NEW YORK, November 15, 2011 – Jack Leslie, chairman of Weber Shandwick, one of the world’s leading global public relations firms, will be honored for his work with refugees at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) agency’s 60th anniversary gala in New York City tonight.
The USA for UNHCR event will commemorate the lifesaving accomplishments of the UN Refugee Agency while honoring Leslie, ABC News correspondent JuJu Chang, and Farooq Kathwari, Chairman, President & CEO of Ethan Allen Interiors, Inc., for their commitment, support and awareness-building efforts around the plights of millions of refugees around the world.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is mandated by the United Nations to lead and coordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country. In more than six decades, the agency has helped tens of millions of people restart their lives. Today there are more than 30 million refugees and internally displaced people under the jurisdiction of UNHCR out of 42 million such people globally.
Leslie’s passion for humanitarian and development assistance is evident from his work as an active advocate for numerous international organizations. Leslie was a board member of USA for UNHCR for over a decade and served as Chairman of the US committee from 2003 – 2006. He participated in a number of UNHCR missions, including in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Tanzania. In 2009, he was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the US Senate to serve as Chairman of the United States African Development Foundation (USADF), a federal agency dedicated to providing assistance to marginalized communities in 21 African nations. Under his leadership, USADF now has an active portfolio of over 400 project grants benefiting more than 900,000 Africans and creating more than $265 million of new economic activity.
I am humbled and honored to be recognized by UNHCR, an organization that performs miracles in the field, saving hundreds of thousands of lives in some of the world’s most difficult places.
Leslie is a veteran communications strategist, having advised corporations and governments on high-profile campaigns over the past 30 years. He is a member of the member of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid (ACVFA), the Council on Foreign Relations, and a member of the Board of Advisors of the Duke Global Health Institute.