On November 8, 2018, the Aspen Institute hosted the 35th Annual Awards Dinner at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. The dinner, chaired by Mrs. Mercedes T. Bass, honored Bill Browder, Founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, and Sarah Jessica Parker, Actor, Producer, and Businesswoman. The evening featured a conversation with Ms. Parker and Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation.
Look back at the Dinner in the above slideshow.
Bill Browder, Founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, received the Henry Crown Leadership Award in recognition of his campaign to create consequences for human rights abusers in Russia and around the world. Following the murder of his Russian lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, in a Moscow prison, Mr. Browder successfully advocated for the passage of the Magnitsky Act, which allows the US government to sanction human rights violators around the world. The UK, Canada, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have since passed their own Magnitsky Acts, and similar legislation is being developed in Australia, France, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden, Romania, Moldova and Ukraine. Mr. Browder is also a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute.
Sarah Jessica Parker received the Aspen Institute’s Public Service Award in recognition of her personification of the fundamental values of democracy. She is the rare example of an actress who puts her fame and international reputation for radiant intelligence to work to help the world: as a UNICEF Ambassador since 1997; as a 2009 Obama Administration elected member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities where she partnered with schools for The Turnaround Arts Initiative; and as a current Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors for the New York City Ballet. In addition, Ms. Parker is an Honorary Chair for Book Club Central and Honorary Lifetime Board Member of United For Libraries, where she shares her joy of reading while helping to raise awareness and encourage support for libraries across the country.
William Browder, founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, was the largest foreign investor in Russia until 2005, when he was denied entry to the country for exposing corruption in Russian state-owned companies.
In 2009 his Russian lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, was killed in a Moscow prison after uncovering and exposing a US$230 million fraud committed by Russian government officials. Because of their impunity in Russia, Browder has spent the last eight years conducting a global campaign to impose visa bans and asset freezes on individual human rights abusers, particularly those who played a role in Magnitsky’s false arrest, torture and death.
The USA was the first to impose these sanctions with the passage of the 2012 “Magnitsky Act.” A Global Magnitsky Bill, which broadens the scope of the US Magnitsky Act to human rights abusers around the world, was passed at the end of 2016. The UK passed a Magnitsky amendment in April 2017. Magnitsky legislation was passed in Estonia in December 2016, Canada in October 2017 and in Lithuania in November 2017. Similar legislation is being developed in Australia, France, Denmark, Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden and Ukraine.
In February 2015 Browder published the New York Times bestseller, Red Notice, which recounts his experience in Russia and his ongoing fight for justice for Sergei Magnitsky.
Sarah Jessica Parker is an award-winning actor, producer and businesswoman who has garnered four Golden Globe Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards and two Emmy Awards.
Parker currently stars on HBO’s television series Divorce, in which she also serves as an executive producer. Parker was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in the series.
Parker starred as Carrie Bradshaw on the HBO television series Sex and the City (1998-2004) and served as an executive producer. She reprised her role and served as a producer for the screen adaptation of the hit series with the theatrical release of Sex and the City and Sex and the City 2.
Sarah Jessica founded Pretty Matches Productions in 2005 with a first-look deal at HBO, where the company has had a deal ever since. She recently launched SJP for Hogarth which publishes high-quality works of fiction by both established writers and distinctive emerging voices. The inaugural title A Place For Us became a New York Times bestseller upon publication in June 2018.
In November 2009, the Obama administration elected Parker to be a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. She currently serves as a Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors for the New York City Ballet.
Darren Walker is president of the Ford Foundation, an international social justice philanthropy with a $13 billion endowment and $600 million in annual grant making. For two decades, he has been a leader in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. Darren led the philanthropy committee that helped bring a resolution to the city of Detroit’s historic bankruptcy, and chairs the US Alliance on Impact Investing.
He co-chairs New York City’s Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers, and serves on the Commission on the Future of Riker’s Island Correctional Institution and the UN International Labor Organization Commission on the Future of Work. He also serves on the boards of Carnegie Hall, the High Line and the Committee to Protect Journalists, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.