The award was presented at the International Religious Liberty Awards Dinner held at the Hotel Monaco in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, 6 October 2016. A keynote address was given by Dr. David Holland, Associate Professor at Harvard Divinity School and Advisory Board Member of the National Museum of American Religion. Winners of the 2016 Founding Fathers Student Writing Competition were also recognized at the dinner. See here for the winners.
Dr. Lantos Swett served as Chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) from 2012-2016. She was appointed to USCIRF by Senator Harry Reid and served twice as Chair. Dr. Lantos Swett established the Lantos Foundation in 2008 to carry on the work of her father, the late Congressman Tom Lantos. She has taught Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy at Tufts University and the University of Southern Denmark. While living in Copenhagen, she led a successful advocacy effort to convince the Danish government to take action against illicit trafficking of women and children through Denmark. She currently serves on the Board of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, the International Advisory Board of UN Watch, the Budapest based Tom Lantos Institute, the Advisory Board of the annual Anne Frank award & lecture, the US Global Leadership Coalition’s New Hampshire Advisory Board, the Executive Advisory Board of the Iranian American Majority, and the Advisory Board of the Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership, and Public Policy.
Prior International Religious Liberty Award recipients are:
- 2015: Most Rev. William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore
- 2014: Congressman Frank Wolf
- 2013: Dr. John Graz, Secretary General of International Religious Liberty Association
- 2012: Professor Douglas Laycock, University of Virginia School of Law
- 2011: Kevin J. "Seamus" Hasson, Founder of Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
- 2010: Senator Joseph Lieberman