Calouste Gulbenkian Prize

Human Rights

Dr. Jorge Sampaio

Jury President

Jorge Sampaio started his political career as a college student at University of Lisbon’s Law School. In 1978, he joined the Socialist Party. He was later elected deputy for Lisbon in the Portuguese National Parliament the following year.

From 1979 until 1984, he was a member of the European Commission for Human Rights. He later became the president of the parliamentary bench of the Socialist Party. From 1989 to 1991, he was president of this political group. Sampaio was elected mayor if Lisbon and later on won the presidential election in his country, Portugal, in 1996 and then for a second term in 2001 serving until March 2006.

In May 2006, he was appointed by the United Nations’ Secretary-General as his first Special Envoy to Stop TB. His tenure ended in December 2012. In May 2007 he was appointed as United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations. He stepped down, upon his request, in 28 February 2013.

During the last decade, President Sampaio gave his contribution to several issues, related to the European affairs , East Timor and to some global challenges such as pandemics like Tb and HIV-AIDS, Drugs, higher education in emergencies etc.

Now he is chairing the Global Platform for Syrian Students, an initiative aimed at providing emergency academic assistance to Syrian students. He is also a member of the Global Commission on Drugs Policy and of the Club of Madrid. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and he presides the jury of the Calouste Gulbenkian Prize in the area of the Human Rights.

José Ramos-Horta

José Ramos-Horta received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996.

He is since 2003 Vice President of the Asian Peace and Reconciliation Council (APRC), Secretariat, Bangkok and since 2014 Chairman of the High Level Independent Panel on UN Peace Operations, to review UN peace and security mechanisms.

Ramos-Horta was the President of East Timor from 2007 to 2012, Prime Minister and Minister of Defence from 2006 to 2007 and he was Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation from 2002 to 2006.

Ramos-Horta was the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UN Integrated Peace Building Mission in Guinea-Bissau (West Africa), from 2013 to 2014.

He is a visiting Professor at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, and at Victoria University, Melbourne.

Jody Williams

Jody Williams received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work to ban antipersonnel landmines through the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL).

An outspoken peace activist, she struggles to reclaim the real meaning of peace, which is not simply defined by the absence of armed conflict. Human security rather than national security is at its core. Since January of 2006, Jody Williams has worked for sustainable peace through the Nobel Women’s Initiative, as well as more recently the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.



Emílio Rui Vilar

Emílio Rui Vilar graduated with a degree in Law from Coimbra University in 1961. Since May 3rd 2012, he is a Non Executive Trustee of the Board of Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

Emílio Rui Vilar graduated with a degree in Law from Coimbra University in 1961. Since May 3rd 2012, he is a Non Executive Trustee of the Board of Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

From 2002 to May 2012, he was President of the Board of Trustees of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Portugal and of the Board of Directors of Partex Oil and Gas (Holdings) Corporation.

Since 2013 he is President of the General Committee of the University of Coimbra and he became Non-executive director at REN in 2012.

He was Chairman of the European Foundation Centre, President of the Portuguese Foundation Centre, Trustee of the Initiative “A Soul for Europe”, Senator of the European Cultural Parliament and Founding Member of the Portuguese Institute of Corporate Governance.

He has also been active as a co-opted Trustee of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation since 1996; Chairman of Galp Energia SGPS (2001-2002); Chairman and CEO of Caixa Geral de Depósitos (1989-1996); General-Commissioner Europalia Portugal (1989-1992); Director General at the European Community Commission, (1986 -1989); Deputy-Governor, Banco de Portugal (1975- 1984); Minister of Transports and Communications (1976-1978); Minister of the Economy (1974- 1975); Secretary of State for External Trade and Tourism (1974); founder and first president of SEDES; Manager, Banco Português do Atlântico, (1969- 1973).

Demetrios G. Papademetriou

Demetrios G. Papademetriou is Distinguished Senior Fellow, President Emeritus, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), a Washington-based think tank dedicated exclusively to the study of international migration.

He is also Founder and President of Migration Policy Institute Europe, a nonprofit, independent research institute in Brussels with similar aims to those of MPI.  

Dr. Papademetriou convenes the Transatlantic Council on Migration, a body of senior public figures, business leaders, and public intellectuals from Europe, the United States, and Canada that conducts policy research and offers policy advice on all aspect of migration; and has chaired the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Migration (2009-2011) and the Advisory Board of the Open Society Foundations’ (OSF) International Migration Initiative (2010-2015). 

