Delta Air Lines and The University of Georgia Award the 2002 Delta Prize for Global Understanding to Former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata

— February 27, 2002

ATLANTA — Delta Air Lines and The University of Georgia today announced that Sadako Ogata, former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, has been selected as the 2002 recipient of the Delta Prize for Global Understanding. Ogata was chosen for her longstanding commitment to human rights.

Established with an $890,000 grant from the Delta Air Lines Foundation, the Delta Prize is administered by the University of Georgia. Nominees for the Delta Prize for Global Understanding are solicited from around the world. Selected University of Georgia students research the nominees for the international selection board that meets annually to choose the recipient.

"I am deeply honored to receive this prestigious award," said Ogata. "My work over the years with refugees has been extremely important to me. I hope I’ve been able to make a positive difference in the lives of others and help bring about some peace and understanding among people of different nations."

Ogata is the fourth recipient of the prize. Previous recipients of the Delta Prize are former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, and former United States President Jimmy Carter, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and The Carter Center.

"As a global airline, Delta understands the importance of intercultural understanding and is proud to recognize Sadako Ogata for her efforts to improve the quality of life for millions of refugees," said Frederick W. Reid, president and chief operating officer of Delta Air Lines.

From 1982 to 1985, Ogata was Representative of Japan on the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. She then went on to serve as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from 1991-2000. Prior to her service with the United Nations, Ogata held several dignified positions, including dean of the Faculty of Foreign Studies at Sophia University in Tokyo and chairman of the Executive Board of UNICEF.

"The Delta Prize was established to recognize such individuals as Mrs. Ogata who have helped solve some of our world's difficult intercultural problems," said University of Georgia President Michael F. Adams. "Mrs. Ogata's work with refugees in Iraq, the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Kosovo, and East Timor has made a better life for millions of people."

Ogata received a doctorate in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to authoring several books, she has served on many government advisory councils and been the recipient of several honorary degrees. Born in Tokyo in 1927, Ogata is married with two children.

Ogata is scheduled to accept the Delta Prize at a May 28 ceremony in Atlanta. The Delta Prize carries a $10,000 cash award.

A team of UGA students helps solicit nominations and also gathers information about nominees. The award recipient is chosen by an international selection committee.

Read more about Sadako Ogata.

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