POMED is proud to honor an outstanding group of award recipients who exemplify the democratic principles that inspire our work. At POMED’s October 16 reception, we recognized seven distinguished individuals who have made exceptional efforts to challenge the authoritarian status quo in North Africa and the Middle East and stand up for democratic values through human rights promotion and civic engagement, advancing the rule of law, leadership in government, and literature and the arts. With their courage, perseverance, and creativity, our 2019 awardees are advancing the goal of a more democratic region and inspiring others to support this important cause.


Wednesday, October 16, 2019
7:00 PM
Army Navy Building
1627 I Street NW, Washington, DC 20006




Hala Aldosari is an award-winning activist and scholar from Saudi Arabia, and is the Washington Post‘s first Jamal Khashoggi fellow. Ms. Dosari participated in the protest against the driving ban and her work has shed light on Saudi Arabia’s male guardianship laws. She has served as a board member for Human Rights Watch and the Gulf Center for Human Rights, as well as worked as a scholar-in-residence at the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice. Watch her acceptance remarks. >>



Achref Aouadi is a Tunisian activist and the founder of IWatch, a watchdog anti-corruption organization founded after the 2011 revolution. IWatch works to organize and advocate for increased government transparency and fights against corruption. Mr. Aouadi was chosen to represent the Tunisian civil society at the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and also serves as an Ashoka fellow. Watch his acceptance remarks. >>



Karen Attiah is the Global Opinions editor at the Washington Post and writes about issues relating to race, gender, and international politics. She was Jamal Khashoggi’s editor at the Post, and has worked tirelessly to keep a spotlight on his murder on the national and international stage. Ms. Attiah joined the Post in 2014 as a digital producer in the Opinions section, before which she reported as a freelancer based in the Caribbean for the Associated Press. For her tireless work, she was awarded the Journalist of the Year Award in 2019 by the National Association of Black Journalists. Watch her acceptance remarks. >>



Sarah Chayes is a scholar and writer, internationally recognized for her work on corruption and its consequences. She served as special assistant to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen and was a senior fellow in the Democracy, Conflict, and Governance program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She authored Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security as well as The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban. Sarah lived in Afghanistan for nearly a decade and was a correspondent for NPR. Watch her acceptance remarks. >>



Soufiane Djilali is an Algerian politician; president of the Jil Jadid (New Generation) party; a former presidential candidate; and the founder and leader of Mouwatana, a citizen movement formed in 2018 to campaign against a fifth term for former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Dr. Djilali began his political life by joining the Algerian Renewal Party (PRA) in 1989 and later became secretary general of the PRA. He has a doctorate in veterinary science from L’université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie and is the author of the book, L’Algérie en question (2010). Watch his acceptance remarks. >>



Can Dündar is an award-winning Turkish journalist. He has written for many print publications, such as Nokta and Sabah. He joined the center-left Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet as its editor-in-chief in 2015, the same year the newspaper received the 2015 Reporters Without Borders Prize for its courageous reporting defending press freedom in Turkey. In 2016, Mr. Dundar fled Turkey after being imprisoned and accused of espionage for his role in publishing an article exposing a weapons transfer between Turkish National Intelligence and Syrian Islamist fighters. He now lives in exile in Germany and continues writing for Cumhuriyet as a columnist. Watch his acceptance remarks. >>


Senator Todd Young has represented the state of Indiana in the U.S. Senate since 2017, after representing Indiana’s 9th District in the U.S. House from 2011 to 2017. He serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and has introduced, along with Senator Robert Menendez, the Saudi Arabia Accountability and Yemen Act of 2019, a bill aiming to “support the peaceful resolution of the civil war in Yemen, to address the resulting humanitarian crisis, and to hold the perpetrators responsible for murdering a Saudi dissident.” Senator Young graduated from the Naval Academy in 1995 with honors and accepted a commission to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps, and he also holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a JD from the University of Indiana. Watch his acceptance remarks. >>


2019 POMED Leaders for Democracy Award Reception