Dr. Papademetriou has published more than 270 books, articles, monographs, and research reports on migration topics and advises foundations and other grant-making organizations, and senior government and political party officials, in dozens of countries.

Leymah Gbowee

Leymah Gbowee, in full Leymah Roberta Gbowee, (born 1972, Liberia), Liberian peace activist known for rallying women to pressure leaders into ending Liberia’s civil war.

Leymah Gbowee, in full Leymah Roberta Gbowee, (born 1972, Liberia), Liberian peace activist known for rallying women to pressure leaders into ending Liberia’s civil war. She was one of three recipients, along with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Tawakkul Karmān, of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, for their nonviolent efforts to further the safety and rights of women and their participation in peace-building processes. 

Gbowee graduated from high school at age 17, with plans to continue her education. Her plans were interrupted, however, when Liberia became engulfed in civil war that began in 1989. She and her family were forced to flee from their home in the Liberian capital of Monrovia and eventually escaped to a refugee camp in Ghana. She later returned to Liberia and trained as a trauma counselor, working with former child soldiers who fought in Liberia’s civil war. 

Gbowee joined the Women in Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET) and quickly became a leader within the organization. Moved to action by the pain and suffering that she witnessed, Gbowee mobilized women of various ethnic and religious backgrounds to protest against Liberia’s ongoing conflict. The WIPNET-led group, which eventually became known as the Liberian Mass Action for Peace, demonstrated against the war by fasting, praying, and picketing at markets and in front of government buildings. Dressed in white and present in great numbers, day after day, the women were difficult to ignore. Gbowee was eventually granted a meeting with Liberia’s president, Charles Taylor, and pressed for peace. In 2003 Taylor and Liberia’s opposing factions attended peace talks in Ghana that were organized by international parties in an attempt to bring an end to the Liberian conflict. Gbowee followed the Liberian leaders to Ghana, where she led a group of hundreds of women in surrounding the meeting place. They refused to let Taylor and the other leaders leave until an agreement was reached. 

After the war Gbowee continued to advocate for peace and the empowerment of women. She served as a commissioner on Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2004–05). In 2006 she was one of the founders of the Women Peace and Security Network–Africa (WISPEN-Africa), an organization active in several western African countries that encouraged the involvement of women in peace, security, and governance issues. She was named executive director of WISPEN-Africa the next year. Also in 2007 she received a master’s degree in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. 

In addition to the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, Gbowee received numerous other awards, including the Blue Ribbon for Peace (2007), awarded by the Women’s Leadership Board of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award (2009). She was featured in the 2008 documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell, which profiled the attempts of several Liberian women to force an end to Liberia’s civil war. In 2011 Gbowee published her memoir, Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War, with Carol Mithers. 


Gulbenkian Prizes

Cohesion, Knowledge and Sustainability

António Feijó


António M. Feijó is a Full Professor at the Literary Theory Graduate Program and at the English Department of the Humanities School of the University of Lisbon.

He was Dean of the Humanities School and is currently Vice-Rector of the University of Lisbon.

He has published essays on major works of English, American, and Portuguese Literature.

In 2015 he published Uma Admiração Pastoril pelo Diabo (Pessoa e Pascoaes), Imprensa-Nacional Casa da Moeda.

In 2016 he published a slightly altered version of his translation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Henrique Leitão

Henrique Leitão is senior researcher at the Centro Interuniversitário de História da Ciência e da Técnica (CIUHCT), and presently chair of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon.

His research interests are centered on the history of science in the 16th and 17th centuries, and the history of libraries and scientific books. He heads the Scientific Committee in charge of the publication of the Complete Works of Pedro Nunes, by the Lisbon Academy of Sciences and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. He is member of various learned societies, including the Lisbon Academy of Sciences and the Académie International d’Histoire des Sciences. He was awarded the Prémio Pessoa, 2014.

João Ferrão

João Ferrão is a Research Professor (Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon) and Pro-Rector of the University of Lisbon.

He holds a PhD in Human Geography and lectured for over 20 years at the Geography Department (University of Lisbon). He has over 30 years of experience in the areas of economic and social geography and in regional and urban planning. He has been the national coordinator of several international networks under different EU and Latin American funding programmes – TSER Programme, Alfa Programme, European Science Foundation Scientific Programme, etc. He advised the OECD and coordinated various public policy assessment studies for the Portuguese Government and European Commission, including of the II and III EU Framework Programmes (Portugal). Ferrão was Secretary of State for Spatial Planning and Cities (2005-9) and President of the Portuguese Association for Regional Development (APDR). He was a member of the Portuguese Scientific Council for the Social Sciences and Humanities (CCCSH – FCT). He is a member the National Council for the Environment and Sustainability (CNADS) and of several scientific academies, including the Academia Europaea and the Academy of Sciences of Lisbon.

