Waislitz Award - The Judges

Hugh Evans

Hugh Evans Headshot.jpg

Hugh Evans, CEO of Global Citizen, is an Australian humanitarian and an internationally renowned development advocate.

His passion for poverty eradication was sparked at the age of 14 while on a World Vision trip to the Philippines. The abject poverty Hugh was exposed to led him to begin his work challenging the status quo of extreme poverty. Following a trip to South Africa in 2002 as World Vision's inaugural Youth Ambassador, Hugh co-founded the Oaktree Foundation; Australia's first youth-run aid organization. Oaktree’s success under Hugh’s guidance as Director led to Hugh being named Young Australian of the Year (2004) and Junior Chamber International Person of the World (2005).

Hugh then worked to grow the Make Poverty History campaign in Australia, helping to run the 2006 Make Poverty History Concert fronted by U2 singer Bono and Pearl Jam. The impact of these campaigns were credited with playing a key role in the Government’s decision to increase its committed foreign aid budget.

In 2008, with grants from the United Nations, Australian government and British government, Hugh built his impact in the aid and development sector, co-founding the Global Poverty Project (GPP). GPP is an education and advocacy organization committed to increasing the number and effectiveness of individuals taking action to end extreme poverty. In 2010 it helped launch the million dollar, international fundraising campaign Live Below the Line, and in 2011 Global Poverty Project worked alongside the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation to execute The End of Polio campaign which leveraged $118 million in funds to eradicate Polio. In August 2012, GPP launched the annual Global Citizen Festival — a free ticketed music event in New York City that coincides with the UN General Assembly meeting in September. Over the last five years, Global Citizens have taken over 6 million actions in the fight against extreme poverty.

He was featured on Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2012, was named as one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business in 2014, and received the GQ Man of the Year Award for Chivalry in 2014.

Alex Waislitz

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Alex Waislitz is Executive Chairman and Founder of the private Thorney Investment Group, a Melbourne, Australia based diversified investor in public securities, private companies and property.  Thorney specialises in emerging companies across a broad array of industries including Technology, Manufacturing, Mining Services and Resources.

Alex is also Chairman of Thorney Opportunities Limited, an Australian sharemarket (ASX) listed investment company which has a value and activist focus.

Alex has extensive business and capital markets experience and has been a member of several public company Boards of Directors. He is also Vice President of the Board of Collingwood Football Club.

In 2015 Alex established The Waislitz Family Foundation with the stated aim of donating $50 million to a range of selected charitable projects.

Alex is a graduate of Monash University Melbourne in Law and Commerce and a Graduate of the Harvard Business School OPM Program.

Marissa Sackler

Marissa Sackler

Marissa Sackler is the founder of Beespace, a nonprofit incubator in New York City helping to identify and launch the next generation of innovative nonprofits. Utilizing the tech incubator model, Beespace provides these organizations with a suite of shared services, office space, and the support of an innovative community to grow their impact. She is a founding sponsor and activist for charity: water and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Dia Art Foundation, Invisible Children and Nest. She also serves on the Advisory Boards for Global Citizen's Global Poverty Project, Global Citizen Festival, Last Mile Health and Maiyet. Marissa is a published photographer whose work highlights social injustice in ways that elicit empathy rather than guilt and, she hopes, inspires people to profit the world.

Twesigye Jackson Kaguri


Twesigye Jackson Kaguri was born and raised in Uganda in the small village of Nyakagyezi, graduating from Makere University in Kampala. During this time he co-founded the human rights organization, Human Rights Concerns, to help victims of human rights violations in Uganda and to educate the public about their rights. In the 90s he became a visiting scholar at Columbia University where he studied Human Rights Advocacy. Over the years he has been involved extensively in international community efforts as a human rights advocate, fundraiser, and inspirational speaker.

In 2001, Kaguri founded The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project in response to the devastating effects of AIDS in his hometown. The organization provides free education to children who have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS. In addition to two primary schools and a secondary a school, it also operates two libraries, desire farm and nutrition program, a medical clinic, two clean water systems, and a support program for the grandmothers who care for up to 12 children at a time.

Since founding the project, Kaguri has also become the author of four books––A School for My Village and three children books. In 2016 he was awarded an honorary PhD in Humanities from Shenandoah University. Kaguri has been awarded the 2015 Waislitz Global Citizen Award, named a 2012 CNN Hero, a Heifer International Hero, recognized in Time Magazine’s ‘Power of One’ Series, and spoken to the UN about his work. When not visiting the schools in Uganda or working at his office in Okemos, MI, Kaguri travels the country to speak with students and supporters about the organization.

Gayle King


Gayle King is a co-host of "CBS This Morning” and Editor-at-Large of the award-winning O, the Oprah Magazine.

King previously hosted "The Gayle King Show," a live, weekday television interview program on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network. The program, which featured a discussion of a broad variety of topics that include politics, cultural developments, was also broadcast on XM Satellite Radio, where it premiered in 2006.

Before moving into print and radio, King worked for 18 years (1982-2000) as a television news anchor for CBS affiliate WFSB-TV in Hartford, Conn., during which period, she also hosted her own syndicated daytime program. Prior to joining WFSB, King worked at several other television stations, including WDAF-TV in Kansas City, Mo. (1978-1981), WJZ-TV in Baltimore, Md. (1976), and WTOP-TV in Washington, D.C. (1975).

King has received numerous awards for her extensive work as a journalist. In addition to three Emmys, she was honored in 2008 with the American Women in Radio & Television Gracie Award for Outstanding Radio Talk Show and in 2010 with both the Individual Achievement Award for Host-Entertainment/Information and the New York Women in Communications' Matrix Award recipient.

King spent several years of her childhood in Ankara, Turkey, before returning with her family to the United States. She graduated from the University of Maryland in 1976 with a degree in psychology.

The mother of a daughter, Kirby, and a son, Will, she currently resides in New York City.