James W. Foley Foundation Honors Courageous Work for Hostage Recovery, Press Freedom, and Humanitarian Efforts

DOVER, N.H. — The James W. Foley Legacy Foundation announced today its 2018 honorees for exemplifying moral courage. They are former National Security Council counterterrorism official Jennifer Easterly, New York Times journalist Chris Chivers and Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Prize laureate.

The three will receive James W. Foley Freedom Awards at the foundation’s third annual awards dinner at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., on June 26th.

Following the 2014 murder in Syria of her son, American conflict reporter James W. Foley, Diane Foley launched the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation the same year.

The Freedom Award winners “continue Jim’s legacy of courageous commitment to bearing witness, reporting the truth on the ground around the world and compassionate advocacy for those suffering amid conflict worldwide,” Foley said.

Easterly, now managing director at Morgan Stanley, was a special assistant to President Barack Obama and senior director for counterterrorism for the National Security Council. She will receive the James W. Foley American Hostage Freedom Award.

“After the horrific murders of three Americans – James Foley, Peter Kassig and Steven Sotloff – Jen Easterly pushed for a governmental review of how the U.S. handles the recovery of U.S. nationals held hostage abroad.  Her efforts led to a comprehensive National Counterterrorism Center hostage review and the 2015 Presidential Policy Directive-30.  PPD-30 created an interagency fusion cell, special envoy and White House hostage recovery group, which has greatly enhanced the ability of the U.S. to recover Americans held hostage abroad,” Foley said.

“Chris Chivers, a seasoned conflict journalist for The New York Times, has risked his life many times to bring us authentic stories from conflict zones,” Foley said. “He has witnessed much of the suffering imposed on civilians amid the world’s conflicts, and the toll on fellow journalists and humanitarian workers who have dared to care.  He has often helped fellow journalists in harm’s way abroad.”

Chivers will receive the 2018 James W. Foley World Press Freedom Award for his lifetime of work as a brave, outstanding conflict journalist and as a caring colleague of fellow war correspondents, whether freelance or staff.

Malala Yousafzai has advocated for the education for women and nearly died from a murder attempt in 2012.  At the age of 17, she became the youngest Nobel Prize laureate.  For her courageous advocacy on behalf of others, Yousafzai will receive the 2018 James W. Foley Humanitarian Award, Foley said.

The James W. Foley Legacy Foundation continues Jim’s legacy through its mission to advocate for the safe return of all Americans held hostage abroad, the protection of independent conflict journalists and education regarding these threats to freedom.

“In America, we are so blessed by the freedoms we enjoy,” Diane Foley said.

“These 2018 awardees exemplify the extraordinary moral courage needed in government, journalism and education.

“We commend the Trump administration for the return of  American citizens Aya Hijazi, Otto Warmbier and Caitlan Coleman and urge the president to make the return of brave Americans such as Austin Tice, Robert Levinson, Paul Overby,  Xiyue Wang and many more a true national priority for our government.[KG1]

“I also implore President Trump to recognize the powerful contribution that our best American journalists make to our wonderful democracy,” Foley said.

To purchase tickets to the 2018 James W. Foley Freedom Awards please visit foleyfund.staging.wpengine.com/event/2018awards/

To learn more about becoming a corporate sponsor, please visit foleyfund.staging.wpengine.com/2018corporatesponsorship/

About James W. Foley Legacy Foundation

James W Foley was an independent American conflict journalist who worked extensively across the middle east. He was taken hostage by ISIS in Syria in 2012, and was killed in 2014. His impact on colleagues and friends has been highlighted in the documentary film “Jim: The James Foley Story”.

The James W. Foley Legacy Foundation is a registered nonprofit foundation, that supports work in three key areas that were important to Jim’s life: American hostage freedom, protection of independent conflict journalists, and education of the public and university students regarding these silent crises.

For more information about the foundation, or to learn how you can make an impact, please visit foleyfund.staging.wpengine.com or contact Amy Coyne at amy.coyne@jamesfoleyfoundation.org.

About the Awardees

Chris Chivers is an American journalist and author best known for his work with The New York Times. He is currently assigned to The New York Times Magazine and the newspaper’s investigations desk as a long-form writer and investigative reporter. In the summer of 2007, he was named the newspaper’s Moscow bureau chief. Along with several reporters and photographers based in Pakistan and Afghanistan, he contributed to a New York Times staff entry that received the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 2009. He later received the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in 2017. His book, The Gun, a work of history published under the Simon & Schuster imprint, was released in October 2010.

In 2010 his work for the Times from Afghanistan and Iraq, with that of reporter Dexter Filkins and photographer Tyler Hicks, was recognized by New York University as one of the Top Ten Works of Journalism of the Decade. As in those conflicts, the improvised weapons and munitions of Sunni Islamists was an important focus of his reporting on Libya in 2011 and on Syria in 2012.

Jen Easterly is a managing director of Morgan Stanley, which she joined after 26 years of U.S. government service in national security, military intelligence and cyber operations. Previously, she served on the National Security Council as special assistant to the President and senior director for counter-terrorism where she led the development of U.S. counter-terrorism policy and strategy. Prior to that, she was the deputy for counter-terrorism at the National Security Agency, a position she assumed following retirement from the U.S. Army, where her service included command and staff assignments in the intelligence and cyber fields, as well as tours of duty in Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.

A graduate of West Point, Easterly holds a master’s degree in politics, philosophy, and economics from the University of Oxford where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a French-American Foundation Young Leader, Easterly is the recipient of the Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship, the George S. Franklin Fellowship, and the Director, National Security Agency Fellowship. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Morgan Stanley Foundation. Easterly and her husband Jas have one son.

Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani education advocate who, at the age of 17, became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize after surviving an assassination attempt by the Taliban.

Born on July 12, 1997, Yousafzai became an advocate for girls’ education when she herself was still a child, which resulted in the Taliban issuing a death threat against her. On Oct. 9, 2012, a gunman shot Yousafzai when she was traveling home from school. She survived and has continued to speak out on the importance of education. In 2013, she gave a speech to the United Nations and published her first book, I Am Malala. In 2014, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.