October 14, 2015 – Waldorf Astoria New York, New York City
More than 400 guests joined us to celebrate 20 years of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize and to congratulate the 20th recipient, Seattle-based land rights organization, Landesa. The theme of the program was inspired by Conrad Hilton’s motto, “Think Big, Act Big, Dream Big.”
Former CNN World Affairs Correspondent, Ralph J. Begleiter, served as Master of Ceremonies, introducing esteemed speakers to the stage, including Gro Harlem Brundltand, M.D., M.P.H. (Former Prime Minister of Norway; Former Director-General, WHO); David Miliband (President & CEO, IRC); Liv Ullmann (Co-Founder, Women’s Refugee Commission; Vice Chair, IRC) and William H. Foege M.D., M.P.H. (Senior Fellow, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Professor Emeritus, Emory University).
Steven Hilton delivered a heartwarming speech—his last Prize presentation as our President and CEO—awarding the Prize to Landesa. Immediate Past President and CEO, Co-founder and Senior Advisor of Landesa, Tim Hanstad, took the stage to accept the award. In his remarks, he reflected on the organization’s important work to empower millions of women and men with land rights to lift themselves out of poverty. He also recognized Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Landesa, Roy Prosterman, who for four decades has dedicated his life to the organization’s mission. Roy stood to be recognized by all in the room, as he received a standing ovation.
The evening closed with an unforgettable performance by Senegalese singer, percussionist, songwriter, composer, director, actor, businessman and political activist—Youssou N’Dour. His music was so moving that it lifted many guests right out of their seats—dancing in celebration of all the goodness and hope filling the room.