World Affairs Council-Washington, DC to honor IBM Corporation, The National Geographic Society, Republic of South Africa and George Mason University at Global Education Gala

Prominent Cabinet Official to deliver keynote address at the 36th annual HONORS: Gala on March 29, 2016 in Washington, DC

Jan 22, 2016, 11:25 ET from The World Affairs Council-Washington, DC

WASHINGTON, Jan. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The World Affairs Council-Washington, DC (WAC-DC) annual Global Education HONORS: Gala is an event that recognizes organizations who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to global education, international affairs, and global communications. On March 29, 2016, WAC-DC will present five honorees with Awards that exemplify the mission of the Council, which is to empower educators and students to effectively compete, communicate, and lead in our multicultural nation and worldwide.

"We are delighted that this year marks our 36th annual Global Education Gala," said Edie Fraser, WAC-DC Chairperson. "The HONORS: Gala is about celebrating excellence in education worldwide. We recognize and join our partners who are contributing to the vital advancement of global education for educators, teachers, students and other publics whom we serve."

The IBM Corporation will receive a Global Education Award that will be accepted by Daniel S. Pelino, GM – Global Public Sector. "At IBM, we think of education in terms of a 'moon shot' – a once in a lifetime opportunity to significantly advance a mission with vital importance to the world," said Daniel Pelino. "Today, through breakthroughs in cognitive technologies such as IBM Watson, we believe technology has the potential to personalize education and improve learning outcomes, with the goal of transforming education and shaping its future," he added. "Thank you WAC-DC for the work you do to support education initiatives around the world. Together, we can achieve so much."

The Republic of South Africa will receive the Distinguished Diplomatic Service Award that will be accepted by H.E. Mninwa J Mahlangu, Ambassador to the United States. "This is a great honor for us," said Ambassador Mahlangu. "The WAC-DC Global Education Teacher Exchange program with South Africa is a testimony to our commitment to the promotion of education and training as a tool of empowerment for individuals and society, as a whole," he said. The Ambassador echoed what was said by Nelson Mandela: "Education is the most powerful weapon that you can use to change the world."

The George Mason University will receive the Educator of the Year Award that will be accepted by Dr. Ángel Cabrera, President. "The most effective people in today's global environment have developed the international mindset required to connect with individuals and organizations across boundaries," Dr. Cabrera said. "That's why we are committed at Mason to creating more opportunities for more students to gain the knowledge and experiences they need to succeed anywhere in the world, from our new campus in Korea to our growing web of partnerships with leading universities around the world.  We are appreciative that the World Affairs Council recognizes these efforts."

The National Geographic Society will receive the Global Communications Award that will be accepted by Gary E. Knell, President and CEO. "We believe in the power of science, exploration, storytelling and education to change the world.  We are passionate about educating the next generation — particularly geographic education.  Geography is not just about finding a place on map; it's about our interconnectedness as a global community," said Gary Knell. "We look forward to celebrating our shared commitment to advancing global education, international affairs and global communication."

The Keynote Address will be delivered by a prominent cabinet member from the Obama Administration.

WAC-DC's Vice-Chair and Chairman of the HONORS: Gala Michael Norris reiterated the Honoree's sentiments. "Global education is powerful. Even basic language skills are now requirements with about 25% of the world's countries having two or more official languages and more the half the world's population being at least bilingual," said Norris. "For students and educators to possess an understanding of universal values and international perspectives is a critical success factor in today's global community."

Please join us as we honor international leaders in global education, international affairs and global communications. For reservations, sponsorship and program details, please call 202.293.1051 or email

The World Affairs Council-Washington, DC:
The World Affairs Council – Washington, DC is 'A Leading Forum for Global Education and International Affairs' and an institution 'Where Learning Happens'. The Council is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to expanding awareness among the American public and international community, of geopolitical, business, environmental and civil society issues, in our inter-connected world. To learn more about the World Affairs Council-Washington, DC, including our social media sites, visit

Kristin Roach, WAC-DC Director-Global Communications,, 202-293-1051
Tony R. Culley-Foster, WAC-DC President & CEO,, 202-293-1051


SOURCE The World Affairs Council-Washington, DC