Thursday, July 30, 2009

Professor Muhammad Yunus Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

From the Grameen Foundation...
I am delighted to announce that Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder and managing director of Grameen Bank and member emeritus of Grameen Foundation’s board of directors, has been awarded a 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom. Dr. Yunus will receive his medal from President Barack Obama at a special White House ceremony on August 12.
I worked with Dr. Yunus for six years in Bangladesh prior to establishing Grameen Foundation with his support in 1997, and I am delighted that he is being honored for his tremendous work on behalf of poor people worldwide. While living there, I saw Professor Yunus’ humble leadership and pathbreaking ideas changing lives and motivating people at all levels of society to envision and work towards a poverty-free Bangladesh. Today, it is a completely different country than when I first arrived there in 1988, and his work has been at the center of those positive changes.
Ultimately, it is his unwavering belief in the power of even the poorest person in a society—whether they live in a rural Asian village or an urban slum in Africa, Latin America or even the United States—to help themselves that inspires all of us here at Grameen Foundation each and every day.
President Obama captured these sentiments wonderfully in his announcement of the awards, saying, "Each [recipient] saw an imperfect world and set about improving it, often overcoming great obstacles along the way.“
I am deeply honored that Dr. Yunus has invited me to join him and others at the ceremony and look forward to sharing that experience with all of you.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is this nation’s highest civilian honor and recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the United States, world peace and culture. When Dr. Yunus receives his award, he will be joining a distinguished group of individuals that includes Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Please join us in sending congratulations to Dr. Yunus by clicking here. We will present all these congratulatory notes to him on August 13, the day after the awards ceremony.


Alex Counts
President & CEO
Grameen Foundation

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