Awards Received by SFCG

Awards and distinctions earned by SFCG are listed in reverse chronological order.

For additional information regarding these awards you may contact Susan Koscis, VP of Special Projects.
Phone: 202-265-4300 Email:

2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997


SFCG President John Marks included in Top 100 most influential people in armed violence reduction by AOAV

AOAV works locally, nationally, regionally and globally to reduce - and ultimately prevent - armed violence. They work with communities affected by armed violence, removing the threat of weapons, reducing the risks that provoke violence and conflict, and supporting the recovery of victims and survivors.

Read more about this honor here....

Senior VP Susan Collin Marks selected as an Exemplar of Love and Forgiveness in Governance

SFCG Senior Vice President Susan Collin Marks was selected as an Exemplar of Love and Forgiveness in Governance by the Fetzer Institute and George Mason University's School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution.

Read more about this honor here....

Search for Common Ground selected as one of The Top 100 NGOs in the World
SFCG makes The Global Journal list for 2nd straight year


Global Magazine Top 100

In a special January/February 2012 issue, The Global Journal released its inaugural Top 100 NGOs list - the first comprehensive ranking of organizations operating within the non-profit world. We are now proud to announce the launch of the second, 2013 edition. The only project of its kind, this exclusive feature reflects the increasing global influence of NGOs in all facets of modern life, in the process shining a light on a dynamic, innovative and inspiring sector estimated to encompass close to 10 million organizations.

For the purposes of the project, we defined NGOs as operational or advocacy focused non-profit organizations active at the local, national or international level. The 2013 list features NGOs from 27 countries and working across a range of sectors: from building a fleet of motorbikes and off-road ambulances to ensure the delivery of vital health care resources across Africa, to pioneering video as a popular tool for the protection of human rights.

Continuing to refine its evaluation methodology, The Global Journal considered a pool of approximately 450 NGOs this year based on three key criteria: impact, innovation and sustainability. For some organizations, these changes have resulted in a climb up the ranking, for others, a no doubt unwelcome slide.



Abraham Path Service Award to Susan Collin Marks

Anisa Mehdi, Vice Chair and Dr. William “Bill” Ury, Chair of the Abraham Path Initiative presented the first Abraham Path Service Award to Susan Collin Marks who has been on the board since the beginning as Vice Chair, and who resigned earlier this year.

About the Abraham Path Initiative Award: Abraham's Path (Masar Ibrahim al Khalil) is a route of walking and cultural tourism following the footsteps and memory of Abraham or Ibrahim across the Middle East. The story of Abraham's journey, which has been kept alive for some four thousand years in the landscape and memory of this region, records the origin of a spiritual tradition shared by more than three billion people in the world today. By retracing this journey, the Path provides economic benefits to local communities along the route and a place of meeting and connection for people of all faiths and cultures.

A Journey That Inspired Humanity... We believe that no matter what divides us, what unites us is far greater. This scientific and spiritual truth is heralded in humanity's most widely shared origin story, the journey of Abraham and his family four thousand years ago through the heart of the Middle East. In a place often seen as one of the most divided regions in the world, there is a path pointing to our greater unity -- Abraham's Path. Ultimately traversing ten countries, Abraham's Path links many of the most fabled and sacred places on earth. In the very places many of us fear to visit lies a great secret, the gift of hospitality toward strangers and a spirit that unites human hearts. As we discover when we walk in his footsteps, Abraham is still very much alive in the hearts of people who live along the Path.

Rajendra Mulmi accepting award

Rajendra Mulmi receives Nepali Social Service Award

Read more about this honor here....

SFCG Nepal Programs Director Rajendra Mulmi received the Social Service Award from Honorable Vice President Paramanda Jha September 22 amidst a program organized to commemorate the 33rd Social Service Day in Nepal.

2012 International Advocate for Peace Award

The Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution was honored to award the 12th annual International Advocate for Peace (IAP) Award to Mr. John Marks, President and Founder of Search for Common Ground (SFCG).

Read more about this honor here...


In his role as President and Founder of SFCG, Mr. Marks has used journalism to promote conflict resolution and prevention on an international scale. Through SFCG and Common Ground News Service, Mr. Marks has spent over thirty years training organizers and reporters in conflict and post-conflict areas, using inter-ethnic reporting teams and framing questions to find areas of consensus. Through these efforts, SFCG has transformed the way global conflict is perceived and addressed, combining grassroots community engagement with political and institutional advocacy. This creative formula has fostered meaningful and constructive dialogues around the globe. In addition, the News Service has exposed many areas where more work needs to be done to foster mutual understanding.

Mr. Marks also worked extensively on problems surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, and was both writer and producer of The Shape of the Future, a four-part TV documentary series that was simulcast on Israeli, Palestinian, and Arab satellite TV. Mr. Marks also serves as executive producer of The Team, a TV and radio series in 16 countries, as well as numerous other TV and radio programs.

