Freedom Award


In 1995, IRI established the Freedom Award to honor individuals who have worked to advance freedom and democracy.  The contribution of these individuals to further democracy and freedom has given hope to millions of people and has helped improve the lives of people around the globe.

Over the years honorees have included luminaries such as President Ronald Reagan; President George W. Bush; Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf; Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Laureate and Burmese democracy leader; First Lady Laura Bush; Natan Sharansky, former political prisoner and human rights activist; and former Secretaries of State Henry A. Kissinger, George P. Shultz, and James A. Baker.  Posthumous awards have also been given to Pope John Paul II; The Honorable Sergio Vieira de Mello, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; and Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger.