Every action of ours not only has an impact on our own self but also on the world around us. It is time to consider...what impact will my action have on future generations and the human spirit?

2010 Fairness Award Honoree Ela Bhatt, the Founder of the Self Employed Women's Association.

2016 Honoree - Randi Weingarten

Randi Weingarten

Ms. Randi Weingarten

Randi Weingarten is president of the 1.6 million-member American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, which represents teachers; paraprofessionals and school-related personnel; higher education faculty and staff; nurses and other healthcare professionals; local, state and federal government employees; and early childhood educators. Prior to her election as AFT president in 2008, Weingarten served for 12 years as president of the United Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 2, representing approximately 200,000 educators in the New York City public school system, as well as home child care providers and other workers in health, law and education.

Weingarten has launched major efforts to place real education reform high on the nation’s and her union’s agendas. She created the AFT Innovation Fund to support education reform projects developed by members and their local unions. At Weingarten’s direction, the AFT developed a model to transform teacher evaluations from simply rating teachers to a tool for continuous improvement and feedback, and is using this to align tenure and due process so that tenure serves as a guarantee of fairness, not of a job for life. With help from British partner TES Connect, Weingarten spearheaded Share My Lesson, the United States’ largest free collection of educational resources aligned to the Common Core State Standards and created by teachers, for teachers. For 10 years, while president of the UFT, Weingarten chaired New York City’s Municipal Labor Committee, an umbrella organization for the city’s 100-plus public sector unions, including those representing higher education and other public service employees. As chair of the MLC, she coordinated labor negotiations and bargaining for benefits on behalf of the MLC unions’ 365,000 members.

Weingarten holds degrees from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the Cardozo School of Law. She worked as a lawyer for the Wall Street firm of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan from 1983 to 1986. She is an active member of the Democratic National Committee and numerous professional, civic and philanthropic organizations.

Randi Weingarten Fairness Award Speech

2016 Honoree - Dr. Cristina Liamzon

Cristina Liamzon

Dr. Cristina Liamzon

Dr. Cristina Liamzon is the coordinator of the Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship (LSE) Program for migrant Filipinos, a 6-month empowerment and capacity building program to help overseas Filipinos become agents of change and social transformation, contributing not only to their own and their families’ well-being but also to their communities both in the host and home countries, as well as towards nation-building in the Philippines. Since 2008, the program has been conducted in 14 cities outside and in six cities in the Philippines with over 1,300 graduates. The program continues to expand to reach a larger number of migrant Filipinos and their families who in turn can influence other migrants.

Cristina or "Tina" has worked as a development consultant on issues of agrarian reform and rural development, food security, gender and development, local economic development, civil society organizations and migrant concerns for over 30 years. She has primarily worked with CSOs, building coalitions among NGOs and farmers’ organizations in the Philippines and the Asian region on agrarian reform and rural development. Tina holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of the Philippines; a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University in Cambridge where she was also an Edward Mason Fellow in Public Policy and Management; a Master of Science in Human Settlements Planning from the Asian Institute Technology in Bangkok; and a PhD in Social Science from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. In 2015, she became an Ashoka Fellow.

She has written several studies and reports related to the situation of migrant Filipino youth, more recently on aging overseas Filipinos in Rome; remittances and food security, agriculture and rural development. After over 20 years residing in Rome, she returned to the Philippines at the end of 2011 to continue her empowerment and advocacy program for Filipino migrants and their families based in the Philippines.

Cristina Liamzon Fairness Award Speech

2016 Honoree - Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a Senior Adviser at Lazard and Chair of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization. She was previously the Minister of Finance in Nigeria and Coordinating Minister for the Economy (August 2011 to May 2015). Prior to this, she was Managing Director of the World Bank (2007 to 2011). Dr. Okonjo-Iweala also held the positions of Finance Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of Nigeria between 2003 and 2006. She is notable for being the first woman to hold either of these positions. As Finance Minister she was lauded for ridding Nigeria of $30 billion dollars of external debt with the Paris Club.

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is the recipient of numerous awards including honorary doctorates from some of the world's most prestigious universities such as Yale, UPenn, Brown, Trinity College Dublin, Colby, Amherst etc. In 2015, she was named one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune. In 2014, TIME magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world and Forbes has named her one of the 100 most powerful women in the world for 5 years consecutively since 2011 and one of the three most powerful women in Africa.

She is chair and member of numerous boards and high level global development initiatives including the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity, the UNSG’s Post 2015 MDGs High Level Panel, the Post-Busan Global Partnership for Development Effectiveness, the Rockefeller Foundation, the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders, the Center for Global Development, and The AU's African Risk Capacity to name a few. She is also the author of several books and articles including Reforming the UnReformable: Lessons from Nigeria, published by the MIT Press. She was educated at Harvard University and holds a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Fairness Award Speech

2016 Presenter

Chris Murphy

Senator Chris Murphy

Presenting to Randi Weingarten

Chris Murphy is the junior United States Senator from Connecticut. He serves on the Foreign Relations Committee, the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and was recently named to the prestigious Appropriations Committee, the first Connecticut Senator to serve on that committee in over thirty years. Prior to the Senate, Murphy served for three terms in the U.S. House representing the state's fifth congressional district. In Congress, Murphy is acknowledged as a leading voice for stronger anti-gun violence measures, a smarter foreign policy, and reform of our nation's broken mental health system.

