Winners of the Eliasson Global Leadership Prize

New York, NY, USA  – November 29, 2017 – The Tällberg Foundation announced today four winners of The Eliasson Global Leadership Prize 

The Tällberg Foundation Announces Winners of its Eliasson Global Leadership Prize

Mr. Alonso, an architect, co-founder and executive director of Instituto Elos based in Santos, Brazil was selected for his dedication to participative leadership, mobilization and community building;

Ms. Heller was chosen for her tireless efforts to provide competent legal support for refugees who must cope with complicated legal systems as they seek refuge from war, genocide, economic collapse and other factors;

Mr. Omenetto, the Frank C. Doble Professor of Engineering, and a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts University in Boston was chosen for his pioneering work using silk as a material platform for advanced technology with applications in photonics, optoelectronics and nanotechnology;

Mr. Simons was honored for his ability to integrate technology, entrepreneurship and practical politics in new, effective, and scalable approaches to development, that are relevant not only to Ghana, but to other emerging countries.

“Conventional wisdom is that leadership is in short supply today—but conventional wisdom is wrong,” said Alan Stoga, chairman of the Tällberg Foundation. “These four leaders, working in very different fields and confronting very different challenges, demonstrate that individuals with vision, talent, courage and values are hard at work to change the world for the better.”

Andreas Dracopoulos, Co-President and Director of SNF, added, “We support this initiative because we believe that creative, bold and principled leadership is desperately needed today.  The Eliasson Global Leadership Prize identifies and honors leaders who not only are making a difference now, but whose work is likely to have even more significant impact in the future.”

The Eliasson Global Leadership Prize, supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), is given annually to outstanding leaders from any country and any discipline whose work is global in application, innovative, optimistic, courageous and based on universal values.  Winners are chosen by an international jury, convened by The Tällberg Foundation, from a pool of leaders nominated through an open, online process. Each award carries a stipend of $50,000.

The Eliasson Global Leadership Prize of the Tällberg Foundation is named in honor of the international and Swedish diplomat, Jan Eliasson, who most recently served as Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.

About the Tällberg Foundation

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

About SNF

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

Since 1996, SNF has committed more than $2.4 billion, through almost 4,000 grants to nonprofit organizations in 115 nations around the world.