(Washington, D.C.) – The U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) is proud to announce Ms. Josephine Ekiru of Kenya as the recipient of the Institute’s 2021 Women Building Peace Award.

This prestigious annual award honors women who are building peace in countries impacted by conflict.  A council of distinguished experts selected nine finalists among 125 nominations from more than 30 countries.

“If you look around the world, most peace-builders are women,” said USIP President Lise Grande. “It’s our responsibility to do more to support and celebrate these women.”

Ms. Ekiru is the Peace Coordinator for the Northern Rangelands Trust in Kenya, a unique peace group that brings together more than 320,000 indigenous people in Northern and Eastern Kenya as they work together to stop conflict, conserve land, protect wildlife and halt poaching.

The award was presented by U.S. Navy Admiral (Ret.) Michelle Howard as part of a virtual ceremony that featured the other finalists and paid special tribute to the women of Afghanistan.

“Ms. Ekiru is a heroine,” said Nancy Lindborg, honorary chair of the Women Building Peace (WBP) Council. “Her work to build peace in northern Kenya is a model for all of us.”

"It has been a wonderful experience hearing these women's stories,” said Marcia Myers Carlucci, co-chair of the WBP Council. “Their commitment to peace, exceptional leadership and their impact in their communities are nothing short of inspiring."

“These are some of the strongest and most courageous women you’ll ever meet,” said Megan Beyer, co-chair of the WBP Council. “We’re humbled by what they do every single day.”

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