Pashtana Durrani and Christian Ntizimira
named in emerging leader category

To be honored on December 8


Stockholm and New York, November 9, 2021—Today the Tällberg Foundation announced the winners of the 2021 Tällberg-SNF-Eliasson Global Leadership Prizes, awarded annually for extraordinary leadership—in any field and any country—that is courageous, innovative, rooted in universal values and global in application or in aspiration.

The 2021 Laureates:

Asha de Vos for her pioneering research and the creation of a world class marine conservation research and education institution in Sri Lanka, in the face of long-standing bias to reserve such platforms for the Global North.

Tero Mustonen, Finnish climate scientist, naturalist and community leader, for his efforts to blend science and the wisdom of local and Indigenous peoples to define new, robust and sustainable approaches to climate change.  

In addition, the Foundation announced two winners in the newly established category of emerging leaders:

Pashtana Durrani, for her efforts to promote childhood digital literacy as a pillar of a new approach to education in the face of the brutal and violent political and social developments in Afghanistan. 

Christian Ntizimira, for his passionate advocacy for palliative care in Rwanda and elsewhere in Africa, based on his deeply held belief that dignified end-of-life care is a human right.

“In a world beset by catastrophic climate change, it is wonderful that the jury chose to honor the leadership of two extraordinary scientists whose work offers real pathways to a better future,” said Alan Stoga, the Tällberg Foundation’s chairman.  “We know the problems; leaders like Asha and Tero are showing us there are actionable answers.”

The initiative to extend the leadership prize to include emerging leaders was inspired by Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos and made possible by SNF. “The energy, the altruism, and the fresh ideas of the emerging leaders this prize seeks to honor give us hope for true progress on the biggest problems we face today,” he said. “Their work is important, but so is their fundamental optimism in undertaking it—it’s a call to all of us to act now and make a positive impact however we can.”

The four winners will be honored in a virtual celebration on Wednesday, December 8.  To register, go to

In 2021, 2,414 leaders from 126 countries were nominated for the Prize, representing a wide range of disciplines, occupations, and political perspectives.  Prize winners receive a cash stipend—$50,000 for established leaders and $25,000 for emerging leaders—in addition to the opportunity to participate in the Tällberg Foundation’s global leaders’ network.


Learn more about each of these leaders by visiting our website

About the Tällberg Foundation
The Tällberg Foundation, with offices in Stockholm and New York, aims to provoke people to think—and therefore act—differently about the global issues that are shaping their present and their future. For more information, contact

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About the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF)
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) is one of the world’s leading private, international philanthropic organizations, making grants to nonprofit organizations in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and sports, and social welfare. SNF funds organizations and projects worldwide that aim to achieve a broad, lasting, and positive impact for society at large and exhibit strong leadership and sound management. The Foundation also supports projects that facilitate the formation of public-private partnerships as an effective means for serving public welfare.

Since 1996, the Foundation has committed more than $3.2 billion through over 5,000 grants to nonprofit organizations in more than 135 countries around the world.

Learn more at


Find the media kit with the press release and other materials here.

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