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Concordia and its Leadership Council are pleased to announce the three recipients of the 2023 Leadership Award: Nazanin Ash, CEO of Welcome.US, for the nonprofit sector; Aliko Dangote, Founder, Chairman & CEO of the Dangote Group, for the private sector; and, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, for the public sector. All three recipients were selected for their inspirational leadership and their ability to turn vision into impact. 

The Concordia Leadership Award recognizes global leaders within the public, private, and nonprofit sectors who have made pioneering contributions and inspired others through their ability to turn vision into impact. Voted on by the Concordia Leadership Award Committee, recipients possess a commitment to catalyzing positive social and economic change while promoting effective public-private collaboration to create a more sustainable future. Concordia’s Leadership Award Committee is chaired by Anita McBride, Concordia Leadership Council Member and Former Assistant to President George W. Bush & Chief of Staff to First Lady Laura Bush.

Nazanin Ash, CEO of Welcome.US, was awarded the 2023 Leadership Award recipient for the nonprofit sector, accepting the award at the 2023 Concordia Annual Summit (watch the video recording). Nazanin Ash was formally announced by Concordia Leadership Council Member Ambassador Paula J. Dobriansky, PH.D., Former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs and Senior Fellow, Harvard University Belfer Center For Science & International Affairs. “We honor Nazanin in recognition of her very extraordinary contributions to addressing one of the most pressing humanitarian challenges of our time, the global displacement crisis,” commented Ambassador Dobriansky when introducing Nazanin Ash. 

Nazanin Ash was awarded in recognition for her outstanding efforts in confronting the worldwide displacement crisis and revolutionizing the process of resettling refugees. Welcome.US showcases the importance of involving diverse partners from the private and civic sectors to support incoming refugees. The global displacement crisis is an urgent matter, and the endeavors of Welcome.US stand as a promising solution and a testament to the strength of collaboration and compassion when addressing this complex issue. Receiving the award, Ash commented: “We are finding not only the capacity and the willingness to welcome, but a breakthrough hopeful solution to what’s been an intractable global displacement challenge and maybe even the keys to our own healing in divided times.”

For the private sector, Concordia announced Aliko Dangote, Founder, Chairman & CEO of the Dangote Group, as the 2023 Leadership Award recipient. He accepted the award via video at the 2023 Annual Summit, introduced by Cherie Blair, Concordia Leadership Council Member and Co-Founder & Chair of Omnia Strategy LLP, who noted “Today we recognize a visionary leader, a titan of industry, and a true champion of progress” (watch the session). His daughter, Fatima Aliko-Dangote, Group Executive Director of Dangote Industries Limited, accepted the award at the Annual Summit on her father’s behalf. 

Aliko Dangote is a visionary leader and a champion of progress who has made a significant impact on Africa through his business acumen and philanthropic efforts. His businesses, including cement, oil and gas, and food and agriculture, have played a major role in creating jobs and promoting self-sufficiency in Africa, and the Aliko Dangote Foundation, established in 1993, focuses on initiatives related to nutrition, education, disaster relief, and healthcare solutions. Dangote believes in the power of partnerships and collaboration with like-minded individuals, organizations, and governments to achieve ambitious goals in Africa. “I am passionate about a prosperous Africa; I want to see an industrialized, productive, healthy, and self-sufficient continent,” he shared in his video recording. 

For the public sector, Concordia named Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, as the recipient of the 2023 Leadership Award, for his efforts to defend his nation in the face of the unprecedented ongoing invasion by Russia. 

Past recipients of the Concordia Leadership Award include: Laura Bush, Former First Lady of the U.S.; Niels B. Christiansen, CEO of the LEGO Group; Mónica Ramírez, Founder & President of Justice for Migrant Women; Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart; Christiana Figueres, Founder of Global Optimism; António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations; Secretary Hillary R. Clinton, Former Secretary of State for the U.S.; Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus; Iván Duque Márquez, Former President of the Republic of Colombia; Ginni Rometty, Co-Chair of the Executive Board at OneTen and former Chairman, President & CEO of IBM; and, Sister Norma Pimentel, Executive Director of the Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley.

To learn more about the Concordia Leadership Award, please email Ben Plumer at bplumer@concordia.net