More than 250 individuals with a wide array of professional experiences came to the Waldorf Astoria New York to participate in the 2016 Hilton Humanitarian Symposium and Prize Ceremony, honoring the 2016 recipient, The Task Force for Global Health. This year’s symposium was guided by the theme The Future of Humanitarian Action: Compassion, Collaboration, and Smart Solutions.

The day’s events were moderated by former CNN world affairs correspondent, Ralph Begleiter, and full of inspirational, thought-provoking, and action-oriented discussions by a diverse line-up of speakers including Mary Robinson, Walid Issa, Raj Kumar and Hadeel Ibrahim, Alexander Betts, and a panel discussion between representatives of three Hilton Humanitarian Prize Laureates—International Rescue Committee, PATH, and Doctors Without Borders.

During the luncheon, Zainab Salbi delivered a moving speech about the human need for dignity among all people including refugees. She challenged the audience to be bridge-makers. “Those ‘other’ people want dignity,” she said. “We need to build bridges to co-create our future.“

The audience then spent the rest of the afternoon learning about and celebrating 2016 Hilton Humanitarian Prize recipient, The Task Force for Global Health, a Georgia-based global health organization, driven by a commitment to health equity, that uses collaboration to address large-scale health problems that affect populations in 151 countries.

Peter Laugharn, President and CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation spoke about Conrad Hilton’s life and philosophy, noting, “He would have pushed us to articulate a vision and a dream of a high-performing system as we consider the future of humanitarian action.” He then went on to discuss The Task Force and the powerful example it provides to so many sectors of effective and hugely successful collaborations. He then introduced Sally Osberg, President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation, who introduced Dave Ross, President and CEO of The Task Force, who accepted the award.

Following the Prize Ceremony, The Task Force founder Dr. William H. Foege, former president and CEO Dr. Mark L. Rosenberg, and retired chairman and CEO of Merck, P. Roy Vagelos, sat down to discuss the history of The Task Force, and key lessons that might be applied to other humanitarian challenges.

The afternoon ended with an inspired and invigorated group of audience members raising a glass to The Task Force during a celebratory cocktail reception.

Watch More Videos

Watch the day’s events from Mary Robinson’s keynote speech to the panel discussion on the success story of compassion and collaboration with Dr. William Foege, Dr. Mark Rosenberg and Dr. P. Roy Vagelos.

Play Videos