Meridian Global Leadership Awards 2014, Washington, DC

Meridian Global Leadership Awards 2014

On June 10, 2014, Meridian International Center honored two distinguished global leaders M. Shafik Gabr, Chairman and Managing Director, ARTOC Group for Investment and Development and the Honorable Sean O’Keefe, Former Chairman and CEO of Airbus Group, Inc. at the Meridian Global Leadership Awards Dinner in Washington, DC. Meridian Global Leadership Awards honors those who, by their actions and practices, exemplify the positive impact individual and corporate leaders can have in their communities and the world, and shares Meridian’s commitment to promote international understanding through the exchange of ideas, people, and culture.

2014 Awardees

Held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, DC, the dinner was marked by A-list attendance of over 350 guests representing the highest levels of the diplomatic, business, government, philanthropic, media and social sectors. Among the notable guests were Vaclav Klaus, Former President of the Czech Republic, Andres Pastrana Arango, Former President of the Republic of Colombia, Shaukat Aziz, Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mohammed Al-Husseini Al-Sharif, Chief Representative to the U.S. Arab League, Senator Ed Markey, Congressman Mario-Diaz Balart, Congressman Darrel Issa, Congressman Jim Moran, Congressman Thomas Petri, Congressman Nick Rahall, John Negroponte, Former Director of National Intelligence & U.S. Deputy Secretary of State. Following a cocktail reception, the evening commenced with opening remarks by Secretary Ray LaHood, Dinner Chairman, Governor James J. Blanchard, Chairman, Meridian Board of Trustees and Ambassador Stuart Holliday, President & CEO of Meridian. Secretary LaHood, opened the event with welcome remarks, “We are here tonight to honor two exemplary leaders, as well as to learn about the important work of Meridian in creating innovative exchange, educational, cultural, and policy programs to strengthen U.S. engagement with the world”.

Global Citizen Award

M. Shafik Gabr, Chairman and Managing Director, ARTOC Group for Investment and Development, received the Global Citizen Award for his work, and that of the Shafik Gabr Foundation, in cultural diplomacy and for his commitment to building bridges of understanding between the Middle East, the U.S. and the world. Mr. Gabr established The Shafik Gabr Foundation in the U.S. to support educational and medical initiatives. Through its East-West: The Art of Dialogue initiative, the Foundation promotes exchanges between the U.S. and Egypt with the purpose of cultural dialogue and bridge building.

Corporate Leader Award

The Honorable Sean O’Keefe, Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Airbus Group, Inc. received the Corporate Leader Award for his leadership at NASA and the U.S. Navy, dedication to corporate citizenship at Airbus, and commitment to empowering the next generation through leadership in higher education. Mr. O’Keefe, a global leader in the aerospace and defense industry, directed Airbus Group activities in the U.S., developed strategic partnerships with U.S. companies, and enhanced the participation of Airbus Group in the U.S. marketplace. A four time presidential appointee, Mr. O’Keefe served as the Secretary of the Navy, Administrator of NASA, Comptroller & Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Defense, and Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget. In addition to his public service, Mr. O’Keefe has shown commendable leadership in higher education serving in various capacities in the academia including as Chancellor of Louisiana State University, Professor of Business and Government Policy and the Director of Maxwell-SAIS at Syracuse University, and Professor of Business Administration at Pennsylvania State University.

Ambassador Stuart W. Holliday, President & CEO of Meridian International Center, in acknowledging the honorees stated

“Meridian, a catalyst for connecting Americans and international leaders since 1960, is pleased to recognize these two great leaders for their hard work, commitment, and perseverance in collaborating across borders and building bridges of understanding”.

The honorees joined other distinguished leaders who have also received Meridian Awards, including Christophe Navaree, Chairman & CEO, Moët Hennessy; William H. Draper III, General Partner, Draper Richards L.P.; Joseph W. Saunders, Executive Chairman, Visa, Inc., Ambassador Craig Stapleton, Senior Advisor to Stone Point Capital; Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, Vice President of the Institutional Clients Group for Citigroup; Ambassador Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, Special Representative for Global Partnership, U.S. Department of State; Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Ambassador-at-large for Global Women’s issues, U.S. Department of State, Ambassador Nancy Brinker, Founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure; Ambassador Tom Korologos, Strategic Advisor, DLA Piper; Secretary Ann McLaughlin Korologos, Former U.S. Secretary of Labor; and Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO of Gallup.

Project summary

Meridian Global Leadership Awards 2014, Washington, DC | June 2014
Program Areas: Convening