November 17, 2019
Research Organization to Pay Tribute to Community Leaders Merryl and James Tisch
Washington, D.C. – The Washington Institute for Near East Policy will present its 2019 Scholar-Statesman Award to King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan at a gala event in New York City on November 21, 2019, the research organization announced today. The Institute will also pay tribute to Institute Trustees Merryl and James Tisch, leaders in the business, educational, and philanthropic communities.
"It is our great privilege to recognize His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan for his courageous leadership and profound commitment to peace and moderation," stated Institute leaders Executive Director Robert Satloff, President Shelly Kassen, and Chairman James Schreiber. "In a region troubled by violence and extremism, the King has shown over two decades on the throne that a mix of compassion and strength is a recipe for visionary statesmanship."
King Abdullah II has been the head of Jordan's monarchy since 1999, following the passing of his father, King Hussein. Throughout his reign, he has prioritized investing in the potential of his people, countering violent extremism, and working to expand the prospects for peace in the Middle East. The 41st generation direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, King Abdullah II has been recognized around the world for efforts to advance harmony and peace within Islam and among the world's great religions.
The Scholar-Statesman Award celebrates outstanding leaders who, through their public service and professional achievements, exemplify the idea that sound scholarship and a discerning knowledge of history are essential to wise and effective policy and the advancement of peace and security in the Middle East. Past Scholar-Statesman honorees have included President Bill Clinton, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, as well as former secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice, George P. Shultz, and Henry Kissinger.
The Scholar-Statesman Award Dinner, chaired by Institute Board of Directors member John Shapiro of New York City, will also pay tribute to Merryl and James Tisch, longtime supporters of the Institute and other charitable organizations in New York City, around the country, and abroad. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) will offer remarks in their honor.
A member of the Institute's Board of Directors, Merryl is the chair of the State University of New York and served formerly as chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents. Among her many leadership roles, she sits on the boards of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York City Charter Revision Commission, the Citizens Budget Commission, and the Trust for Cultural Resources of the City of New York.
James Tisch is the president and chief executive officer of Loews Corporation, and is also the chairman of the board of directors of Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. He is co-chairman of the board of trustees of the Mount Sinai Health Systems, where he and Merryl endowed the Tisch Cancer Institute in 2008. He has led numerous nonprofits boards including WNET, the Jewish Agency for Israel, the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, United Jewish Communities, and UJA-Federation of New York.
For questions about the Scholar-Statesman Award Dinner or for press requests to cover the event, please email before November 20, 2019.
About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.