In place of what has previously been an in-person prize ceremony and symposium, this year, the Hilton Foundation will once again host a virtual prize ceremony and an online conversation series in partnership with Devex under the theme "The Future of Humanitarian Action: The Power of Communities."
Record forced displacement; growing inequality; catastrophic natural disasters exacerbated by climate change; the fallout from a once-in-a-generation global pandemic; and protracted armed conflicts raging on multiple fronts — with this context, we'll ask whether the humanitarian system that exists today is fit for purpose? This series brings together thought leaders from around the world to discuss these pressing humanitarian issues, and to look at the ways we must build our future together, as well as the unique paradigm shift required to make the shifting and sharing of power a reality.
The 2021 Hilton Humanitarian Prize recipient is CAMFED, the Campaign for Female Education.
Welcome and introduction by Soledad O’Brien
Opening remarks by Hawley Hilton McAuliffe, chair of the Board, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
A performance and message from Angélique Kidjo, four-time Grammy Award winner and UNICEF ambassador
Remarks by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, former United Nations under-secretary-general and executive director of UN Women
CAMFED award video
Hilton Prize presentation by Peter Laugharn, president and CEO, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
Acceptance remarks by Angeline Murimirwa, executive director – Africa, CAMFED
The next frontier for girls' education.
• A discussion with CAMFED
How philanthropy can support the power of communities.
• A discussion with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
Closing remarks by Soledad O’Brien
Angeline Murimirwa, one of the first young women supported by CAMFED to go to school in Zimbabwe. She is a founding member of the CAMFED Association — the pan-African network of 178,000 women leaders educated with CAMFED support, working to secure every girl's right to quality education. As CAMFED-Africa’s executive director, Murimirwa brings the expertise of young women once excluded from education to inform policy and strategy at every level. Murimirwa has been recognized as one of the 100 most influential women by the BBC. She was awarded the 2020 Yidan Prize for Education Development together with her co-executive Lucy Lake. She is a member of the Council of Luminaries, bringing together the brightest minds to build a better world through education.
Lydia Wilbard’s life experience resonates strongly with that of the young women reached by CAMFED programs. Completing her secondary education against great personal odds, she ran several successful businesses to fund her high school and university education. As a founding member of the CAMFED Association in Tanzania, established in 2005, Wilbard became an active business mentor and leader within the leadership network. Awarded a competitive scholarship by the government of the United States, she earned a Master’s in Public Health at Johns Hopkins University and returned to Tanzania to rejoin CAMFED. Her role was expanded to co-director at CAMFED Tanzania in 2012, and national director in 2017.
Fiona Mavhinga is one of the first young women to complete her education with CAMFED support in Zimbabwe. She is a lawyer, and heads the strategic development of the CAMFED Association — the powerful pan-African network of women leading action on the big challenges their countries face — from child marriage, and girls’ exclusion from education, to climate change. Mavhinga experienced firsthand the continued vulnerability of young women who manage to complete secondary school in rural Africa, but lack access to resources, skills training, and opportunities, and these experiences contributed to her understanding of the role of the association’s key founder. She is now leading on ways to grow and replicate this powerful model for systemic change.
Four-time Grammy Award winner Angélique Kidjo is a creative force with 14 albums to her name. Time magazine has called her "Africa's premier diva”; The BBC, Forbes magazine, and The Guardian have all highlighted her importance to the people of the African continent. She is the recipient of the 2015 Crystal Award given by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the 2016 Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award, and the 2018 German Sustainability Award. As a performer, Kidjo has mixed the West African traditions of her childhood in Benin with elements of American R&B, funk, and jazz, as well as influences from Europe and Latin America. Kidjo also advocates on behalf of children as a UNICEF ambassador and has created her own charitable foundation Batonga, dedicated to supporting the education of young girls in Africa.
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is the former United Nations under-secretary-general and executive director of UN Women. She brought a wealth of experience and expertise to this position, having devoted her career to issues of human rights, equality, and social justice. She was previously a teacher in South Africa and worked with World YWCA in Geneva where she established the first global young women’s program. Mlambo-Ngcuka received her bachelor’s degree from the National University of Lesotho and a master’s degree from the University of Cape Town in 1998. She took a gender planning course at University College London, and completed her Ph.D. on Education and Technology at the University of Warwick in 2013. From 2005-2008, she served as deputy president of South Africa; as the minister of minerals and energy from 1999 to 2005; and as deputy minister in the Department of Trade and Industry from 1996-1999. She was a part of South Africa’s first democratic government as a member of Parliament from 1994-1996. She is the founder of Umlambo Foundation which assists with enhanced performance in poor schools and digital literacy and is a trustee of The Mandela Rhodes Foundation.
Hawley Hilton McAuliffe serves as chair of the board at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, having joined the board as a director in 2006. Her additional current board positions include chair of the Board Executive and Nominating Committees, and member of the Investment Committee; past board positions include chair of the Prize Committee and member of the Generations in Giving Committee. For nine years, she was part of the international jury that selects the recipient of the annual Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize and previously served on the governing board of the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters. She is the daughter of Barron Hilton and granddaughter of Conrad N. Hilton. McAuliffe is an active, community-based volunteer and philanthropist. She has worked on behalf of many organizations, including the Archdiocese of New York, Irvington House, New York Lying-In Hospital, and Theaterworks USA, as well as a hospice volunteer in New York and Florida. She also serves as a co-chair for the Order of Malta American Association in southeast Florida, where she organizes spiritual activities and meal service for those in need through St. Ann’s Place.
