Leymah Gbowee; former president of Ireland Mary Robinson; human rights activist Hina Jilani; former foreign minister of Australia and President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group Gareth Evans; former president of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo; Médecins Sans Frontières co-founder and former foreign minister of France Bernard Kouchner; Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London Professor Lord Ara Darzi; former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power; President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York Vartan Gregorian; and is co-chaired by Academy Award-winning actor and humanitarian George Clooney. The Selection Committee was, until his passing in 2016, co-chaired by Elie Wiesel, Nobel Laureate, Holocaust survivor and President of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity.