This year, we celebrated the Tenth Annual Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards: A Decade of Investing in Women to Improve Our World, on April 12 in the Opera House at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

The annual Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards honor and celebrate women’s leadership around the world. Every year since 2002, guests have gathered at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to recognize women who are strengthening democracy, increasing economic opportunity and preserving human rights.

They are social entrepreneurs, political representatives, businesswomen, human rights defenders and civil society advocates. From remote villages and wired cities, they promote equality, peace and prosperity as innovators who transcend barriers to move whole communities forward.

2011 Global Leadership Awards honorees include:

  • Sunitha Krishnan, An anti-human trafficking pioneer and co-founder of the NGO Prajwala
  • Liron Peleg-Hadomi and Noha Khatieb of Israel, who are courageously reaching across the cultural barriers that divide Jewish and Arab Israelis to build a foundation for lasting peace and prosperity.
  • Kah Walla of Cameroon, a businesswoman and elected official working to advance the economic status of the women in her country and region.
  • Fatema Akbari of Afghanistan, an entrepreneur who uses her carpentry business to promote economic independence for the women in her community.
  • Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize winner and leader of the Burmese democracy movement, will be honored with the Global Trailblazer Award as “Voice of the Decade.”

In addition to the2011 honorees, Vital Voices was joined by an exceptional group of individuals who serve as presenters and speakers during the awards ceremony. Vital Voices Founder, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has attended the Global Leadership Awards every year since its inception.

Past presenters include Ben Affleck, Wolf Blitzer, Brian Williams, Angelina Jolie, FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, Suze Orman, Reese Witherspoon, Avon CEO Andrea Jung, Christiane Amanpour, Time CEO Ann Moore, Lisa Ling, Laura Bush, Candice Bergen, and many others. This year, Vital Voices welcomed Tina Brown, Sally Field, Cokie Roberts, Michele Norris, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Wolf Blitzer, and Diane von Furstenberg. As Chairman of the Vital Voices Global Partnership, SDI Chairman Susan Ann Davis joined Vice-Chair Bobbie Greene McCarthy for a special tribute to Vital Voices Honorary Co-Chair, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Read additional coverage in the Hill’s Washington Scene here, and see some of the event’s great photos from Washington Life photographer Tony Powell here.