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2016 Tällberg Foundation Global Leadership Prize

Nov 29, 2016
The Tällberg Foundation announced today the winners of its Global Leadership Prize for 2016: Sunitha Krishnan from India and Christiana Figures from Costa Rica.

Ms. Krishnan was chosen for her untiring advocacy on behalf of women and children who are victims of sex crimes and trafficking. Ms. Figures is being honored for her creative diplomacy and tireless work that produced the Paris Agreement on climate, agreed last December and signed in April, 2016.

The Tällberg Foundation, with the support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), launched the Tällberg Foundation Global Leadership Prize to seek out, honor, and encourage great leaders, as well as reframe the debate on contemporary notions of leadership. The Prize is awarded annually to two individuals who demonstrate principled leadership in the face of adversity, recognize the need to operate at the systems level, and create movements for change that have the potential to be replicated more broadly. This year, an international jury selected Sunitha and Christiana from a pool of almost 300 nominations from 60 countries. Each Prize carries a stipend of $50,000.

Sunitha Krishnan is the Co-Founder of Prajwala, an anti-sex trafficking organization in Hyderabad, India that has evolved pioneering, effective rehabilitation programs for victims of sex crime and sex trafficking. She is also deeply engaged in seeking policy changes and legal reforms for the welfare of victims of sex trafficking in India and beyond.

Christiana Figueres, a career diplomat and accomplished international public servant, took on the challenge of the global climate negotiations after the failure in 2009 of the Copenhagen summit.  As Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change for the past six years, her innovative work helped to deliver the opposite result in Paris, thereby demonstrating that global agreements are still possible. 

“We live at a moment when the dark underside of globalization is causing many politicians to retreat to nationalistic and other failed ‘solutions.’  The world deserves better—and Sunitha Krishnan and Christiana Figures prove that better is possible,” said Alan Stoga, Chairman of the Tällberg Foundation.  “Their work, in very different fields, demonstrates the importance of leadership based on a recognition of what binds us together, instead of what separates us.”

Andreas Dracopoulos, Co-President and Director of the SNF, said “The Tällberg Foundation Global Leadership Prize is providing a great service by recognizing courageous and pioneering leaders, at a time when there has never been a greater need for meaningful leadership. The SNF is honored to be able to support this important undertaking.” 

Additional information on the Tällberg Foundation and the Global Leadership Prize is available at