Each year, the students and faculty of the Harvard Foundation and the Memorial Church nominate distinguished individuals from all over the world whose works and deeds on behalf of humanity deserve special recognition.  These individuals range from a variety of backgrounds — heads of state, outstanding scholars, religious leaders, artists, and others whose humanitarian efforts have enhanced the quality of our collective lives.  The recipient of the Harvard Foundation’s Humanitarian Award is asked to present the Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Lecture.

Previous recipients of the Humanitarian award have included Nobel laureates Elie Wiesel and Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu. Other recipients of the Harvard Foundation Humanitarian Award include Rev. Martin Luther King Sr.; James Earl Jones, actor; Kerry Kennedy, human rights advocate; Sharon Stone, actress; Tommy Hilfiger, apparel designer; and heroic pilot Captain Chesley Sullenberger.

The 2010 Rev. Professor Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Lecturer and award recipient is Thorbjørn Jagland, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize Committee, for his notable contributions to humanitarianism and world peace.

Jagland is the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize Committee and secretary general of the European Union. Jagland will visit Harvard on Thursday, Nov. 18, as guest of the Harvard Foundation and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs to deliver the Samuel L. and Elizabeth Jodidi Lecture at the Tsai Auditorium, 4-5:30 p.m. The title of his speech is “Individual Rights – Universal Peace.” During his stay, Jagland will also be honored at a special dinner at Winthrop House.