About the DvF Awards

The DVF Awards – Honoring Extraordinary Women

This year marks the seventh anniversary of the DVF Awards. The DVF Awards were created in 2010 by Diane von Furstenberg and the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation to honor and support extraordinary women who have had the courage to fight, the power to survive and the leadership to inspire. Women who have transformed the lives of others through their commitment, resources and visibility.

Two International Awards are given to women working within the Vital Voices network who, against the odds, are promoting tolerance and advancing the status of women in their respective countries. The People's Voice Award is chosen by popular vote from four nominees based in the United States. Voting is open to the public and the award is granted to the woman who receives the most votes. The Inspiration Award is given to a woman who has demonstrated exceptional strength, and is using her experience and influence to effect positive change. The Lifetime Leadership Award is given to an individual who has dedicated her entire life and body of work to instilling leadership, strength and courage in other women.

Each honoree will receive $50,000 from the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation to further her work at the organization with which she is affiliated, and will be recognized at an awards ceremony on Thursday, April 7 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on the occasion of the Women in the World conference.

  • The International Award
  • The People’s Voice Award
  • The Inspiration Award
  • The Lifetime Leadership Award

Meet the 2016 DvF Honorees

Meet the 2016 Honorees

Dr. Martine Rothblatt - The Lifetime Leadership Award

Dr. Martine Rothblatt - The Lifetime Leadership Award

Meet the other honorees


Martine Rothblatt is Chairman & Co-CEO of United Therapeutics Corporation and President & CEO of its Lung Biotechnology public benefit company. She previously created and led Sirius XM as its Chairman & CEO. She has JD and MBA degrees from UCLA and a Ph.D. in Medical Ethics from the Royal London School of Medicine & Dentistry. Her patented inventions cover aspects of satellite radio, prostacyclin biochemistry and cognitive software.

Martine’s activism began with leading the transgender community’s project to create a first-ever Health Law Standards for Transexualism, adopted by consensus on September 15, 1993. Thereafter, she led the International Bar Association’s Report to present the United Nations with a treaty to prohibit discrimination on the basis of genetic information, which was ultimately endorsed by the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1998 as the Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights. Her activism continued with the publication of her books, The Apartheid of Sex: A Manifesto on the Freedom of Gender and Unzipped Genes: Taking Charge of Baby-Making in the New Millennium, the first to lay out a detailed legal basis for the rights of people to marry and parent regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. Most recently she has focused her human rights work on respect for the dignity of people who must rely upon computerized prostheses due to advanced medical conditions.

Martine left SiriusXM to start her biotechnology company because no medicines were available to save the life of her daughter from 
a rare fatal illness, pulmonary arterial hypertension, and it remains one of the largest donors to research scientists and patient associations. Today nearly 30,000 patients with this disease, the large majority of whom are women in the prime of their life, are taking her medicines.

She is also in the forefront of creating an unlimited supply of transplantable organs and medicines for rare diseases. Within the past year she has obtained FDA approval for the first-ever treatment for neuroblastoma, a rare pediatric cancer, and she has led the effort to save the lives of over a dozen people by using
 a revolutionary technology that converts degraded and hence unusable donated organs into being healthy and transplantable. This technology has the potential to eliminate all waitlists for organ transplantation.

Martine believes that women’s empowerment is an essential, if not sufficient, basis for socio-economic development. When women’s talents shine, the entire environment around us brightens. As nurturers of life, either biologically or by gender affinity, women translate the potential of humanity into its best realization. In a very similar way, the part of each of our cells called ribosomes translate the potential of our DNA into its best realization as proteins. Without ribosomes, there is no life. Without women, there is no joy.


Maria Pacheco - The International Award

Maria Pacheco - The International Award

Meet the other honorees

President and Founder



“The key is to connect markets with the skills of women. Markets that provide opportunities for women are markets that will transform cycles of poverty into cycles of prosperity!”

Maria is co-founder of Wakami, a business dedicated to developing products and services that generate hope, income and prosperity for rural communities. Currently, under the Wakami brand, handmade fashion accessories produced by over 450 Guatemalan women are being exported to over 20 countries.

Maria serves as a consultant to both the private sector and to governmental entities on methods for bringing markets to rural regions. She was co-designer of a $60 million loan to Guatemala from the World Bank and the Inter-American Development bank to give market access to over 300 rural companies. She has also partnered with UN Foundation, UNDP, the private sector and others to implement her methodology.

Maria graduated from Cornell University under a Fulbright Scholarship. She serves on the Aspen Institute Leadership Initiative and was co-founder of the Guatemalan Vital Voices Chapter and Central American Network.

In 2007 Maria received the Vital Voices Washington Global Economic Development Award and in 2015 Wakami was awarded the Stephan Schmidheiny Award in Innovation in Production for Latin America.


Emily Greener - The People's Voice Award

Emily Greener - The People's Voice Award

Meet the other honorees

CEO and Co-Founder



“I AM THAT GIRL creates a space for girls to be exactly who they are in a world telling them who they are not.”

Hi. My name is Emily. I’m a girl. In 2008 I met another girl, Alexis, who created a space that was safe for me to be me – more honest and vulnerable than I’ve ever been – and my life changed forever. She asked me to join her, and I said yes.

We’re creating a new normal: a community where girls have permission to be who they are, instead of who they think they’re supposed to be. A world where girls lift each other up, have each other’s backs, and give each other permission to talk honestly about things that matter.

With over 175 local chapters and an online community of over 700,000, I AM THAT GIRL empowers, supports and educates an engaged and growing community of girls from across the globe to love and express themselves through online and offline programs and initiatives.

Our programs all address the emotional, mental and physical well-being of girls. We are shifting culture – raising the standards for how girls treat each other, themselves, and the world. Join us.

Agnes Igoye - The International Award

Agnes Igoye - The International Award

Meet the other honorees

“Traffickers are afraid when we unite in action! With our combined talents and resources we can rid this world 
of slavery!”

Agnes Igoye is Uganda’s Deputy National Coordinator for the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons and the Training Manager at the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control. A survivor of Uganda’s Civil War and the atrocities of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), Agnes’s childhood experiences shaped her life’s mission of being part of the solution to human trafficking. A member of the Clinton Global Initiative, Agnes speaks globally raising awareness about human trafficking, rehabilitates survivors and trains law enforcement. Since 2011, she has delivered over 92,000 text books for the education of vulnerable children in Uganda. She is the founder of The Huts for Peace Program, a community driven self-help initiative for women displaced, tortured, and subjected to gender-based violence by the LRA who are now rebuilding their communities using local materials. In addition to several global advisory roles, Agnes serves as Ambassador to “Let Girls Learn,” The White House and the Office of First Lady Michelle Obama and the U.S. Peace Corps’ collaboration to expand access to education for adolescent girls around the world.


Sarah Jones - The Inspiration Award

Sarah Jones - The Inspiration Award

Meet the other honorees

“I’m looking forward to the day we can retire the phrase ‘women’s empowerment,’ when it’s understood that being empowered, from within and without, is an essential component of womanhood.”

Sarah Jones is a Tony® and Obie Award-winning playwright and performer, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and long-standing advocate for
the empowerment of women and girls, working with organizations such as Equality Now, the Novo Foundation, the New York Women’s Foundation, and the Sadie Nash Leadership Project, where she is an honorary chairperson. Called “a master of the genre” by The New York Times, Sarah is known for her multi-character, one-person shows including the critically acclaimed Broadway hit Bridge & Tunnel, originally produced by Oscar-winner Meryl Streep. The product of a multi-racial, multicultural family and community, Sarah was educated at the United Nations International School and Bryn Mawr College, honing both her commitment to women’s equality and her empathy for the diverse experiences of people from all backgrounds. Sarah’s work includes multiple performances at the White House at the invitation of President and First Lady Obama, three main stage ‘TEDtalks’ and a new one-woman show, Sell/Buy/Date, premiering Fall 2016 at the Manhattan Theater Club.


DvF Awards Past Honorees

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