Peter Laugharn serves as president and CEO at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Laugharn is a passionate leader with 25 years of foundation and nonprofit experience internationally, with a focus on improving the well-being of vulnerable children. Previously, he was executive director of the Firelight Foundation, which identifies, funds, and supports promising African nonprofits serving vulnerable children and families in the areas of education, resilience, and health. Before Firelight, Laugharn served as executive director of the Netherlands-based Bernard van Leer Foundation, the mission of which is to improve opportunities for children up to age 8 who are growing up in socially and economically difficult circumstances. He began his career at Save the Children, where he worked in a variety of roles. A graduate of Stanford and Georgetown Universities, Laugharn holds a Ph.D. in Education from the University of London. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco from 1982 to 1984. Laugharn was a co-founder of the International Education Funders Group and the Coalition for Children Affected by AIDS, and he is a member of the board of the Pacific Council on Institutional Policy.
Marshall Stowell oversees the Partnerships, Advocacy and Communications Department at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. In this role, he leads a range of efforts that are designed to improve policies, unlock funding, and drive greater impact of the foundation’s grantmaking. Stowell and his team approach this work through targeted strategic communications; program-related advocacy efforts; and catalytic multi-stakeholder partnerships that promote the engagement of people with lived expertise to ensure their involvement in decisions that affect their lives and advance lasting, equitable change for their communities. Before joining the foundation, Stowell spent 14 years at the global health organization Population Services International, where he led global communications and advocacy efforts across 50 countries in the areas of malaria, family planning, HIV, diarrheal disease, pneumonia, and sanitation.
Maggie Miller oversees all aspects of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, from the nomination and evaluation process to the final selection of recipients by an independent international panel of jurors. She also leads the planning and execution of the annual humanitarian symposium and accompanying ceremony honoring the new prize recipient. Before joining the foundation, Miller spent nearly a decade in public relations managing and executing programs for clients including the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Uncle Ben’s® Rice, Seeds of Change, Mattel, The Broad Foundation, Skirball Cultural Center, the Los Angeles Business Council, First 5 California ,and the Los Angeles Unified School District. Miller also worked at the Milken Family Foundation, where she led national media campaigns and managed programs for Milken Scholars and the Foundation’s Festival for Youth community service initiative. She graduated magna cum laude from Kenyon College with a Bachelor of Arts in English.
Soledad O’Brien is an award-winning documentarian, journalist, speaker, author, and philanthropist, who founded Soledad O’Brien Productions, a multi-platform media production company dedicated to telling empowering and authentic stories on a range of social issues. She anchors and produces the Hearst TV political magazine program "Matter of Fact with Soledad O'Brien" and is a correspondent for HBO’s “Real Sports.” She is also host of the Quake Media podcast “Very Opinionated with Soledad O’Brien. She has anchored shows on CNN, MSNBC, and NBC, and reported for Fox, A&E, Oxygen, Nat Geo, the PBS NewsHour, WebMD, and Al Jazeera America, among others. O’Brien’s work has been recognized with different awards: three Emmy awards, two George Foster Peabody awards, three Gracie Awards — which honors women in media — two Cine Awards for her work in documentary films and also with an Alfred I. DuPont Award. With her husband, she is founder of the PowHERful Foundation that helps young women get to and through college.
Raj Kumar is the founding President & Editor-in-Chief of Devex, the media platform for the global development community. A social enterprise dedicated to ensuring global development efforts do more good for more people, Devex was born in 2000 when Raj was a graduate student at the Harvard Kennedy School. Today, there are 100+ Devexers around the world serving a global audience of more than one million aid workers and development professionals. Beginning as a kid in Kerala, India, Raj has witnessed firsthand determined and courageous development work in over 50 countries - it’s what drives the Devex mission to “Do Good. Do It Well." He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Save the Children Board of Trustees, a media leader and former humanitarian council chair for the World Economic Forum, and has interviewed on-camera and on-stage hundreds of global luminaries on the most important challenges of our time. Raj is the author of the book "The Business of Changing the World," a go-to primer on the ideas, people, and technology disrupting the aid industry.
"Education means a lot to me because as an upcoming philanthropist ... I would like to empower women who are not able to cater for themselves. Involve [them] in skills training and businesses, so they will be able to fend for themselves."
Fadila, a CAMFED-supported secondary student in Ghana
Record forced displacement, growing inequality, catastrophic natural disasters exacerbated by climate change, the fallout from a once-in-a generation global pandemic, and protracted armed conflicts raging on multiple fronts. In this context, is the humanitarian system that exists today fit-for-purpose? This series brings together thought leaders from around the world to discuss the pressing humanitarian issues, and to look at the ways we must build our future together.
Inaugurated in 1996, as a tribute to Conrad N. Hilton’s lifetime of international humanitarian efforts, the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize is the world’s largest annual humanitarian award and is presented to a nonprofit organization judged to have made exemplary and extraordinary contributions toward alleviating human suffering.