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BHF Award

The Russell-Whitehead Business Humanitarian Award is presented periodically to an outstanding individual or organization that has contributed in a significant way to facilitate private sector efforts to bring sustainable investment, job creation and economic development where they are needed most.

Mr. George Russell and the Honorable John Whitehead (deceased) are the honorary co-chairs of the Business Humanitarian Forum. Mr. Russell and Mr. Whitehead have had long and highly successful careers in both the private and public sector and have been instrumental in creating this award as well as in guiding the BHF in the achievement of its goals.

The first award was presented in May 2004 to Mr. Rory O'Riordan, President of the European Generic Medicines Association, in honor of his organization's and his personal efforts to establish a generic medicines production plant in Afghanistan.

The second award was presented in June 2006 to Mr. Farooq Kathwari, President of Ethan Allan Interiors, Inc., in honor of his long involvement in humanitarian affairs such as sponsoring dialogue between Indians and Pakistanis seeking a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute.

The third award was presented in September 2007 to former UN Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan, by BHF Honorary Co-Chairman George Russell Jr. in honor of Mr. Annan's years of work to bring the private sector more into alignment with the objectives of humanitarian organizations, especially those within the UN system.

The fourth award was presented in March 2009 to Mr. James D. Wolfensohn, former President of the World Bank, by the Honorary Co-chairmen of the BHF, Messrs. Russell and Whitehead, for his many achievements in the field of restoring economic growth in post-conflict areas.

The fifth award was presented in March 2012 to Professor Iqbal Z. Quadir, Founder and Director of the Legatum Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Founder of the telecommunications operator Grameenphone in Bangladesh, for his visionary contribution to economic and social development in Bangladesh through the establishment of Grameenphone and other enterprises. The award also honors his personal engagement, teaching and leadership at the Legatum Center championing the role of entrepreneurship, technology and innovation as key drivers for lifting people out of poverty and empowering citizens in low-income countries.

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