Before being elected to Congress, Murphy served for eight years in the Connecticut state legislature. Murphy graduated with honors from Williams College in Massachusetts, and after receiving his law degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law, Murphy practiced real estate and banking law in Hartford. He is married to Catherine Holahan, an attorney, and they live in Cheshire with their two sons, Owen and Rider, and their cat Ramona.

2016 Presenter

Doris Matsui

Rep. Doris Matsui

Presenting to Dr. Cristina Liamzon

Congresswoman Doris Matsui has represented the city of Sacramento and its surrounding areas since 2005. As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, she serves on the Health and Communications and Technology subcommittees. She crafts legislation to address critical issues including health care, energy, technology, consumer protection, and American manufacturing.

Congresswoman Matsui has worked tirelessly to improve access to quality health care, helping author the Affordable Care Act. She is also a champion for improving our nation's mental health system, and secured passage of landmark bipartisan legislation, which will provide $1 billion to community behavioral health clinics. She has led efforts to free up more airwaves for the wireless economy and championed legislation to prohibit so-called Internet fast lanes from harming consumers, small businesses and innovators. Congresswoman Matsui has also been a leader on tackling climate change, serving as a co-chair of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC).Congresswoman Matsui currently serves as the co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues, and the Chair of the Democratic Women's Working Group.

2016 Presenter


Dr. Danilo Türk

Presenting to Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Dr. Danilo Türk served as President of the Republic of Slovenia from 2007 to 2012. Dr. Türk was the first the Slovenian Permanent Representative to the United Nations and served as non-permanent member of the Security Council as well as a member of UN Human Rights Committee. Later he was appointed UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs before returning to Slovenia where in 2007 he was elected as the third President of Republic of Slovenia where he served until 2012. A former professor and director of the Institute for International Law of the University of Ljubljana, Dr. Türk served on the Constitutional Commission of the Slovenian National Assembly co-wrote the human rights chapter of the 1991 Slovenian Constitution.

2016 Special Guest: Mistress of Ceremonies

Ms. Andrea Roane

Ms. Andrea Roane joined WUSA 9 in August of 1981 as the Sunday evening and 6:30 a.m. weekday anchor. Andrea is best known to viewers for her passionate reporting on breast health issues and promoting the importance of early detection in the fight against breast cancer. In 2006, Andrea was named one of Washingtonian Magazine’s “Washingtonians of the Year” for her continued work on breast cancer awareness. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Andrea earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Education and a Master of Arts degree in Drama and Communications from Louisiana State University in New Orleans, now the University of New Orleans.

2016 Musical Guest: Special Performance

Rene Marie

Ms. René Marie

In a span of two decades, 11 recordings and countless stage performances, vocalist René Marie has cemented her reputation as not only a singer but also a composer, arranger, theatrical performer, and teacher. Guided and tempered by powerful life lessons and rooted in jazz traditions laid down by Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington and other leading ladies of past generations, she borrows various elements of folk, R&B and even classical and country to create a captivating hybrid style. Her body of work is musical, but it’s more than just music. It’s an exploration of the bright and dark corners of the human experience, and an affirmation of the power of the human spirit.

The newest installment in her ever-expanding body of work is Sound of Red, a CD set for release on Motéma in April 2016. It’s her first album of all-original material, an 11-song set that provides insightful glimpses into the many small but profound turning points that are part of an individual life. René’s clever songcraft and sensual vocal delivery make those personal moments not only meaningful but enlightening to a broad audience.

Perhaps more than most artists, René understands music’s capacity to heal and inspire. Not only has she herself been the beneficiary of it, but she has made every effort along the way to extend those same benefits to others.

“I have never forgotten the early lessons learned about the power of music,” she says. “Today, I try to imbue that feeling of emotion into every song I write and every song I sing – every time. I am very happy to be alive today, doing the things I love to do – singing, composing, writing, teaching and arranging.”

Past Recipients



Mr. Houcine Abassi

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Mr. Paul Brest

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Ms. Myrtle Witbooi

View all 2015 Fairness Award Honorees and Presenters



Mr. Robert Zoellick

Ms. Nani Zulminarni

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Mr. Karl-Johan Persson

View all 2014 Fairness Award Honorees and Presenters


Tarja Halonen

Her Excellency President Tarja Halonen

Zeinab Al-Momani

Ms. Zeinab Al-Momani

Susan Berresford

Susan Berresford

View all 2013 Fairness Award Honorees and Presenters


Joyce Banda

Her Excellency, President Joyce Banda

Lucy Kanu

Ms. Lucy Kanu

Melanne Verveer

Ambassador Melanne Verveer

View all 2012 Fairness Award Honorees and Presenters


2011 Presenter:
His Excellency José María Figueres Olsen

2011 Honoree: Ms. Albina Ruiz

View all 2011 Fairness Award Honorees and Presenters


2010 Presenter:
The Honorable Hillary R. Clinton

Ms. Ela Bhatt

View all 2010 Fairness Award Honorees and Presenters

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