About the DVF Awards

The DVF Awards was founded in 2010 by Diane von Furstenberg and The Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation to recognize and support extraordinary women who are dedicated to transforming the lives of other women; women who have had the courage to fight, the power to survive, and the leadership to inspire.

Honorees are celebrated annually at the DVF Awards ceremony at the United Nations in New York City, as part of the Women in the World conference.

Each year, five awards are bestowed to women who have demonstrated leadership, strength, and courage in their commitment to women’s causes. The Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation grants each honoree $50,000 for their non-profit organization in order to further their important work.

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Award Categories
  • The International Award
  • The Inspiration Award
  • The Lifetime Leadership Award
  • The People's Voice Award

2017 Honorees

Please join us in congratulating the extraordinary women honored at the 8th annual DVF Awards on April 6, 2017 at the United Nations in New York City.

You can also join us by visiting DVFAwards.com/Donate to contribute to their important work.


People’s Voice Award

Louise Dubé

Louise Dubé is Executive Director of iCivics. Founded by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in 2010, iCivics is the largest and most successful civic education resource in the country, with a goal of energizing children to get involved in their communities and the government.

This school year more than five million students in all 50 states used iCivics games and digital lessons to learn how our government and the law really work. iCivics is one of Fast Company’s 2017 Top 10 Most Innovative Education Companies, a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation’s Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, and has received Common Sense Media's highest possible ranking. All of iCivics’ resources are free to teachers and parents.

Dubé began her career as an attorney and holds a law degree from McGill University, as well as an MBA from Yale University. She has been recognized as a Draper Richards Kaplan Social Entrepreneur. Prior to iCivics, Dubé had a successful career in EdTech.

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International Award

Yoani Sánchez

Yoani Sánchez is Founder & Director of 14ymedio. She is a blogger, journalist and voice for change, pioneering a movement to establish a free press in Cuba. Yoani has been called a counterrevolutionary with dangerous, extreme views. Her blog about daily life in Cuba has generated controversy and a global following, and her latest project pushes the boundaries of what’s possible: she launched 14ymedio, the first and only independent digital news outlet in Cuba.

Yoani has been kidnapped, arrested, and beaten for her work. But she is not deterred; she says the government wouldn’t react if they weren’t fearful that she’s tapped into popular demand for freedom of expression. Yoani is redefining journalism in a country that has only known state-controlled media. For the first time, news is based on facts, not propaganda. Her courageous journalism transcends Cuba, offering an alternative way to view the Cuban reality – through the eyes of its people.

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International Award

Baljeet Sandhu

Baljeet Sandhu is the Founding Director of the Migrant & Refugee Children’s Legal Unit (MiCLU)* a specialist legal, policy and education hub protecting and promoting the rights of young people displaced by war, fleeing abuse and violence and trafficked for the purposes of exploitation and slavery.

Baljeet is recognized as one of the UK’s leading experts on children’s rights in the field of asylum and immigration law. She believes that the law can be used as an effective tool to create positive social change and achieve social justice. As a legal entrepreneur she has pioneered innovation in the legal sector by testing out new models of legal services for young people whilst spearheading access to justice and legal education strategies within the wider social sector. In 2011, Baljeet was awarded Young Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year, and in 2014, she was appointed as a UK Clore Social Leadership Fellow.

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Inspiration Award

Karlie Kloss

Karlie Kloss is an American supermodel and entrepreneur. Raised in St. Louis, Karlie was discovered at a local charity fashion show at age 13. Since then, Karlie has walked for top designers including Oscar de la Renta, Christian Dior, Alexander McQueen and Versace, among others. She is currently the face of several campaigns including Carolina Herrera, Adidas, Versace and Swarovski, and in 2014, was named the global ambassador for L’Oreal Paris.

Outside of modeling, Karlie founded Kode With Klossy in 2015 to engage, empower, and prepare women and girls to learn code, while expanding access to coding education and opportunities. This summer, Kode With Klossy launched a summer camp for young women ages 13 to 18 in New York, Los Angeles, and St. Louis, as well as a career scholarship for women ready to jumpstart their careers in code.

Karlie has also partnered with Momofuku Milk Bar on a vegan and gluten-free cookie line known as Klossies. Benefiting FEED and the CFDA, sales from Klossies have provided over one million meals to those in need. TIME magazine recognized Karlie for her entrepreneurship and philanthropic work on their 2016 TIME 100 list. To share each of these experiences with her millennial audience, Karlie recently launched her YouTube channel, Klossy.

