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The Concordia Leadership Council announces the three recipients of the 2022 Leadership Award: Iván Duque Márquez, President of the Republic of Colombia, for the public sector; Ginni Rometty, Co-Chair of the Executive Board at OneTen and former Chairman, President & CEO of IBM, for the private sector; and, Sister Norma Pimentel, Executive Director of the Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, for the nonprofit sector. 

President Duque will formally receive the award at the upcoming 2022 Concordia Americas Summit, taking place July 13-14 in Miami, FL and online (register here), while Ginni Rometty and Sister Norma Pimentel will be formally recognized at the 2022 Concordia Annual Summit, taking place September 19-21 at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel (register here). 

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. Past recipients 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 Security of State for the U.S.; and, Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus. 

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, who commented: “The Leadership Award Committee has once again undertaken a rigorous nomination and selection process, and I’m honored to announce the three recipients for 2022. From placing environmental sustainability high on the Latin American agenda to reducing poverty across the U.S. and transforming the role of business in advancing diversity & inclusion, we all have so much to learn from these three distinguished individuals.”

For the public sector, Concordia recognizes President Duque for his exceptional leadership and immeasurable contributions through his service over the past four years. Exemplified by his administration’s support of Venezuelan refugees, President Duque’s compassion and amity have set a new international standard for humanitarian aid and his efforts to depolarize politics in Colombia and move away from partisanship display his commitments to balanced government and collaboration. President Duque has also placed environmental sustainability at the forefront of Colombia’s agenda, establishing an ambitious strategy for achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and, specifically, mobilizing climate finance at scale to accelerate the country’s transition to a green future. Crucially, in 2021, Duque made a historic commitment to declare 30% of its territory a protected area by 2022, eight years ahead of schedule. President Duque’s previous leadership as Senator—including his attention to bills lengthening maternal leave, increasing defibrillator availability, and promoting creative industries—demonstrated his dedication to improving the quality of life for Colombians. Additionally, Concordia acknowledges the immense support President Duque has provided to the organization, from being an early advocate for Concordia’s Summits to recruiting influential leaders to the global community. 

“I am honored to receive the 2022 Leadership Award on behalf of the public sector. Concordia, for me, embodies the essence of global progress: collaboration, nonpartisanship, partnership, and inclusivity,” said President Duque. “Colombia is facing a crossroads. As I reflect on my presidency over the last four years, and as the country enters uncharted waters, one thing is clear: open dialogue and collaboration, both across sectors and neighboring countries, is key to advancing progress. For that reason, I’m so honored to participate in the Concordia Americas Summit, which will fuel much-needed debate and seek out multi-stakeholder solutions.” 

For the private sector, Concordia is recognizing Ginni Rometty for her outstanding leadership and tremendous impact at OneTen and as CEO of IBM from 2012-2020. At IBM, Rometty made bold changes to reposition the company for the future of technology in Hybrid Cloud and Artificial Intelligence by expanding its assets, optimizing its portfolio, and modeling responsible digital stewardship. Her pioneering initiatives in diversity and inclusion set up the company for long-lasting success in the technology industry. Recognized by the Catalyst Award in 2018, Rometty’s efforts to improve women’s experiences in the workplace are important components of achieving workforce equality. Additionally, her work at OneTen to empower minority communities and support their place in the technology industry and beyond only further highlights her deep commitment to building and fostering sustainable labor forces and leadership in one of the world’s most influential sectors. 

“In this digital era, we could have a digital divide where the benefits of technology go to the few and not the many. We can all be part of making progress toward closing the skills gap and working to improve racial equity,” said Rometty. “I truly believe that when we do, companies and leaders will see that inclusion creates better products and makes them more competitive. I’m honored to receive the 2022 Leadership Award and to share the work we’re doing at OneTen to upskill, hire, and promote one million Black Americans into family-sustaining jobs over the next 10 years. I look forward to the Annual Summit and to continuing the conversation around how we break down systemic barriers and open the door to full participation in our economy.”

For the nonprofit sector, Concordia has selected Sister Norma Pimentel for her notable efforts to support migrants seeking refuge in the U.S. along the Texas/Mexico border. In her role as Executive Director of the Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, Sister Pimentel oversees the charitable arm of the Diocese of Brownsville, providing oversight of the different ministries and services in the areas of the Rio Grande Valley through emergency assistance, homelessness prevention, disaster relief, clinical counseling, pregnancy care, food programs, and the Humanitarian Respite Center. Her organization has housed and assisted over 100,000 people at the border.