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WASHINGTON - On Tuesday, National Democratic Institute (NDI) Chairman Madeleine Albright presented Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi with NDI’s 2020 Democracy Award. Under the banner “Changing the Face of Good Trouble,” the virtual event also honored the legacy of Congressman John Lewis, who served on NDI’s advisory board committee.
Albright commended Speaker Pelosi for being “not only an advocate of democracy, but also an inspiring example of how to practice democracy.”
“This is our highest award, which recognizes the leadership of individuals and organizations from the United States and abroad that have demonstrated a deep and abiding commitment to democracy and human rights,” said Albright.
“Speaker Pelosi certainly is such a leader and so we feel very fortunate for this opportunity to recognize her commitment to democracy, both in this country and around the world.”
His Holiness the Dalai Lama also delivered a message of praise for Pelosi, thanking her for her courage and long-standing commitment to democracy.
NDI President Derek Mitchell invoked the spirit of John Lewis to honor the Speaker’s dedication to justice and equality.
“Congressman Lewis inspired generations of women and men to stand up for their rights, raise their voices against injustice, and ensure that democracy delivers for everyone -- not just the few,” said Mitchell, adding that Pelosi, “has never been afraid to make some noise and get into good trouble, necessary trouble.”
“I always say to women and girls -- know your power, know what you bring to the table, it’s unique, there is nobody like you,” said Pelosi after receiving the award, underscoring the importance of empowering women around the world. “Let’s help each other rise up.”
As part of NDI’s on-going campaign to Change the Face of Politics and reach full political parity for women in politics by 2030, this year’s gala highlighted women who are leading change in Belarus, Lebanon, Niger, and Colombia.
Tuesdays’s event also featured remarks by President of Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen.
“Taiwan is the quiet success story of Asia, and a beacon of democracy globally,” said Mitchell, ahead of the opening of NDI’s new office in Taiwan.
NDI’s annual gala draws together NDI partners, administration officials, Congressional representatives, and supporters to celebrate NDI’s on-going work in over seventy countries to promote transparent, accountable, and inclusive governance.