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Lifetime Leadership Award

Dr. Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall was born on April 3, 1934, in London, England. From earliest childhood, she was fascinated by animals and the Africa she discovered in the storybooks of Tarzan and Dr. Doolittle. In 1957, she traveled to the Kenyan farm of a friend’s parents and met the famed anthropologist and paleontologist Dr. Louis Leakey. In 1960, at his invitation, she began her landmark study of chimpanzee behavior in what is now Tanzania. Her field research at what was then called Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve—most notably, her discovery that chimpanzees make and use tools—revolutionized the world of primatology and redefined the relationship between humans and animals.

In 1977, Dr. Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) to advance her vision and work around the world for generations to come. JGI continues the work at Gombe Stream Research Center and is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. It is widely recognized for building on Dr. Goodall’s groundbreaking community-centered approach to conservation and development programs in Africa, and for Roots & Shoots, the global environmental and humanitarian youth program. Dr. Goodall founded Roots & Shoots in 1991 with a group of Tanzanian students. The youth program connects more than 150,000 young people in nearly 100 countries, equipping them to take action to make the world a better place for people, animals, and the environment. Today, she travels an average 300 days per year, speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees, other environmental crises, and her reasons for hope. In her speeches and books, she emphasizes the interconnectedness of all living things and the collective power of individual action, urging her audiences to recognize their personal responsibility and ability to effect change. “Every individual matters,” she says. “Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.”

Her eloquent ability to raise public awareness and understanding has become instrumental in her work to save chimpanzees from extinction. She is the author of numerous books that have engaged an international readership in her life with chimpanzees. Her life and work are the subject of numerous television documentaries, as well as the 2002 film Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees, and the 2010 documentary, Jane’s Journey. Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet has produced a number of features on Dr. Goodall, including Jane Goodall’s Return to Gombe, Jane Goodall’s State of the Great Ape, When Animals Talk, Jane’s Goodall’s Heroes, and Almost Human.

Dr. Goodall is the recipient of many honors, including the Medal of Tanzania, the National Geographic Society’s Hubbard Medal, Japan’s prestigious Kyoto Prize, the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science, the UNESCO 60th Anniversary Medal, and the Gandhi/King Award for Nonviolence. In April 2002, Secretary General Kofi Annan named Dr. Goodall a United Nations Messenger of Peace. In a 2004 ceremony at Buckingham Palace, she became a Dame Commander of the British Empire. In 2006, she received France’s highest recognition, the Legion of Honor.

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People's Voice Award Nominees

Let your voice be heard.

The People’s Voice Award is chosen by popular vote and will be celebrated at the 8th annual DVF Awards to be held on April 6, 2017 at the United Nations in New York City.

This year’s nominees are:


Chitra Aiyar

Chitra Aiyar is Executive Director of Sadie Nash Leadership Project, a feminist social justice youth leadership program founded in 2001 to promote leadership and activism among young women. Annually, SNLP works to empower and equip over 800 low-income young women in New York City and Newark to be agents of change in their lives and communities. By increasing the participation of women in social, political, and economic decision-making, SNLP seeks to question and redefine the nature of leadership and promote perspectives and practices that are cooperative, accountable, ethical, and effective.

Prior to joining Sadie Nash, Aiyar was Senior Staff Attorney at African Services Committee, representing African and Caribbean immigrants at the intersection of poverty, HIV, and migration. Aiyar has also worked in international development at Grameen Foundation USA, supporting microcredit replication programs in East Africa and India, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Bangladesh, researching BRAC's expansion of accessible schooling for underprivileged girls in rural communities.

Aiyar has taught at various universities, women's prisons, and high schools. She also founded the Berkeley-based People's Test Preparation Service, a non-profit that was awarded the Presidential Service Award by Bill Clinton in 1995.

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Kay Buck

CEO and Executive Director
CAST

Kay Buck is Chief Executive Officer of the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST), one of the longest-running anti-slavery organizations in the United States, which provides thousands of survivors and their families with comprehensive care to rebuild their lives. Buck is responsible for opening the first shelter for trafficked women in the country and creating CAST’s one-of-a-kind survivor leadership program, which empowers survivors to use their voices collectively to impact systemic change, resulting in better laws to combat trafficking as well as the creation of the White House Strategic Action Plan and Survivor Advisory Council.

Under Buck’s leadership, CAST was the first organization to receive the Presidential Award to Combat Slavery and Trafficking for its innovative programs serving survivors in April 2014.

