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Governor Bill Richardson to be Honored At Refugees International’s 32nd Anniversary Gala

Washington, DC, March 1, 2011-- Refugees International announced today that former Governor Bill Richardson is this year’s recipient of the organization’s highest honor, the McCall-Pierpaoli Humanitarian Award. This award recognizes those who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and commitment to humanitarian action. Throughout his long political career, Bill Richardson has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of people both at home and abroad.

“I am truly honored to be receiving this prestigious award from Refugees International,” said Bill Richardson, former Governor of New Mexico. “Having visited some of the most desperate places in the world, I have seen firsthand the toll that war and instability can take on innocent people. The work that Refugees International does is critical in shining a spotlight on these victims.”

Bill Richardson has just completed his second term as Governor of New Mexico. However, his dedication to public service spans more than a quarter century. Prior to being elected governor, Richardson served as the Secretary of Energy, as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He also made a run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008. His impressive list of diplomatic accomplishments ranges from negotiating the release of hostages in North Korea and Sudan,to helping tobroker a cease-fire in Darfur during a 2007 trip with Refugees International’s former president, Kenneth Bacon.

“There are few politicians who can match Bill Richardson’s experience when it comes to international diplomacy,” said Michel Gabaudan, President of Refugees International. “He displays a true dedication to protecting human rights even in the most politically sensitive of countries – such as Iraq, Sudan and North Korea.”

Governor Richardson will be presented with the McCall-Pierpaoli Humanitarian Award at Refugees International’s 32ndAnniversary Dinner. The dinner will be held on Thursday, May 5th, at the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC.

The dinner will also include a special tribute to the late Richard C. Holbrooke. Ambassador Holbrooke served as chair of Refugees International from 1996 to 1999, during which time he helped togrow Refugees International into theworld’s leading advocacy organizationfor refugees and displaced people that it is today.

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Refugees International is a Washington, DC-based organization that works to bring an end torefugee crises. It receives no government or UN funding. For more information, go to: http://refugeesinternational.org/anniversary-dinner.

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