Bill Clinton, women's rights group Tostan to receive Thomas J. Dodd Prize

Former President Bill Clinton speaks at an event marking the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, in New Orleans. Clinton will receive the UConn Foundation's Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights on Oct. 15. (Max Becherer/AP)

Former President Bill Clinton and a Senegal-based women’s rights group, Tostan, have been awarded the Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights for their work in developing African communities.

Clinton will receive the prize on Oct. 15, while a $100,000 award from the John W. Kluge Foundation will go toward Tostan during a ceremony at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts. He will give the keynote speech at the ceremony, just as he did 20 years ago at the opening of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.

The Clinton Foundation has been involved in a variety from global health to climate change since 2001. Tostan, a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, is being recognized for its work with sustainable development and gender equality, including efforts to end female genital mutilation and child marriage.

Jack Kramer, media director for the UConn Foundation, said a selection committee of human rights experts chose Clinton as a co-recipient for his dedication to philanthropy.

“We think both as president and in his work directing the Clinton Foundation after his presidency that he’s made human rights a top priority of everything that he’s worked on, and for that we think that this is a well deserved recognition,” Kramer said.

The Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights has been awarded biennially since 2003 in honor of Thomas J. Dodd, the lead prosecutor of the Nuremberg trials and a former Senator of Connecticut. Past recipients include Tony Blair, former prime minister of Great Britain, and Louise Arbour, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

University President Susan Herbst said in a press release Tuesday morning that she hopes Clinton’s presence on campus will spur further discussion on social issues at UConn.

“The Dodd Prize is about human rights and social justice. In that same vein, important conversations continued to take place throughout the nation this summer, especially on the issue of race. It is my hope that similar conversations will take place on our campuses,” Herbst said in the release.

Bill Clinton will not be paid for his keynote speech unlike when presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke at UConn in 2014. Tickets to the event will be free for students.


Kimberly Armstrong is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at kimberly.armstrong@uconn.edu.