Leaders in Philanthropy, Conflict Prevention and Human Rights join international jury to select the next winners of the Global Pluralism Award

Ottawa, Canada – May 14, 2024 – The Global Centre for Pluralism is pleased to announce the jury for its 2025 Global Pluralism Award, now entering its 5th cycle. Global Pluralism Award jurors are renowned experts in a range of disciplines related to pluralism, including policymaking, peacebuilding, human rights, foreign affairs, linguistic diversity and media.

Marwan Muasher, Vice President for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former Foreign Minister of Jordan returns as Chair of the Global Pluralism Award jury. Returning alongside Dr Muasher are Reeta Roy, President and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the world, and Yásnaya Elena Aguilar Gil, Ayuujk (Mixe) linguist, writer, translator and Indigenous human rights activist based in Oaxaca.

Joining the prestigious international jury this year are: Antonio Zappulla, CEO Thomson Reuters Foundation, corporate philanthropic arm of Thomson Reuters; Comfort Ero, President and CEO, International Crisis Group the world’s leading conflict resolution organization; Stephen Toope, President and CEO of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR); and Gam Shimray, Secretary General of the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact.

Presented every two years, the Award recognizes the exceptional work of individuals, businesses, academics, civil society and government bodies committed to fostering vibrant and inclusive societies, where diversity is valued and respected. Following a rigorous review process, the international jury will select the 10 finalists of the fifth Global Pluralism Award. Finalists will be announced in the fall of 2025, with three winners receiving CAD $50,000 each to further their work in support of pluralism. The submission deadline for the 2025 Award has been extended until 5:00 p.m. EST on June 9, 2024.

“In a world marked by division and polarization, it is crucial to recognize and amplify the voices of those who demonstrate that pluralism is a driving force for positive transformation,” said Muasher, Chair of the Global Pluralism Award jury. “I am honoured to work alongside my fellow jurors in identifying the next recipients of this Award, celebrating the work of pluralism leaders worldwide.”

“As the Award enters its fifth cycle, we are grateful for the invaluable contributions of our exceptional jurors who have shared their expertise over the years. We thank our outgoing jurors for their dedication to pluralism – their insights make the Award what it is. The incoming jurors will enrich our perspectives of the extraordinary efforts required to advance pluralism in society, particularly with the huge challenges faced around the world in this moment. It is an honour to welcome them to our jury,” said Meredith Preston McGhie, Secretary General of the Global Centre for Pluralism.

New jurors: (alphabetical by first name)
● Antonio Zappulla, CEO, Thomson Reuters Foundation (United Kingdom)
● Comfort Ero, President and CEO, International Crisis Group (United Kingdom / Nigeria)
● Gam Shimray, Secretary General, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (Thailand)
● Stephen Toope OC, FRSC, LLD | President and CEO, CIFAR (Canada)

Returning jurors: (alphabetical by first name)
● Marwan Muasher, Vice President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Jordan), Chair
● Reeta Roy, President and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation (Canada / Rwanda)
● Yásnaya Aguilar Gil, Ayuujk (Mixe) linguist, writer, translator, and Indigenous rights activist (Mexico)

Zai Karim, Kapha Communications, [email protected], 647-983-6669
Shannon Kenney, Kapha Communications, [email protected] 416-770-0359

New jurors: (alphabetically by first name):

Mr. Antonio Zappulla CEO, Thomson Reuters Foundation | United Kingdom
Antonio Zappulla is CEO of Thomson Reuters Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Thomson Reuters, where he spearheads impactful legal and media initiatives across 150+ countries. With expertise in organizational transformation and corporate strategy, Zappulla champions diversity & inclusion and is the founder of Openly, the world’s first global platform dedicated to LGBT+ stories. Recognized for his commitment to human rights, Zappulla was knighted as an Officer of the Italian Republic in 2022 and ranked first in the Financial Times’ OUTstanding list in 2018. Zappulla is a World Economic Forum agenda contributor, a One Young World Counsellor, and serves on several boards, including the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford. He holds a degree in Journalism a Masters in Middle Eastern studies, with Executive Education from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Dr. Comfort Ero, President & CEO, International Crisis Group | United Kingdom / Nigeria
Dr. Comfort Ero, International Crisis Group’s President & CEO since December 2021, brings over two decades of experience in conflict-affected regions globally. With expertise spanning conflict prevention, management, and resolution, she has played pivotal roles in mediating complex disputes and fostering peacekeeping efforts. Dr. Ero’s commitment to transitional justice has been evident throughout her career, reflected in her tenure as Deputy Africa Program Director for the International Centre for Transitional Justice. Additionally, her experience as a Political Affairs Officer and Policy Advisor to the UN Mission in Liberia underscores her proficiency in navigating the intricate politics and international relations of Africa. Holding a PhD from the London School of Economics, University of London, Dr. Ero is recognized as a leading authority in her field, contributing her insights to various boards and advisory bodies.

Mr. Gam Shimray, Secretary General, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact | Thailand

Gam A. Shimray, a Naga from North-East India, is the Secretary General of Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact, a regional Indigenous rights organization with membership across 14 countries in Asia. He is a human rights activist who has been defending and promoting the rights of Indigenous Peoples for the past 30 years. His work has been mainly dedicated to advancing self-governance of Indigenous Peoples and democratic decentralization which intersects with creating a pluralistic society in Asia. He has also held several important positions at the national and regional levels in the field of Indigenous Peoples’ rights.

Dr. Stephen J Toope OC, FRSC, LLD President and CEO, CIFAR | Canada
Stephen Toope, President and CEO of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), brings a wealth of experience to his role. As the 346th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, he made history as the first non-UK national to hold the position. His extensive career includes leadership roles such as Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, President of the University of British Columbia, and the founding President of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. Toope holds degrees from Harvard, McGill, and Trinity College, Cambridge. His notable public service includes chairing the United Nations Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances and serving as a Fact Finder for the Commission of Inquiry into the Actions of Canadian Government Officials in relation to Maher Arar. Toope is an accomplished author and lecturer in international law, with publication(s) and speaking engagements worldwide. He has received several honors, including being elected to prestigious institutions such as the Institut de droit international and receiving honorary fellowships and awards from academic institutions in both Canada and the UK. Toope is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Returning jurors: (alphabetical by first name):

Dr. Marwan Muasher, Vice President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace | Jordan (Chair)
Marwan Muasher is vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Most recently, he was senior vice president of external affairs at the World Bank from 2007 to 2010. Previous to that, Muasher served as foreign minister (2002–2004) and deputy prime minister (2004–2005) of Jordan. In 1995, Muasher opened Jordan’s first embassy in Israel, and in 1996 became minister of information and the government spokesperson. From 1997 to 2002, he served in Washington again as ambassador, negotiating the first free trade agreement between the United States and an Arab nation. He has authored two books, The Second Arab Awakening, published by Yale University Press in January 2014 and The Arab Center: The Promise of Moderation, also published by Yale University Press, June 2008. He served on the Global Centre for Pluralism’s Board of Directors from 2015 to 2019, and has served on the American University of Beirut’s Board of Trustees since 2007.

Ms. Reeta Roy, President and CEO, Mastercard Foundation | Canada
Reeta Roy, President and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation, oversees approximately $40 billion in assets, and continues to shape the Foundation’s vision, fostering a listening culture, and building diverse global partnerships. A values-driven leader she has nearly three decades of global experience in the private and philanthropic sectors. Under her guidance, the Foundation focuses efforts on Africa; implementing the Young Africa Works strategy to empower 30 million young people by 2030, and serving young Indigenous Canadians through the EleV initiative. With over $6 billion deployed, the Foundation improves education, enhances financial inclusion, and builds resilience. Prior to her current role, Roy led global citizenship and policy at Abbott Laboratories and its corporate foundation, the Abbott Fund. Roy believes in the potential of philanthropy to drive impact at scale by listening first.

Ms. Yásnaya Elena Aguilar Gil, Ayuujk linguist, writer, translator and Indigenous human rights activist | Mexico
Born in Ayutla Mixe, Oaxaca, Yásnaya Elena Aguilar Gil is linguist, writer, translator, and human-rights activist engaging with Ayuujk, Spanish, and English languages. She is a member of COLMIX, a collective researching Mixe language, history, and culture. In 2019, Gil was invited to address the 14th Legislature in the Chamber of Deputies in Mixe during the International Year of Indigenous Languages, highlighting Mexico’s Indigenous languages. Her writings have appeared in Mexican media outlets including Letras Libres, Nexos, and Revista de la Universidad de México.

The Global Pluralism Award recognizes pluralism in action. Presented every other year to individuals, organizations, governments and businesses from around the world, the Award celebrates the inspiring and brave work that is helping to build more inclusive societies where diversity is valued and protected.

The Award is conferred by the Global Centre for Pluralism, an independent, charitable organization founded by His Highness the Aga Khan and the Government of Canada, and is made possible in part by the generous support of TD Bank Group. For more information about the Award, visit https://award.pluralism.ca/.