Annual Gala

Each fall, Princeton in Africa gathers in New York City to celebrate our Fellows and the work they are doing in Africa, and to catch up with friends and former Fellows. Our fall benefit dinner is Princeton in Africa’s main fundraising event for the year.

During our annual dinner, we present an outstanding individual with the Princeton in Africa Medal. Over the years, we have sought honorees from diverse fields – journalism, diplomacy, public service, international NGOs and corporate America. While our honorees come from diverse backgrounds, all Princeton in Africa Medal recipients share a commitment to the advancement of Africa. Presentation of the medal is an occasion for our community of individuals, corporations, foundations, and other organizations devoted to Africa to hear directly from the honoree about his/her work in Africa and his/her vision for the continent. With the guests that our honoree brings, Princeton in Africa is able to introduce our program to a new community of potential supporters.

Previous recipients of the Princeton in Africa Medal (or other awards, as indicated) include:

  • Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Laureate & Founder of The Gbowee Peace Foundation (2016)
  • Dwight Anderson, Ospraie Management LLC (2016) *recipient of the 2016 Princeton in Africa Founders’ Medal – see below
  • Jagdish D. Thakkar, Sarla J. Thakkar and Ashish J. Thakkar, Mara Group and Mara Foundation (2015)
  • Mitch Besser, mothers2mothers (2015) *recipient of the 2015 Princeton in Africa Founders’ Medal – see below
  • The Tierney Family (2014)
  • Jim Floyd, George Hritz, and Frank Strasburger, Co-Founders of Princeton in Africa (2014) *recipients of the 2014 Princeton in Africa Founders’ Medal – see below
  • Barry and Dolly Segal, Segal Family Foundation (2013)
  • Bob and Jennifer Diamond, Atlas Merchant Capital (2013)
  • Conrad Person, Director, Corporate Contributions, Johnson & Johnson (2012)
  • Lauren Bush, CEO, Creative Director & Co-Founder, FEED Projects (2011)
  • Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Journalists and Authors of Half the Sky (2010)
  • Julius Coles, President of Africare (2009) *recipient of the 2009 Princeton in Africa Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Thomas Barry, President & CEO of Zephyr Management (2009)
  • Ambassador Robert Oakley (2008) *recipient of the 2008 Princeton in Africa Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Ambassador Frank Wisner (2008)
  • Senator Bill Frist (2007)
  • Sandra and Andrew Bonfield (2006) *recipients of the 2006 Princeton in Africa Service Award
  • Jonathan and Jennifer Oppenheimer, De Beers (2006)
  • George C. Rupp, President, International Rescue Committee (2005)
  • Dennis Keller, Chairman of the Board, DeVry, Inc. (2004)
  • Ambassador Cameron Hume (2003)

*In 2014, in honor of 15 years of sending Fellows to Africa, PiAf created the Princeton in Africa Founders’ Medal. The first-ever recipients of the Princeton in Africa Founders’ Medal were the Co-Founders of Princeton in Africa (Jim Floyd, George Hritz and Frank Strasburger).

Princeton in Africa is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. We are affiliated with Princeton University, but we do not receive direct funding from the University. We rely on the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations to make these life-changing fellowship opportunities possible, and to keep our program available on a need-blind basis.

Past Galas

2016 Gala: information here, photos here

2015 Gala: information here, photos here

2014 Gala: information here, photos here, read former Fellow Alexandra Hellmuth’s remarks at the event here

2013 Gala: information here, photos here

2012 Gala: information here, photos here, read former Fellow Allie Bream’s remarks at the event here

2011 Gala: information here, photos here, read a press article in Kenyan Vibe about the event here