2012 Beacon Prize Winner
Honoring Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens
On December 5, 2012, Human Rights First presented the Beacon Prize (posthumously) to the Honorable J. Christopher Stevens, Ambassador of the United States of America.
In postwar Libya, Ambassador Stevens heroically represented the United States and embodied her highest ideals in a region where Americans are often viewed with mistrust. Motivated by his longstanding conviction that he could not be an effective ambassador from behind a bunker, Ambassador Stevens refused to let security threats deter him from developing the personal relationships essential to his mission. His courageous work and commitment to human rights won him the respect and friendship of many Libyans and, after he was killed by a terrorist attack, they joined Americans in grieving his death. His work in Libya was the capstone of a sterling two-decade career in the U.S. Foreign Service. Throughout the Middle East—from Damascus to Cairo to Riyadh— Ambassador Stevens quietly did the essential work of building bridges to people in other cultures, putting American ideals into practice. Human Rights First is honored to recognize his extraordinary leadership with our inaugural Beacon Prize.