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The Henry R. Kravis Prize In Leadership Awarded To The Forum For African Women Educationalists


Fawe Increases Educational Access, Retention And Performance For Girls In 33 African Nations

Claremont McKenna College and the Kravis Leadership Institute announced today the selection of The Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), to receive the third annual Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership.

The Kravis Prize, which carries a $250,000 award designated to the honoree organization, recognizes extraordinary leadership in the non-profit sector. FAWE was selected for its outstanding record providing an estimated 12 million girls and women with access to education thereby contributing to improving their standard of economic and social well-being.

The Kravis Prize will be presented to Dr. Codou Diaw, FAWE Executive Director, and Simone de Comarmond, FAWE founder and current Chair, at ceremonies on April 10 in New York City.

Established in 2006, The Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership recognizes and celebrates extraordinary accomplishment and bold, visionary leadership in the nonprofit sector. The Kravis Prize is administered by Claremont McKenna College, the Kravis Leadership Institute, and Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis. Mrs. Kravis, an economist, is a Senior Fellow of the Hudson Institute; Mr. Kravis, founding partner of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., is an alumnus and trustee of Claremont McKenna College.

“It is important to recognize that the entrepreneurial spirit and leadership characteristics are just as vital to achievement in the not-for-profit world as they are on Wall Street,” said Henry Kravis. “We are pleased and proud to recognize and celebrate the important and inspirational work being done by the leaders, staff, and volunteers of FAWE.”

The Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE)

In 1992, female Ministers of Education from five African countries established FAWE to advocate for the education of girls across Africa. At that time, an estimated 24 million school-age girls were out of school in Sub-Saharan Africa. FAWE’s founders recognized the direct personal benefits that accrue to girls who attend school, as well as the extensive indirect benefits for society at large.

In the ensuing 15 years, FAWE expanded its programs and developed a strong geographic presence across the continent, working in 33 African countries. Today, FAWE is the leading non-governmental organization in Africa that directly addresses issues relating to girls’ education.

FAWE improves access to education as well as quality of education, inspiring girls to stay in school and learn. FAWE’s current programs are organized around four interventions: 1) addressing constraints to access, retention and performance in the educational process, 2) undertaking advocacy to raise awareness and influence policymaking, 3) developing gender-responsive models for training teachers and improving learning environments, and 4) facilitating the replication and mainstreaming of best practices. In response to FAWE’s advocacy, for example, many African governments adopt gender positive policies such as free primary education, re-entry policies for adolescent mothers, scholarships for needy girls, and appointment of more female teachers.

Extensive collaboration, teamwork and partnerships are integral to FAWE’s success. Internally, FAWE engenders a spirit of teamwork and collective leadership among diverse individuals. Externally, FAWE provides a model for working directly with governments and policymakers to obtain large-scale impact. FAWE is also a model of pan-African collaboration. FAWE’s wide geographic presence provides a unique forum to leverage economies of scale and share knowledge, especially among African governments and Ministries of Education. FAWE recently established a presence in many areas experiencing or transitioning from conflict, including Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Angola and Congo (Brazzaville).

Kravis Prize Background

Established in 2006, The Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership recognizes and celebrates extraordinary accomplishment and bold, visionary leadership in the nonprofit sector.

The Kravis Prize Selection Committee, chaired by Marie-Josée Kravis, includes: Harry McMahon, CMC alumnus and Chair of the Claremont McKenna College Board of Trustees, and Vice Chairman, Merrill Lynch & Co.; Sudha Murty, Chairperson, Infosys Foundation; Dr. Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate in economics and the Thomas W. Lamont University Professor at Harvard University; Lord Jacob Rothschild, Chairman, Rothschild Investment Trust Capital Partners; and James D. Wolfensohn, Chairman, Wolfensohn & Company, L.L.C. and former President, The World Bank.

The Organizing Committee, led by Mr. Kravis, includes: Mr. McMahon; Peter Barker, member of the CMC Board of Trustees and advisory director, Goldman Sachs & Co.; Pamela Gann, CMC president; and Scott Miller, president, Six Sigma Academy, Aspen, Colorado.

While the Prize typically recognizes an outstanding individual, in exceptional circumstances the Prize may be awarded to an organization. The Prize is awarded annually based on nominations that are received from a group of confidential nominators. These nominators are selected on the basis of the breadth and depth of their knowledge of the nonprofit sector. Nominators are chosen internationally and from a variety of fields.

Nominations span a broad range of sectors in the nonprofit field, including economic development, public health, law/justice/human rights, education, and capacity building in the nonprofit sector as a whole. Selection criteria include boldness, innovation, creativity, consistency, persistence, and effectiveness in bringing a vision to fruition. Nominees are also evaluated based on their accomplishments in realizing the mission of an organization and demonstrating best practices in managing that organization.

In choosing a winner from the pool of nominees, the Selection Committee draws upon its own expertise, letters of recommendation from nominators, and expert evaluations assembled by the Prize staff. Nominees are assessed using carefully crafted quantitative and qualitative measures based on state-of-the-art analysis and evaluation methods. These measures are focused primarily on direct impact and achievement. The assessment framework also provides for a qualitative analysis of bold, visionary leadership and for review of financial stability and integrity, governance, and management stability. The Kravis Prize Selection Committee makes its final selection of a winner after reviewing extensive information and data within the context of this methodology. The recipient of the Prize receives recognition at an award ceremony and $250,000 to be directed to the nonprofit organization of his or her choice.

The Kravis Leadership Institute (KLI), which co-sponsors the Prize, is central to the Claremont McKenna College (CMC) mission of preparing students for responsible leadership in business, the professions, and public affairs. KLI plays an active role in the education of CMC students by involving them in professional research on leadership research issues and by offering an intense, interdisciplinary leadership curriculum—combining classroom study with hands-on leadership experience. Through its academic research, model leadership development programs, broad leadership curriculum and systematic outreach efforts, the Kravis Leadership Institute has become one of the most recognized leadership programs in higher education.

Past recipients of The Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership are: Roy Prosterman, the inaugural recipient (2006), founder of the Rural Development Institute, which advocates international land law and policy reform through a comprehensive understanding of rural land issues and the interaction among financial, land, and labor markets; and Fazle Abed (2007), who founded BRAC in 1972 to provide assistance to refugees returning from Bangladesh’s Liberation War. BRAC is now recognized as one of the largest development organizations in the world, with an extraordinary impact on poverty reduction and empowerment of the poor.

Claremont McKenna College is a highly selective, independent liberal arts college educating leaders in business, the professions and public affairs. A member of The Claremont Colleges, in Claremont, California, CMC is consistently ranked among the nation’s best colleges. For further information regarding the Kravis Prize, please visit


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