James W. Foley Legacy Foundation to Honor American Diplomat Brett McGurk, Journalist Jason Rezaian, and Humanitarian Dr. Terrence Rynne at Awards Event

DOVER, N.H. – The James W. Foley Legacy Foundation today announced the honorees for the 2019 James W. Foley Freedom Awards to be hosted in Washington, DC, on April 2, 2019. 

American diplomat Brett McGurk will receive the 2019 Hostage Freedom Award for his work in negotiations that led to the release of several Americans held captive in Iran, including journalist Jason Rezaian.

Rezaian, who was unjustly detained in Iran during his tenure as the Tehran bureau chief for The Washington Post, will receive the 2019 World Press Freedom Award.

Dr. Terrence Rynne, founder of the Marquette University Center for Peacemaking, will receive the 2019 Humanitarian Award for his work in conflict resolution and peacemaking.

Christiane Amanpour, chief international anchor of CNN’s global affairs program “Amanpour,” and host of “Amanpour and Company” on PBS will be the keynote speaker at the dinner. Amanpour continues to be a leading activist for press freedom & safety. 

“It is our honor to recognize the moral courage and individual contributions of Brett McGurk, Jason Rezaian and Dr. Terrence Rynne in prioritizing the importance of every American unjustly detained abroad and press freedom in the U.S. and around the world,” said Diane Foley, president of the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation.

Foley noted that McGurk was the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition Against ISIS and lead negotiator with Iran over a 14-month period from 2014 to 2016 that led to the return home of Rezaian, Amir Hekmati and Saeed Abedini. His public service career has spanned the George W. Bush, Obama and Trump administrations.

“We are grateful for Mr. McGurk’s dedication to American hostage recovery and the containment of ISIS in the Middle East,” Foley said.

Rezaian was selected for his courageous work as a journalist in Iran and his advocacy for the release of American hostages who remain held in Iran and throughout the world.

“Jason Rezaian epitomizes the truth-seeking courage and passion of our talented journalists who champion those without a voice,” Foley said.

Dr. Rynne established the Center for Peacemaking at Marquette University to improve the quality of life and reduce crime in Milwaukee’s inner city, teach conflict resolution in local schools, encourage research efforts by faculty and students and develop strategies for peacemaking.

“Dr. Rynne’s dedication to peace exemplifies the power of one person to do good in our troubled world and inspire others,” Foley said.

To learn more about the 2019 James W. Foley Freedom Awards, to become a table sponsor or purchase tickets, please visit www.jamesfoleyfoundation.org. You may also contact Amy Coyne, Director of Corporate & Community Relations, at amy.coyne@jamesfoleyfoundation.org