Miguel Tamen

Miguel Tamen (PhD University of Minnesota, 1989) is Professor of Literary Theory at the University of Lisbon, as well as an elected member of its Board of Trustees, and where he chairs the graduate Program in Literary Theory.

Between 2000 and 2014 he held a regular visiting appointment at the University of Chicago; he also was a senior fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center (2003/4) and a Rockefeller Fellow at the National Humanities Center (2010/11). He has written nine books, among which Friends of Interpretable Objects (2001) and What Art Is Like, In Constant Reference to the Alice Books (2012). He is a regular contributor to Common Knowledge and a weekly columnist in the Portuguese daily Observador.  A collection of his 2014-16 columns was recently published as Erro Extremo (2017).

Teresa Mendes

Teresa Mendes completed her Electrical Engineering and Electronics degree at the University of Coimbra in 1975.

Obtained the Ph.D. degree in 1980 at the University of Manchester, U.K. in Informatics. She is a Full Professor at the Department of Informatics of the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Coimbra and her research interests cover Information and Communication Technologies in Education and Training and Simulation in Educational Applications. Has been Pro-Rector and Vice-Rector of the University of Coimbra in the period 1990-98. In these positions, she began to build the University’s II Pole, with the construction of the various engineering departments, as well as developed the General Plan of the University Buildings. In recognition of her work in this field, she was honored by the President of the Republic with the title of Grand Officer of the Order of Public Instruction in 2000.

Since 1999 she is President of the Board of Directors of the Institute Pedro Nunes, a non-profit association for Innovation and Technology Transfer and, since 2003, of IPN-Incubadora, its business incubator. Instituto Pedro Nunes transfers technology for local, national and international companies and its Incubator has hosted more than 260 technology-based companies, many of which have been awarded prizes in various national and foreign forums. The Incubator received, in 2010, the first prize in the “Best Science Based Incubator Award” competition, organized by the Technopolicy Network.

António Miguel

António is the co-founder and managing director of MAZE – decoding impact, an impact investment intermediary created by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

She started her professional career at the Santa Casa da Misericórdia of Lisbon and was Advisor to the Union of Portuguese Mutualities, Chief of the Division of the Social Development Institute, Vice-President of the Social Reintegration Institute and Non-Executive Director of Montepio Residencies.

Currently is Director of the Social Responsibility Office of Montepio, member of the Board of Directors of the European Institute of Social Protection, President of GRACE, President of the jury of the Inclusive Brand Entity and member of the Social Responsibility Committee of the European Savings Bank Group.

Paula Guimarães has always been strongly connected to the social area, especially to Gerontological intervention, having studied the themes of violence against the elderly and the protection of the elderly with disabilities.

Volunteer trainer and a teacher in undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the field of gerontology in several higher education institutions.

Author of articles and scientific publications, and also poetry, fiction and two children’s books.

Officer of the Order of Merit.

Elisabete Figueiredo

Elisabete Figueiredo is a Sociologist (ISCTE – IUL) and PhD in Environmental Sciences (University of Aveiro). She is Assistant Professor at the Department of Social, Political and Territorial Sciences, University of Aveiro, Portugal.

She is a full researcher at GOVCOPP (Research Unit on Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policies), University of Aveiro. Her main research interests are related to rural sociology and rural studies; environmental sociology; sustainable development; tourism studies and social perception of environmental risk.

She has been involved in several national and EU funded research projects, as Coordinator or member of the research team. Currently she is the Coordinator of the Portuguese Team of Susplace – Sustainable Place Shaping, a Marie Curie ITN project.

Between 2010 and 2012 she was part of the Group of Experts at the Portuguese Ministry of Agriculture, Sea, Environment and Territorial Planning, for supporting the discussion and negotiations of the Common Agricultural Policy beyond 2013.

Between 2012 and 2017 she has been the President of SPER - Portuguese Society for Rural Studies. Currently she is Co-Coordinator of the Environment & Society Section of the Portuguese Association of Sociology and member of the Executive Committee of ESRS – European Society for Rural Sociology.

She is author and co-author of more than 30 papers in international and national Journals; 35 chapters in international and national books and more than 150 national and international Conference papers. She is the co-editor of 4 international and 5 national books and the co-author of 2 national books.