GHRC Director Recognized by the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area

GHRC’s Executive Director, Kelsey Alford-Jones, was honored yesterday with a Community Human Rights Award as part of the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area 2013 Annual Human Rights Awards Reception. The nomination was made by a GHRC delegation participant, who noted the “immense respect that everyone had for Kelsey and her dedication,” as well as her “success helping Guatemalans advocate their cases in front of the US and Guatemalan governments.”


(R) Kelsey, left, and GHRC Board Member Yolanda Alcorta pause for a photo at the award reception.

The community award is presented each year to several DC-area individuals in celebration of the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognizes the outstanding work that individuals are making in improving human rights in their communities and around the world. Other community award winners are Caroline Jones, Executive Director at Doorways for Women and Families; Layli Miller-Muro, Executive Director at Tahirih Justice Center.


UNA-NCA Chair of the Human Rights Committee Sultana Ali (left) presented the award, along with Ambassador Donald T. Bill, President of the UNA-NCA (center).

“I’m truly honored by the award,” said Alford-Jones. “It is a testament to the dedication and commitment of the the entire GHRC team, which has worked tirelessly to support human rights defenders in Guatemala, and to raise awareness and build solidarity in the US.”

The event also included the presentation of awards and special honors to Elisa Massimino, President and CEO of Human Rights First, who was presented with the Louis B. Sohn Award, and Dr. Sarah Degnan Kambou, President of the International Center for Research on Women, who received the Perdita Huston Award.

A Special UNA-NCA Award for the Use of Diplomacy to Advance Human Rights was also presented to F. Allen (Tex) Harris for his extraordinary achievements in saving lives through the use of diplomacy during the Argentine military dictatorship.

The event, held at the Cannon House Office Building, was hosted by Congressman Jim Moran and other elected officials serving as honorary chairs, including Senator Benjamin Cardin (MD), Congressman Jim Moran (VA-8), Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), Congressman Chris Van Hollen (MD-8), Congressman Sam Farr (CA-20), and Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-2).