Washington, DC – The Inter-American Dialogue will honor former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe González and Grupo Vidanta founder Daniel Chávez Morán at its inaugural Leadership for the Americas Awards Gala on November 17, 2015 in Washington, DC. Over 500 US and foreign dignitaries are expected to attend the event.
Former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos, chair emeritus of the Dialogue’s Board of Directors, said “For half a century, and to this day, Felipe Gonzalez has been a defender of democratic principles – in his own country and beyond. In Chile, his intervention in 1977 helped pave the way back to democracy.”
“The Dialogue’s Leadership for the Americas Awards honor the most effective individuals working to foster democratic governance, economic prosperity, and social equity in the Americas, the three pillars of the Dialogue’s mission. This year the Dialogue has chosen to recognize two exceptional leaders who have made extraordinary contributions in each of these three areas,” said Ambassador Carla A. Hills, former US Trade Representative and co-chair of the Dialogue’s Board of Directors.
Former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, co-chair of the Dialogue’s Board of Directors, said “Felipe Gonzalez’s tireless, effective, and ongoing public service and commitment to democracy in Latin America has provided extraordinary leadership and an example for the region.”
“Daniel Chávez Morán deserves recognition for his philanthropic investments in support of work that furthers the Dialogue’s values and mission,” said Michael Shifter, the Dialogue’s President, who added, “The Dialogue’s work cuts across the most critical issues facing the Americas, from democratic governance and rule of law to development. Our honorees have had a huge influence on these issues, and it is a privilege to recognize their enormous contributions.”
González served as Prime Minister of Spain from 1982 to 1996. His government presided over an era of unprecedented economic growth; the modernization of Spain’s education, healthcare, and social security systems; and the country’s successful integration into the European Union. Since leaving office, González has been an active champion of democracy in the Americas and throughout the world. He has been the recipient of numerous international prizes, among them the Charlemagne Prize for his distinguished service on behalf of European unification and the Great Golden Cross for Merit by the Republic of Austria.
A leading visionary in Mexico’s tourism and hospitality industry, Chávez Morán founded Grupo Vidanta in 1974. Under his guidance, the company grew to become one of Latin America’s most respected employers and socially responsible firms. He is also credited with establishing partnerships with leading international brands including Cirque du Soleil, Nicklaus Design, and Greg Norman Golf Course Design to bring new tourism offerings to Mexico. Since retiring from Grupo Vidanta, Chávez Morán has focused his philanthropic efforts on combating poverty in the Americas. The Vidanta Foundation, established in 2005, provides grants to innovative organizations and individuals dedicated to advancing democracy, quality education, and equitable development in the region. Chávez Morán is a founding member of the Dialogue’s President’s Leadership Council.
The Dialogue is pleased to recognize the Vidanta Foundation as a presenting sponsor of the gala and Chevron and Sempra Energy as diamond-level sponsors.
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About the Inter-American Dialogue
The Inter-American Dialogue engages its network of global leaders to foster democratic governance, prosperity, and social equity in Latin America and the Caribbean. Together, we shape policy debate, generate ideas, devise solutions, and enhance collaboration within the Western Hemisphere.