About The DVF Awards

The DVF Awards were 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 strength to survive, and the leadership to inspire.

Each year, the awards are bestowed upon 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.

Award Categories

  • The Lifetime Leadership DVF Award
  • The Inspiration DVF Award
  • The International DVF Award

Announcing the 2020
DVF Awards Honorees

The following extraordinary women were honored at the 11th annual DVF Awards in Washington, D.C. on February 19, 2020.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice, was born in Brooklyn, New York, March 15, 1933. She married Martin D. Ginsburg in 1954, and has a daughter, Jane, and a son, James. She received her B.A. from Cornell University, attended Harvard Law School, and received her LL.B. from Columbia Law School. She served as a law clerk to the Honorable Edmund L. Palmieri, Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, from 1959–1961. From 1961–1963, she was a research associate and then associate director of the Columbia Law School Project on International Procedure. She was a Professor of Law at Rutgers University School of Law from 1963–1972, and Columbia Law School from 1972–1980, and a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford, California from 1977–1978. In 1971, she co-founded the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, and served as the ACLU’s General Counsel from 1973–1980, and on the National Board of Directors from 1974–1980. She served on the Board and Executive Committee of the American Bar Foundation from 1979-1989, on the Board of Editors of the American Bar Association Journal from 1972-1978, and on the Council of the American Law Institute from 1978-1993. She was appointed a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1980. President Clinton nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and she took her seat August 10, 1993.

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The Inspiration DVF Award


Iman is a Somali-American businessperson, philanthropist, author and former model.

Iman’s illustrious career as a fashion model began in Africa when she was discovered by photographer Peter Beard while she was a student at the University of Nairobi. Beard’s subsequent portraits of Iman became the genesis of her modeling career and the catalyst that brought her from Kenya to New York. Beginning in 1976 with a booking from Vogue, for nearly twenty years, as model and muse, Iman has been a favorite of fashion designers and portrait photographers.

Iman is the founder of IMAN Cosmetics, which offer products specifically formulated for skin of color’s distinct needs, and the fashion and accessories brand, IMAN Global Chic. She is the author of I Am Iman (Universe, 2001) and The Beauty of Color: The Ultimate Beauty Guide for Skin of Color (Putnam Penguin 2005).

For years, Iman has worked to support the efforts of an array of humanitarian organizations, including Keep a Child Alive, Save the Children, and the Children’s Defense Fund. In addition, Iman has worked to help draw attention to war and famine in eastern Africa, appearing in a BBC documentary and addressing the United Nations.

Today, Iman serves as CARE’s Global Advocate. CARE is one of the largest and oldest humanitarian aid organizations focused on fighting global poverty. CARE's programs address a broad range of topics including emergency response, food security, water and sanitation, economic development, climate change, education, and health. CARE also advocates at the local, national, and international levels for policy change and the rights of poor people. Within each of these areas, CARE focuses on empowering and meeting the needs of women and girls and promoting gender equality

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The International DVF Award

Saskia Niño de Rivera

Saskia Niño de Rivera is creating a safer Mexico by disrupting the cycle of violence, focusing on those caught in it: imprisoned men and women, and children born behind bars. She established Reinserta to reintegrate young offenders, provide training and services to those in prison, and improve conditions for incarcerated women and their children, who live with their mothers until age 6. Saskia believes that a secure Mexico starts with greater understanding and better opportunities for its most vulnerable populations, especially juvenile offenders and the children of prisoners. She’s determined to lead by example and change the mindset of Mexicans who feel powerless to affect change.

Saskia believes that prisons won’t be effective unless they confront the root causes that perpetuate crime. With Reinserta, she tries to understand prisoners’ stories and create systemic and societal interventions that prevent criminal behavior.

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The International DVF Award

Priti Patkar

Decades before human trafficking became headline news stories, Priti Patkar was tirelessly working in the red light district of Mumbai to stop the cycle of intergenerational trafficking by providing safe havens for the children of those trafficked into the sex trade. In India, children live with their mothers in the brothels, often being exposed to violence and a direct path to being trafficked. Priti saw an opportunity to break the cycle of violence by establishing night centers.

Priti opened her first childcare center in Kamathipura, one of the busiest red light areas in Mumbai. Today, she runs four shelters. She offers comprehensive childcare 24 hours a day. Kids receive meals, health care, education, and a safe place to play. Their moms have access to medical care and vocational training. Priti’s organization, Prerana, makes freedom of choice possible for those who are raised believing that it’s not. Without judgment, she offers alternatives, a chance to break the cycle. Prerana also runs a boarding school for some of the most at-risk girls, offering them educational opportunities.

Priti has also become a leading advocate on protecting the rights of vulnerable, training police offers on how to recognize traffickers and working with the Indian government to improve legislation to recognize and punish traffickers.

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Past Awards

2019 Honorees

Anita F. Hill, The Lifetime Leadership DVF Award

Katy Perry, The Inspiration DVF Award

Nadia Murad, The International DVF Award

Hadeel Mustafa Anabtawi, The International DVF Award

Susan Burton, The People’s Voice DVF Award

2018 Honorees

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, The Lifetime Leadership DVF Award

Misty Copeland, The Inspiration DVF Award

Ariela Suster, The International DVF Award (El Salvador)

Jaha Dukureh, The International DVF Award (The Gambia)

Luma Mufleh, The People’s Voice DVF Award

2017 Honorees

Dr. Jane Goodall, The Lifetime Leadership DVF Award

Karlie Kloss, The Inspiration DVF Award

Yoani Sánchez, The International DVF Award (Cuba)

Baljeet Sandhu, The International DVF Award (United Kingdom)

Louise Dubé, The People’s Voice DVF Award

2016 Honorees

Dr. Martine Rothblatt, The Lifetime Leadership DVF Award

Sarah Jones, The Inspiration DVF Award

Maria Pacheco, The International DVF Award (Guatemala)

Agnes Igoye, The International DVF Award (Uganda)

Emily Greener, The People’s Voice DVF Award

2015 Honorees

Melanne Verveer, The Lifetime Leadership DVF Award

Gabrielle Giffords, The Inspiration DVF Award

Adimaimalaga Tafuna’i, The International DVF Award (Samoa)

Samar Minallah Khan, The International DVF Award (Pakistan)

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

2014 Honorees

Gloria Steinem, The Lifetime Leadership DVF Award

Alicia Keys, The Inspiration DVF Award

Kah Walla, The International DVF Award (Cameroon)

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

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

2013 Honorees

Robin Roberts, The Lifetime Leadership DVF Award

Natalia Vodianova, The Inspiration DVF Award

Andeisha Farid, The International DVF Award (Afghanistan)

Sunitha Krishnan, The International DVF Award (India)

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

2012 Honorees

Oprah Winfrey, The Lifetime Leadership DVF Award

Jaycee Dugard, The Inspiration DVF Award

Panmela Castro, The International DVF Award (Brazil)

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

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

2011 Honorees

Hillary Rodham Clinton, The Lifetime Leadership DVF Award

Elizabeth Smart, The Inspiration DVF Award

Sohini Chakraborty, The International DVF Award (India)

Kakenya Ntaiya, The International DVF Award (Kenya)

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

2010 Honorees

Ingrid Betancourt, The Lifetime Leadership DVF Award

Danielle Saint-Lot, The International DVF Award (Haiti)

Sadiqa Basiri Saleem, The International DVF Award (Afghanistan)

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