2020 PEN/Benenson Freedom of Expression Courage Award: Marie Yovanovitch
Ambassador Marie L. Yovanovitch (ret.) is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She is also a non-resident fellow at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. Previously, she served as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine (2016–2019), to the Republic of Armenia (2008–2011), and to the Kyrgyz Republic (2005–2008). She also served as dean of the School of Language Studies at the Foreign Service Institute, U.S. Department of State and as the deputy commandant and international advisor at the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, National Defense University. Earlier, she served as the principal deputy assistant secretary for the State Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, where she coordinated policy on European and global security issues. In prior positions, she served overseas at U.S. embassies in Moscow, London, Ottawa, and Mogadishu.
A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Yovanovitch earned the Senior Foreign Service Performance Award eight times and the State Department’s Superior Honor Award on nine occasions. She is also the recipient of two Presidential Distinguished Service Awards and the Secretary’s Diplomacy in Human Rights Award. In 2020, she received the Richard G. Lugar Award from Indiana University, and the Trainor Award for Excellence in the Conduct of Diplomacy from Georgetown University.
Yovanovitch is a graduate of Princeton University, where she earned a BA in history and Russian studies. She studied at the Pushkin Institute and received an MS from the National Defense University.