NEW YORK, Sept. 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Appeal of Conscience Foundation, an interfaith organization, which for more than half a century has brought together corporate and religious leaders, statesmen and members of the world diplomatic corps who are dedicated to religious freedom, human rights and tolerance, and its president and founder Rabbi Arthur Schneier, presented the 2018 Appeal of Conscience World Leader Award to Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. Johann Peter Rupert, Chairman of Compagnie Financière Richemont, received the Appeal of Conscience Award at the 53rd Annual Appeal of Conscience Awards held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York.
United States Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin was the keynote speaker. Former United States Secretary of State, Dr. Henry Kissinger delivered the evening's address.
"The Appeal of Conscience Foundation advances the values of peace and religious liberty," said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. "At a time when hostile actors continue to promote violence and intolerance, the Foundation is a powerful voice for a more secure and prosperous future for all Americans and people around the world."
Secretary Mnuchin was introduced by Stephen A. Schwarzman, the Chairman and CEO of The Blackstone Group. Brian Moynihan, the Chairman and CEO of Bank of America introduced Madam Lagarde and Dr. Kissinger and Maurice Lévy, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Publicis Groupe introduced Mr. Rupert.
According to Rabbi Arthur Schneier, the president and founder of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, "Madam Lagarde is being recognized for her lifelong commitment to public service and for her exemplary leadership of the International Monetary Fund and espousing principles aligned with the interfaith Appeal for Conscience Foundation and its efforts world-over. Mr. Rupert is being honored for his humanitarian efforts and generosity that have benefited education, the arts, advanced social justice and conservation of land."
"I am honored to accept this award," said Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. "The Appeal of Conscience Foundation's belief that freedom, democracy and human rights are the fundamental values that give nations of the world their best hope for peace, security and shared prosperity, is a belief shared by many, including us at the IMF. We also believe that resilient, inclusive and sustainable economic growth will help lift millions more out of poverty."
"It is truly an honor to receive this award," said Johann Peter Rupert, Chairman of Compagnie Financière Richemont. "Amidst the turbulence of a world-wide surge in xenophobia, The Appeal of Conscience Foundation reflects the critical need to support religious freedom and the rights of the individual regardless of background and ethnicity. The Foundation creates a space for business and religious leaders together to help advance peace and economic security."
Secretary for Relations with States, Holy See, Archbishop Paul Gallagher delivered greetings.
About Christine Lagarde:
Born in Paris in 1956, Christine Lagarde completed high school in Le Havre and attended Holton Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland. She then graduated from law school at University Paris X, and obtained a Master's degree from the Political Science Institute in Aix en Provence.
After being admitted as a lawyer to the Paris Bar, she joined the international law firm of Baker & McKenzie as an associate, specializing in Labor, Anti-trust, and Mergers & Acquisitions. A member of the Executive Committee of the Firm in 1995, Ms. Lagarde became the Chairman of the Global Executive Committee of Baker & McKenzie in 1999, and subsequently Chairman of the Global Strategic Committee in 2004.
Christine Lagarde joined the French government in June 2005 as Minister for Foreign Trade. After a brief stint as Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, in June 2007 she became the first woman to hold the post of Finance and Economy Minister of a G-7 country. From July to December 2008, she also chaired the ECOFIN Council, which brings together Economics and Finance Ministers of the European Union, and helped foster international policies related to financial supervision, regulation, and strengthening global economic governance. As Chair of the G-20 when France took over its presidency for the year 2011, she set in motion a wide-ranging work agenda on the reform of the international monetary system.
On July 5, 2011, Christine Lagarde became the eleventh Managing Director of the IMF, and the first woman to hold that position. On February 19, 2016, the IMF Executive Board selected her to serve as IMF Managing Director for a second five-year term starting on July 5, 2016.
Madam Lagarde was named Officer in the Légion d'honneur in April 2012.
About Johann Rupert:
Johann Rupert grew up in Stellenbosch, South Africa, where he attended Paul Roos Gymnasium and the University of Stellenbosch, studying economics and company law. In the early seventies he led a group of students in anti-Apartheid protests.
In 1979, Rupert founded Rand Merchant Bank ("RMB" -of which he was CEO) and the. Small Business Development Corporation (today known as Business Partners), which has assisted thousands of entrepreneurs, creating over 700,000 new jobs.
He left RMB in 1984, to join his father's company, the Rembrandt Group, today known as Remgro, a South African Investment Holding Company. In 1988 he founded Compagnie Financière Richemont SA, a Swiss holding company for luxury goods. Rupert started the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation in 1990 with the late President Nelson Mandela as the first Patron. Laureus funds over 150 projects in over 40 countries, with the goal of using sport to tackle social issues, having a particular emphasis on underprivileged children.
Rupert was formerly a Managing Trustee and member of the investment committee of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and served on the Daimler Chrysler International Advisory Board. Following in the footsteps of his father, Anton, Johann Rupert is a committed conservationist. In addition to conserving about 73,000 acres in the Graaff Reinet area, his family Foundation has bought and donated an additional 260,000 acres of adjacent land to the South African Parks Board. He is also Chairman of the Peace Parks Foundation, which supports the creation of transfrontier conservation areas.
Rupert was awarded honorary doctorates in Economics, Humanities and Laws by The Universities of Stellenbosch, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan and St. Andrews respectively. In 2009 he was elected as Chancellor of Stellenbosch University. In 2009 he was appointed "Officier" of the French "Ordre National de la Légion d'Honneur" by the President of the French Republic.
Madeline K. Albright, James A. Baker III, Richard Blumenthal, Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Jacob J. Lew, Carolyn B. Maloney, John D. Negroponte, Henry Paulson, Colin L. Powell, Robert E. Rubin, Charles E. Schumer, George P. Shultz, Lawrence H. Summers, Paul A. Volcker, James D. Wolfensohn.
Tribute Leadership Committee:
Bernard J. Arnault, Len Blavatnik, John A. Catsimatidis, Michael L. Corbat, Paul J. Fribourg, Alex Gorsky, Muhtar Kent, Hon. Ronald S. Lauder, Ralph and Ricky Lauren, Maurice Lévy, Andrew N. Liveris, Hon. Earle I. Mack, Brian Moynihan, Michael Peterson, Anthony J. Pratt, Stephen A. Schwarzman, Masayoshi Son, Jerry I. Speyer.
About The Appeal of Conscience Foundation:
The Appeal of Conscience Foundation, founded by Rabbi Arthur Schneier in 1965, has worked on behalf of religious freedom and human rights throughout the world. This interfaith coalition of business and religious leaders promotes peace, tolerance and inter-religious cooperation and provides a voice of conscience to protect minorities. To uphold the principle of "live and let live" is the Appeal of Conscience Foundation's continuing goal.
The Appeal of Conscience Foundation believes that freedom, democracy and human rights are the fundamental values that give nations of the world their best hope for peace, security and shared prosperity. The Appeal of Conscience Foundation has long held that "a crime committed in the name of religion is the greatest crime against religion." The struggle for human rights is ongoing and tolerance can be achieved by promoting open dialogue and mutual understanding.
SOURCE The Appeal of Conscience Foundation