LONDON, ENGLAND, June 17, 2011—IIE's Scholar Rescue Fund was celebrated as the "Charity of the Year" by Times Higher Education (THE) at the magazine's third annual Leadership and Management Awards ceremony. The awards were presented at a gala dinner on June 16 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London, with more than 1,000 representatives from the higher education sector.
The THE Leadership and Management awards represent a unique opportunity to celebrate the excellence and achievements of UK higher education institutions and partnering organizations. The awards are presented to teams from UK colleges and universities in 16 categories ranging from top library team and best in marketing and communications to the outstanding student services team and those who have delivered the best departmental administration. Other categories cover procurement, research management, university finance and human resources. The top award for outstanding leadership and management was presented this year to Birkbeck, University of London.
Ann Mroz, editor of THE, said, "Our annual awards always serve as a reminder of the extraordinary quality and dedication of those working in our universities and colleges."
IIE's Scholar Rescue Fund was selected to be highlighted as Charity of the Year at the gala dinner. In accepting this award, SRF board member Denise Benmosche spoke about this unique program that provides support and safe haven to persecuted academics throughout the world. She spoke of the personal impact of growing up under a dictatorial regime in Venezuela, hearing gunshots outside her window and having her father pulled from the family car by soldiers. She noted that her experiences have made her grateful for the freedoms we have and have made her determined to help others who are in danger through her work on behalf of the Scholar Rescue Fund.
Since its founding in 2002, the Scholar Rescue Fund has evaluated requests for assistance from 3000 scholars in more than 100 countries. Nearly 400 scholars from 44 countries have been saved to date—from harassment, torture, imprisonment, even death. These scholars have been placed at over 261 colleges and universities in more than 39 countries worldwide, where they are able to pursue their academic work in freedom and safety.
"By aiming to rescue the most senior, most threatened scholars in the world, SRF spreads hope. It also shows repressive forces and persecuted scholars alike that someone is watching and someone cares," Mrs. Benmosche said.
She thanked the higher education community for their help and support, and acknowledged the valuable partnership of CARA, the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics. She invited the colleges and universities represented at the ceremony to refer threatened scholars to SRF, and to consider hosting a threatened scholar on their campus.