James W. Foley Legacy Foundation to Honor Jason Poblete, Anna Therese Day, the Free Burma Rangers and Ali Soufan

WASHINGTON, DC – The James W. Foley Legacy Foundation today announced the speakers and honorees for its 5th Annual James W. Foley Freedom Awards gala to be held here on April 1, 2020.

The foundation, named for freelance journalist James W. Foley who was murdered by ISIS in 2014, advocates for the safe return of Americans held hostage abroad and for improved safety for journalists operating in dangerous areas.

The keynote speaker at the dinner will be Admiral William H. McRaven, retired U.S. Navy four star admiral and former ninth commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, will be the keynote speaker at the dinner. McRaven is a powerful advocate for American values.

Winners of the 2020 awards are:

  • Attorney Jason Poblete who will receive the Hostage Freedom Award for his work to help free several Americans unlawfully detained in Iran and Venezuela, including U.S. permanent resident Nizar Zakka and U.S. citizen Xiyue Wang. They were held for four years and three years respectively by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
  • Reporter, filmmaker and researcher Anna Therese Day, who will receive the World Press Freedom Award for her reporting on the ground in the Middle East and the Americas, and for her support of independent journalists through her work founding The Frontline Freelance Register, a representative body for freelance journalists.
  • The Free Burma Rangers, a multi-ethnic humanitarian service movement working to provide critical emergency medical care, shelter, food, clothing and human rights documentation in the conflict zones of Burma, Iraq, Syria., and Sudan. The group will receive the Humanitarian Award, which will be accepted by the group’s founder and director Dave Eubank.
  • To mark the fifth anniversary of the awards, a James W. Foley Legacy Achievement Award, A Profile In Moral Courage, will be awarded to Ali Soufan, former FBI agent and founder of The Soufan Center. The foundation will honor Soufan’s critical pro bono work in helping to secure the release of Theo Padnos, who was held by al-Qaeda in Syria, and helping families of the 2014 American hostages achieve accountability for their losses.

“It is our honor to welcome Admiral McRaven and to recognize the moral courage and individual contributions of Jason Poblete, Anna Therese Day, the Free Burma Rangers and Ali Soufan,” said Diane Foley, president and founder of the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation. “We salute them for prioritizing the return of every American unjustly detained or kidnapped abroad, supporting press freedom in the U.S. and around the world, as well as the humanitarian assistance they provide in some of the world’s most dangerous places.”

To learn more about the 2020 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 and community relations, at amy.coyne@jamesfoleyfoundation.org.