Chobani Founder Hamdi Ulukaya Joins Aurora Prize Selection Committee

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YEREVAN — The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative announced that Hamdi Ulukaya, founder and CEO of Chobani and founder of the Tent Partnership for Refugees, has joined the Aurora Prize Selection Committee. The US-based entrepreneur has become world-famous for both his successful business ventures and inspiring charitable work. In his new role, Ulukaya will help other distinguished members of the Aurora Prize Selection Committee to choose the Aurora Prize Humanitarians and Laureate.

“Hamdi embodies Aurora’s core tenet of Gratitude in Action and has made significant contributions to the world through his work, advocacy and philanthropy,” said Noubar Afeyan, co-founder of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative. “We are grateful for Hamdi’s outstanding efforts and look forward to his active participation as a member of the Aurora Prize Selection Committee.”

Ulukaya launched Chobani in the United States in 2007. Five years after selling the first cup of yogurt, Chobani was a billion-dollar brand, and remains the top selling yogurt brand in the US today. As a leader in the food manufacturing industry, Ulukaya has taken a philanthropic-oriented approach to developing his business. In 2020–2021 alone, his company donated 10.5 million products to fight food insecurity across America and advocated for policies that work toward ending hunger for 17 million American children.

“Hamdi Ulukaya is not only an accomplished entrepreneur and business leader, but a relentless advocate for refugees and displaced persons who has made a tremendous impact on the lives of others, and we are delighted to welcome him to the Selection Committee,” said Lord Ara Darzi, Chair of Aurora Prize Selection Committee and co-director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London. “The Aurora Prize will benefit greatly from Hamdi’s expertise and perspective that will further enhance the ability for the Aurora Prize to continue to strengthen its impact on those most in need.”

Ulukaya is well-known for his employee-first policies, including instituting innovative profit-sharing and paid parental leave programs for his employees and implementing competitive hourly wage increases well above the federal rate. A leading voice in the movement to hire refugees, in 2016, he started the Tent Partnership for Refugees, a foundation that mobilizes the business community to connect refugees to work.

“I am honored to join the Aurora Prize Selection Committee to help elevate and expand the work of modern-day heroes who put themselves at risk to address the most pressing humanitarian challenges worldwide,” said Ulukaya. “Aurora recognizes power of one individual on the world, and I look forward to joining this esteemed group to help uncover and showcase the courageous work of unsung humanitarian heroes around the world.”

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The Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity is a $1-million global award that recognizes those who risk their lives, health, or freedom to save the lives, health, or freedom of others. It has shone a spotlight on some of the world’s most pressing and overlooked crises since its foundation in 2015. The 2024 Aurora Humanitarians shortlisted for the 2024 Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity were named on September 18, 2023, at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting in New York City.

On May 8–10, 2024, the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative will hold a special series of events in Los Angeles, CA, organized in partnership with The Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA. Leading humanitarians will come together to discuss the global humanitarian issues and announce the 2024 Aurora Prize Laureate.

 

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