Buck has a wealth of non-profit management, coalition-building, and private-public partnership development experience. As a leader in the human rights movement, Buck is deeply committed to developing women leaders of non-governmental organizations and positioning them as key leaders for innovative social change.

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Astrid Heppenstall Heger, M.D.

Founder and Executive Director
The Violence Intervention Program

Dr. Heger is Founder and Executive Director of the Violence Intervention Program (VIP), with the mission to protect and treat all victims of child abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence. Dr. Heger has devoted her life to ensuring that victims of violence receive the highest quality care they need to heal from trauma, as well as pioneering protocols and innovative systems that have positively changed the experience for victims of violence on a local, national, and international level. For the more than 18,000 children and families served by VIP each year, she is a source of constant hope, driven by one central goal: to return a sense of dignity to those who have experienced violence.

In 1984, Dr. Heger established VIP as the first medically-based child advocacy center and the first sexual assault center outside of an emergency room in the world. After quickly realizing that few cases of sexual abuse or sexual assault were being investigated or prosecuted, Dr. Heger pioneered an innovative approach to the medical diagnosis and documentation of sexual assault that quickly became the international standard of care for victims, increasing prosecution rates and minimizing retraumatization for victims. In 1995, Dr. Heger expanded the center, establishing VIP as the first-of-its-kind, full-service community resource.

In addition to building the program in Los Angeles, Dr. Heger has traveled the world to replicate her model of care, providing expert testimony on behalf of victims of violence, and educating others about the prevention and treatment of sexual and domestic violence. Dr. Heger serves as a constant example of a life of service dedicated toward making an immense impact on the lives of women and children.

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Louise Dubé

Executive Director
iCivics

Louise Dubé is Executive Director of iCivics. Founded by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in 2010, iCivics is the largest and most successful civic education resource in the country, with a goal of energizing children to get involved in their communities and the government.

This school year more than five million students in all 50 states used iCivics games and digital lessons to learn how our government and the law really work. iCivics is one of Fast Company’s 2017 Top 10 Most Innovative Education Companies, a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation’s Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, and has received Common Sense Media's highest possible ranking. All of iCivics’ resources are free to teachers and parents.

Dubé began her career as an attorney and holds a law degree from McGill University, as well as an MBA from Yale University. She has been recognized as a Draper Richards Kaplan Social Entrepreneur. Prior to iCivics, Dubé had a successful career in EdTech.

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Past Awards

2016 Honorees

Dr. Martine Rothblatt, The Lifetime Leadership Award

Sarah Jones, The Inspiration Award

Maria Pacheco, The International Award (Guatemala)

Agnes Igoye, The International Award (Uganda)

Emily Greener, The People’s Voice Award

2015 Honorees

Melanne Verveer, The Lifetime Leadership Award

Gabrielle Giffords, The Inspiration Award

Adimaimalaga Tafuna’i, The International Award (Samoa)

Samar Minallah Khan, The International Award (Pakistan)

Becky Straw & Jody Landers, The Adventure Project, The People’s Voice Award

2014 Honorees

Gloria Steinem, The Lifetime Leadership Award

Alicia Keys, The Inspiration Award

Kah Walla, The International Award (Cameroon)

Liron Peleg-Hadomi & Noha Khatieb, The International Award (Israel)

Veronika Scott, Empowerment Plan, The People’s Voice Award

2013 Honorees

Robin Roberts, The Lifetime Leadership Award

Natalia Vodianova, The Inspiration Award

Andeisha Farid, The International Award (Afghanistan)

Sunitha Krishnan, The International Award (India)

Tammy Tibbetts, She’s the First, The People’s Voice Award

2012 Honorees

Oprah Winfrey, The Lifetime Leadership Award

Jaycee Dugard, The Inspiration Award

Panmela Castro, The International Award (Brazil)

Chouchou Namegabe, The International Award (Democratic Republic of Congo)

Layli Miller-Muro, Tahirih Justice Center, The People’s Voice Award

2011 Honorees

Hillary Rodham Clinton, The Lifetime Leadership Award

Elizabeth Smart, The Inspiration Award

Sohini Chakraborty, The International Award (India)

Kakenya Ntaiya, The International Award (Kenya)

Taryn Davis, American Widow Project, The People’s Voice Award

2010 Honorees

Ingrid Betancourt, The Lifetime Leadership Award

Danielle Saint-Lot, The International Award (Haiti)

Sadiqa Basiri Saleem, The International Award (Afghanistan)

Katherine Chon, Polaris Project, The People’s Voice Award