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Stavros Niarchos Foundation named 2012 Athenagoras Human Rights Award recipient, October 20

The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America is pleased to announce that the Stavros Niarchos Foundation will be the recipient of this year’s Athenagoras Human Rights Award. Andreas Dracopoulos, Director and Co-President, will accept the award on behalf of the Niarchos Foundation.

The Athenagoras Human Rights Award will be presented to the Niarchos Foundation on Saturday, October 20th, during the Grand Banquet of the Order of Saint Andrew, which will be held as part of the Order’s annual three-day assembly, Friday, Oct. 19 through Sunday, Oct. 21, at the Hilton Hotel in New York City.

The Niarchos Foundation is one of the world’s leading international philanthropic organizations, and makes grants in the areas of the arts and culture, education, health and medicine, and social welfare. Its central mission is to fund organizations and projects that exhibit strong leadership and sound management and are expected to achieve a broad, lasting and positive social impact.

Since its founding in 1996, the Niarchos Foundation has approved grant commitments for a staggering $1.275 billion through 2,262 grants to nonprofit organizations in 109 nations around the world. Most recently, it has made tremendous efforts to bring awareness to and address the continuing socio-economic crisis in Greece. As part of these efforts, it has announced a grant initiative of $130 million over the next three years to help ease the adverse effects of the deepening crisis.

The Niarchos Foundation was established by the late Stavros Spyros Niarchos with a significant part of his estate at his death. Mr. Niarchos was best known for his shipping business, although his diversified financial activities were at the core of global industry from the time he formed the Niarchos Group in 1939 until his death in 1996. He was considered one of the most innovative and successful businessmen of the twentieth century. Through the Niarchos Foundation, he created an enduring vehicle that has enriched the lives of others worldwide.

Andreas Dracopoulos, grand-nephew of Stavros Niarchos, was born and raised in Athens, Greece, and is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics. Mr. Dracopoulos is a Trustee of The Rockefeller University and a member of the Board of the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, D.C. He is also a member of the Board and of the International Council of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., and a member of the Advisory Board of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. He is an Honorary Trustee of the New York Public Library, where he also served as a Trustee from 2003 to 2010. Among other honors, Mr. Dracopoulos was awarded by The Hellenic Republic the Grand Commander of the Order of the Phoenix.

Commenting on the selection of the Niarchos Foundation as the 2012 Athenagoras Human Rights Award recipient, National Commander Anthony J. Limberakis, MD stated, “Emblematic of the Foundation’s commitment to fundamental human rights was its recent grant of $130 million to the People of the Hellenic Republic to ease the social, medical and humanitarian adverse effects created by the unprecedented socioeconomic crisis. With its commitment to health, medicine, social welfare and education since its inception in 1996 having contributed over $1.2 billion in grants, the Archons of America are most proud of the human rights accomplishments of the Foundation and we look forward to presenting the 2012 Athenagoras Human Rights Award to such a most worthy recipient.”

The Athenagoras Human Rights Award is presented annually by the Order to a person or organization, which has consistently exemplified by action, purpose and dedication, concern for the basic rights and religious freedom of all people. Past recipients have included Mother Teresa, President Jimmy Carter, President George H.W. Bush and Former First Lady Barbara Bush, Elie Wiesel, Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu, Mikhail Gorbachev and the United States Armed Services through the person of Admiral James G. Stavridis Supreme Allied Commander Europe

To learn about the history and origin behind the Athenagoras Human Rights Award and for resources on past recipients, visit

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