The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative has announced the appointment of Lord Ara Darzi as Chair of Aurora Prize Selection Committee. Academy-award winning actor and director and philanthropist George Clooney will remain on the Committee as its Honorary Co-Chair, sharing this position with world famous peace and human rights activist Benjamin Ferencz. The announcement was made during the inaugural Aurora Forum taking place in Armenia in October 2019.
Professor Darzi has joined the Aurora Prize Selection Committee in September 2017. He is Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London. Lord Ara Darzi also holds the Paul Hamlyn Chair of Surgery at Imperial College London, and the Institute of Cancer Research and is Executive Chair of the World Innovation Summit for Health in Qatar. He is a Consultant Surgeon at Imperial College Hospital NHS Trust and the Royal Marsden NHS Trust. In 2002, Lord Darzi was knighted for his services in medicine and surgery and later introduced to the United Kingdom’s House of Lords as Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham. He has been a member of the Privy Council since June 2009 and was awarded the Order of Merit in January 2016.
“This is a great honor and responsibly. I’m grateful and excited to continue working with my fellow members of the Selection Committee in this new capacity. The amazing people celebrated by the Aurora Prize don’t do what they do for recognition. They risk their lives helping others because that’s the way they are. But recognition is important, and awareness is extremely important to build the confidence in people and inspire them to join this global movement of doing good. The Aurora Prize shows the world that even the tiniest bit you could do could have a huge impact, and that’s why I’m delighted to be part of it,” said Lord Ara Darzi.
Professor Darzi is leading by example. Through the Institute of Global Health Innovation, which he also chairs, he is helping to design healthcare systems across the world – including Armenia. He has published over 1,000 peer-reviewed research papers to date, developing his status as a key voice in the field of global health policy and innovation.
The Aurora Prize Selection Committee also includes Nobel Laureates Oscar Arias, Shirin Ebadi and Leymah Gbowee; former president of Ireland Mary Robinson; human rights activist Hina Jilani; former foreign minister of Australia and President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group Gareth Evans; former president of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo; Médecins Sans Frontières co-founder and former foreign minister of France Bernard Kouchner; former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power; human rights activist and Founding Director of Enough Project John Prendergast; Artistic and General Director of Mariinsky Theatre and Principal Conductor of the Munich Philharmoniker Valery Gergiev; President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York Vartan Gregorian. World famous peace and human rights activist Benjamin Ferencz and Academy Award-winning actor and humanitarian George Clooney are the Committee’s Honorary Co-Chairs.