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01 December 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Dr. Cristina Liamzon, program coordinator of the Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship (LSE) Program for Overseas Filipinos and their Families is one of the three recipients of this year’s Global Fairness Award. She was accompanied by her husband, Mr. Edgardo Valenzuela, to the awarding ceremony held on 30 November 2016 at the historic Howard Theater in Washington, D.C.

Launched in 2010, the Global Fairness Award honors individuals who “highlight the power of bringing together top-down opportunity and bottom-up leadership to drive change”. It is given by the Global Fairness Initiative (GFI), a not-for-profit international organization that “promotes a more equitable, sustainable approach to economic development, ensuring that benefits and prosperity are extended to all people, including the working poor.”

Dr. Liamzon has been a driving force behind the successful Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship (LSE) Program for migrant Filipinos, a six-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 LSE has helped empower the graduates and helped level the playing field for them, especially in terms of accessing resources and opportunities,” Dr. Liamzon said in her acceptance speech.

“It challenges each graduate to become a social innovator, a change-maker, making a positive difference wherever he or she may be. The stories that our graduates share are inspiring as they speak of becoming free from debt that prevents them from moving ahead financially. Or they start to save and invest for their future instead of squandering their money on their wants and consumerism…Our graduates talk about how they have been able to regain their self-confidence, to change their mindsets to being able appreciate that they, too, have leadership skills to develop and exercise in their families as well in the groups and communities they are in,” she added.

The Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, Minister Patrick Chuasoto, attended the awarding ceremony and extended warm congratulations to Dr. Liamzon.

“As the first Filipino to receive this prestigious award, Dr. Liamzon has become a source of pride and inspiration to our people. We are deeply grateful for her tireless efforts and vital contributions to the promotion of OFW welfare. We also recognize her role in fostering cooperation with government instrumentalities, including several Philippine Embassies and Consulates General in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. We hope that her example would encourage others to become partners for change,” Minister Chuasoto stated.

Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) presented the Global Fairness Award to Dr. Liamzon. This year’s awardees also include Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Senior Adviser at Lazard and Chair of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization and former Minister of Finance in Nigeria; and Ms. Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.

They joined a roster of distinguished honorees which include Nobel Peace Prize awardee Houcine Abassi (2015); Mr. Paul Brest, former Dean and Professor Emeritus at Stanford Law School (2015); South African labor activist Myrtle Witbooi (2015); Dr. Robert Zoellick, former President of the World Bank Group (2014); Mr. Karl-Johan Persson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sweden-based fashion company H&M (2014); women’s rights advocate Ms. Nani Zulminarni (2014); former President of Finland Tarja Halonen (2013); Jordanian activist and social entrepreneur Ms. Zeinab Al-Momani (2013); Ms. Susan Berresford, former President of Ford Foundation (2013); Ambassador Melanne Verveer, executive director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security at Georgetown University (2012); Nigerian social entrepreneur and innovator Ms. Lucy Kanu (2012); former President of Malawi Joyce Banda (2012); Peruvian environmentalist Albina Ruiz (2011); and Ms. Ela Bhatt, the Founder of the Self Employed Women's Association (awarded in 2010). ###

01 December 2016

Philippine Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires, Minister Patrick Chuasoto with Dr. Cristina Liamzon, one of the recipients of this year’s Global Fairness Award by the Global Fairness Initiative.

01 December 2016

Dr. Liamzon and Minister Chuasoto with former president of Slovenia Danilo Türk, during the Global Fairness Initiative’s awarding ceremony held at the historic Howard Theater in Washington, D.C. on 30 November 2016.