Announcements / January 17, 2024

2024 Citizen Diplomat Award Honors Community Leaders 

Global Ties U.S. is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2024 Citizen Diplomat Award: Daisy Khan, Founder and Executive Director of Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE), and the Rid-All Green Partnership from Cleveland, Ohio. There is also special recognition this year to Lenneal Henderson, Ph.D., Dean at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Virginia State University.

Daisy Khan, Doctor of Ministry, leads the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE), a New York City-based NGO advancing Muslim women’s rights to foster peacebuilding, gender equality, and human dignity. She has more than 20 years of experience combating anti-Muslim bias and building movements for positive change, both in the United States and around the globe.

Daisy is a key professional resource for International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) delegations visiting New York City, and over the last 10 years, has met with numerous IVLP groups focused on minority issues, women and gender, Islam, countering violent extremism, and other topics. Daisy also previously served as a U.S. Department of State international speaker for the U.S. Speakers’ Program.

Said F. Oliver Wilcox from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs in nominating Daisy for this award: “Dr. Khan and WISE’s international activities include engagement with and participation from representatives from over 25 countries. They have trained an estimated 6,000 imams on a range of women’s rights issues. Dr. Khan and WISE’s international engagement, bridge building, credibility, and results are important to be recognized.”

We are honored to present this award to Daisy for her commitment to advancing cross-cultural understanding and engagement.


Rid-All Green Partnership is an urban agricultural center and community education hub located in one of Cleveland’s oldest neighborhoods. Founded in 2010 on just 1.3 acres of vacant property previously used as an illegal dumping ground, Rid-All today spans over 18 acres and includes 10 different enterprises focused on food access, economic development, community development, and agriculture. This includes a 7,200 square-foot urban fish farm building, two greenhouses, six hoop houses, a commercial composting station, a healthy food restaurant/special event center, and a farmers market open 7 days a week. Rid-All’s community education initiatives include workshops, trainings, and apprenticeship programs for youth and veterans.

Nominated by the Cleveland Council on World Affairs (CCWA), a Global Ties U.S. Community-Based Member organization, Rid-All meets with dozens of international visitors each year through U.S. State Department sponsored programs including the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) and the Fulbright Program. In 2023 alone, Rid-All met with approximately 60 international visitor groups, including three IVLP delegations and two youth exchange projects. Co-Founders Keymah Durden and Dave “Dr. Greenhand” Hester were also keynote speakers at the 2022 Fulbright Enrichment Seminar on Climate Change held in Cleveland.

Described as a “top Citizen Diplomat resource” for CCWA, nominator Andrew Kovach said: “Rid-All co-founders Keymah and Dave have a passion for making global connections and building mutual understanding between cultures.”

We are honored to present this award to Rid-All for their work to address food insecurity and community revitalization through urban agriculture.


The 2024 Citizen Diplomat Award winners will deliver remarks on Thursday, March 7, at the Global Ties U.S. National Meeting. They will speak at the plenary, “Raising Community Voices,” about how they are serving their communities by connecting them with the world and building the effective global partnerships we need today. RSVP now to hear them speak.


Global Ties U.S. also announces special recognition for Lenneal Henderson, Ph.D. of Virginia State University. Nominated by Anne Driscoll of World Learning, Lenneal is dedicated to making international exchange available to everyone, especially African American, rural, and other historically under-represented students. A long-time resource for World Learning, Lenneal often meets with IVLP groups to provide federalism briefings and share his expertise in expanding access to student travel and exchange opportunities.  In 2022, he played a key role in the IVLP project, “Developing University Partnerships – Connecting African Universities with HBCUs,” by hosting the participants’ visit to Virginia State University, connecting them to students, faculty, and administrators, and organizing meetings with local elected officials and community leaders.

When nominating Lenneal, Anne said, “He embodies the lifelong impact and benefits that international exchanges can have and demonstrates the generosity and energy that alumni bring to sharing those benefits with others.”

We are pleased to recognize Lenneal during the National Meeting week for his commitment to making international exchanges and global engagement accessible to all youth in the United States.


The annual Global Ties U.S. Citizen Diplomat Award honors individuals and institutions for outstanding achievements that advance the cause of international understanding and global engagement.  Nominees are motivated by a deep understanding of world issues and committed to the exchange of people and ideas. Awardees are selected from a broad range of fields, including the arts, culture, government service, science, media, business, and education.