Queen Rania honored with David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award

September 24, 2008

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department – New York) Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah was recognized, Tuesday, for her leadership in bridging cultural divide and encouraging collaborative efforts in tackling issues concerning education, poverty alleviation, empowerment and sustainability at Synergos University for a Night, an annual gathering of leaders from business, government, civil society and philanthropy in New York.

Honored with the David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award, Queen Rania joins past recipients of the distinguished award including former South African President Nelson Mandela as well as the Co-Chairs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates, Melinda Gates and William Gates Senior. David Rockefeller, the first ever recipient of the award, joined Peggy Dulany in presenting the Queen with the award.

Using the platform to further highlight the need for universal access to education, the Queen emphasized why ensuring more children are enrolled in school is “an urgent priority”.

“Each year of school changes children; it gives them chances and choices. Yet 72 million girls and boys have never set foot in a classroom. Many are too poor to get an education and are condemned to remain poor without one,” she said.

Her Majesty also spoke about her recently launched Madrasati (My School) initiative, which brings together partners from the public and private sector with civil society to upgrade at least 500 of the Jordan’s most dire public schools.

Referring to Madrasati as “a program that shares the Synergos spirit of partnership for positive change”, Queen Rania emphasized the value of the initiative.

“Through Madrasati, Jordan is building bridges – not only within our society, but bridges that will lead us from where we are now to the future we all want to see,” she said, “And over the next five years, as tens of thousands of children are touched by this innovative program, we hope the experience will spark civic action in other arenas as well because in Jordan, we know our destiny is in our hands and we are stronger when we join our hands together.”

This year the award was also presented to BRAC Founder and Chairperson Fazle Hasan Abed, whom Queen Rania referred to as one of the super-heroes of the social justice community because of his work “to help those around him discover the superpowers within themselves”.

The David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award is presented each year by Synergos, an independent non-profit organization, to extraordinary leaders who have shown vision and courage in bringing people together to address the most critical issues of our time.