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About the DvF Awards

The DVF Awards – Honoring Extraordinary Women

This year marks the sixth 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 23 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 2015 DvF Honorees

Melanne Verveer - DvF Lifetime Leadership Award

Melanne Verveer - DvF Lifetime Leadership Award

Meet the other honorees

“I have seen first-hand how women are on the frontlines of change everywhere. I believe that we can do nothing less than to help them fast-forward their efforts to advance economic, political and social change, and in so doing create a better world for all.”

In 2009, President Obama nominated Melanne Verveer to be the first ever U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the Department of State. Ambassador Verveer spent the past four years working with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to coordinate foreign policy issues and activities relating to the political, economic and social advancement of women, traveling to nearly sixty countries. In such capacity, she worked to mobilize concrete support for women’s political and economic empowerment through public-private partnerships as well by working to fully integrate women’s participation and rights into U.S. foreign policy. President Obama also appointed Verveer to serve as U.S. Representative to the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

Today she is the Director of Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security. The Institute seeks to enhance national and global security by documenting the crucial role women play in peace-building and security through research and scholarship and by engaging global leaders from government, civil society and the private sector in conversations on the urgent issues of our times.

Ambassador Verveer is a co-founder of Seneca Women, a global leadership forum centered on the principle that advancing women and girls can fast forward us to a better world, and is a founding partner of Seneca Point Global, the global women strategy firm. She is the co-author of the forthcoming book, Fast Forward: How Women Can Achieve Power and Purpose.

Prior to her role at the State Department, Ambassador Verveer served as Chair and Co-CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international NGO she co-founded to invest in emerging women leaders. Prior to Vital Voices, she served as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady in the Clinton Administration. She was chief assistant to Hillary Clinton in her wide-ranging international activities to advance women’s rights and further social development, democracy and peace-building initiatives. She also led the effort to establish the President’s Interagency Council on Women and was instrumental in the adoption of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. Prior to her time in the White House, Ambassador Verveer served in a number of leadership roles in public policy organizations and as congressional staff.

Ambassador Verveer has a B.S. and M.S. from Georgetown University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission and the World Bank Advisory Council on Gender and Development. She has served as the 2013 Humanitas visiting professor at Cambridge University. In 2008, the President of Ukraine awarded her the Order of Princess Olga. She holds several honorary degrees and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the U.S. Secretary of State’s Award for Distinguished Service.

 

 

Gabrielle Giffords - DvF Inspiration Award

Gabrielle Giffords - DvF Inspiration Award

Meet the other nominees

“With Americans for Responsible Solutions, Mark and I are using our second chance at service to make our communities safer from gun violence.”

Former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords has become known across the country for her resilience in the face of violence, and for her consensus-building leadership in Congress.

Giffords was shot in the head at point blank range at a Congress on Your Corner event in Tucson on January 8, 2011. Stepping down from Congress in January 2012, Giffords said, “I will return, and we will work together for Arizona and this great country.”

Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, founded Americans for Responsible Solutions to encourage elected officials to stand up for the 2nd amendment and safer communities by communicating directly with the constituents that elect them.

The youngest woman ever elected to the Arizona State Senate, Giffords represented her community in the Arizona Legislature from 2000-2005, and in Congress from 2006-2012. She championed border security, energy independence, and the needs of military families and veterans. Consistently ranked as one of the most centrist legislators in Congress, she is a strong supporter of fiscal responsibility, bipartisanship, and government accountability.

Giffords holds a Master’s Degree from Cornell University and a B.A. from Scripps College where she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Chihuahua, Mexico.

 

 

 

Becky Straw & Jody Landers - DvF People’s Voice Award

Becky Straw & Jody Landers - DvF People’s Voice Award

Meet the other nominees

“Aid is appreciated, but a job has the power to move an entire family out of poverty forever.” —Becky Straw

Becky Straw is Co-Founder and CEO of The Adventure Project. After years working in international aid, she was burdened with the overwhelming reality of abject poverty. She became determined to empower people with the tools and education to become entrepreneurs and serve their own communities with improved health, decreased hunger, a safer environment and clean water. She helped launch the organization with the knowledge that people want the opportunity to thrive — not with a handout, but through dignified work.

In four years, the organization has employed 745 entrepreneurs in India, Haiti, Kenya, and Uganda, which include well mechanics, healthcare workers, farmers and stove masons. Together they serve over one million people each day.

When Jody Landers and her husband adopted their two youngest children from Sierra Leone, the experience opened their eyes, and confirmed the desire to see a world where the adoption of orphans is not necessary.

From a tiny town in Iowa, Jody helped launch the organization with a mission of getting likeminded people involved. Jody knows there are millions of people just like her — eager to help, if they just knew how. She has helped to rally over 5,000 grassroots supporters, raising over $1.3 million. Jody is the proud mother to six children.

 

 

 

 

Adimaimalaga Tafuna’I - DvF International Award

Adimaimalaga Tafuna’I - DvF International Award

Meet the other nominees

Co-Founder and Executive Director

Women in Business – Samoa

womeninbusiness.ws

“It’s important that we make trade fair and that we make sure that the benefits of any trade goes back to the people.”

To outsiders, Samoa’s lush forests represent tropical paradise. But for many Samoans, the remoteness of their Pacific nation results in a poverty of opportunity. Consequently, many Samoans work abroad and send part of their income home to their families. The unintended negative consequences of this dynamic can be devastating: with women often gone away to work for weeks at a time, young girls became more vulnerable to gender based violence by older men in their family. Visionary entrepreneur Adimaimalaga (Adi) Tafuna’i believes this dynamic can and should change. Globally minded, yet rooted in her community, she works to build sustainable economic opportunities for Samoan women and families, in a way that is good for people, prosperity and the planet. Adi was determined to enable women to earn an income in their local community in order to educate, feed and care for their families. She leverages local resources to connect Samoan women to global markets through a village-based approach to economic development. Adi’s organization, Women in Business, is currently working with 600 families across the Pacific.

 

 

 

 

Samar Minallah Khan- DvF International Award

Samar Minallah Khan- DvF International Award

Meet the other nominees

“I believe I serve as a role model for my children. Speaking the truth is now a habit, and there are more rewards than there are impediments.”

Samar Minallah Khan, a Pakistani Pashtun documentary filmmaker, journalist, human rights activist, and anthropologist uses advocacy, documentaries, and other forms of media to open the eyes of civil society, policymakers, and human rights activists to culturally-sanctioned forms of violence. She has tackled issues such as human trafficking, dowry, acid crimes, child domestic labor and forced marriage.

Through Ethnomedia, a non-governmental media initiative she founded, she launched a campaign against swara, wherein girls are given as compensation to end disputes — from murder to property quarrels. As a direct result of her work, swara was made illegal in 2014. But that was not enough. Samar sought to ensure this new law was enforced by working with the Pakistani Supreme Court and launching a nation-wide advocacy campaign.

Whatever the medium, Samar’s stories are human, relatable, and culturally appropriate, produced in regional languages and screened locally to engage all levels of society. Samar thus brings unseen images, untold stories and seldom heard voices to public attention — catalyzing political engagement, challenging the status quo, and irrevocably changing the conversation about women and girls in Pakistan.

 

 

 

 

DvF Awards Past Honorees

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