Because of his extensive work in conflict prevention, transformation and awareness-building, the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution was honored to award Mr. John Marks with the 12th annual IAP Award.


Search for Common Ground selected as one of The Top 100 Best NGOs in the World

Read more about this honor here...

Global Magazine Top 100

THE GLOBAL JOURNAL has published the first ever TOP 100 NGOs list

GENEVA - The Global Journal announced its inaugural ‘Top 100 Best NGOs’ list. The first international ranking of its kind, this exclusive in-depth feature will provide academics, diplomats, policymakers, international organizations and the private sector an insight into the ever changing dynamics and innovative approaches of the non-profit world and its 100 leading actors.

Recognizing the significant role of NGOs as influential agents of change on a global scale, The Global Journal has sought to move beyond outdated cliches and narrow conceptions about what an NGO is and does. From humanitarian relief to the environment, public health to education, microfinance to intellectual property, NGOs are increasingly at the forefront of developments shaping the lives of millions of people around the world.

Search for Common Ground was ranked #52 on the list.   Four organizations listed conflict resolution as their primary work;  SFCG was ranked highest in the field of conflict resolution.   Of the 100 organizations, forty have headquarters in the United States and SFCG is ranked 19th amongst the U.S. based organizations. 

The Global Journal explained why it included SFCG in its top 100 list:   The organization’s programs engage thousands of people directly, while their innovative media projects increase that reach into the millions.  This programming has had clear impact. External evaluations in Burundi, for instance, found that radio programs produced by Studio Ijambo had changed the way people felt about and related to other ethnic groups in their society, while information dissemination activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo served as critical sources of public awareness about the peace process, helping to reduce suspicion and rumors that could otherwise lead to violence.

To see the profile of SFCG in this special issue of The Global Journal, click here:

To see the full list, click here:


University for Peace Honorary Doctorate Degrees

University of Peace bestows Honorary Docorates to SFCG foundersDr. Amr Abdalla, Professor and Vice Rector of the United Nations affiliated University for Peace presented Honorary Doctorate Degrees from UPEACE to SFCG Founder & President John Marks and Senior Vice President, Susan Collin Marks. The degrees were given in recognition of the impact of the peacebuilding work they and Search for Common Ground do around the world.

"This is the highest honor we could receive," Susan Collin Marks said upon accepting her degree. "It’s our university and belongs to the world.”

UPEACE was established in 1980 in Costa Rica under a UN approved charter with the mission of promoting a spirit of understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is the university’s honorary president.

We congratulate John Marks and Susan Collin Marks on their achievement and thank the University of Peace for this high honor.


Association for Conflict Resolution Marvin E. Johnson Diversity and Equity Award
for dedicated leadership and passionate advocacy.

Susan Collin Marks and John Marks received the Marvin Johnson Diversity and Equity Award at the Association for Conflict Resolution 2010 annual conference. They are shown here with West Virginia Governor and Senator-elect Joe Manchin and Marvin Johnson.

The Marvin E. Johnson Diversity and Equity Award is given in the name of Marvin E. Johnson, a long-time SPIDR and ACR Board member and champion of diversity and equity within both organizations, as well as throughout the dispute resolution field. Recipients of the Award have contributed to bridging the divides between groups of people and have successfully created opportunities for expanding diversity and equity within an area of specialty, a community or beyond. Recipients have also demonstrated a sustained, outstanding contribution that has enhanced diversity and equity within society as well as showing dedicated leadership, compassion and passionate advocacy that has contributed to removing barriers or obstacle to full and equal participation at various levels of society.



Association of Conflict Resolution, International Award for Leadership
The ACR Organization Leadership Award was in recognition of work in challenging international conflicts, social entrepreneurship, and creative use of media in working in conflict-affected countries.

The TEAM (Coté d'Ivoire) won first prize for best African TV Series at the 2009 African Film Festival in Verona, Italy.


Benjamin Franklin Award for Public Diplomacy, U.S. Department of State



Khalil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Award for Institutional Excellence, from Arab American Institute Foundation



Skoll Foundation Social Entrepreneurship Award to John Marks and Susan Collin Marks
"for innovative methods in reducing conflicts and negotiating shared paths to peace." (2006)

Award of Excellence from the Point of Light Foundation
for SFCG website design and contents

International Spirit at Work Award (ISAW)
The ISAW are given to pioneering organizations that are energized and motivated to respond to the call of our times for corporate cultural transformation. (2006)



14th Annual Temple Awards for Creative Altruism
presented to John Marks and Susan Collin Marks at the Institute of Noetic Sciences International Conference on Consciousness. The Temple Awards are presented every two years to individuals whose lives and work demonstrate inspirational and selfless service. The Awards were created to acknowledge sustained efforts to promote both personal responsibility and the common good.

Peacemaker Award for Commitment to Building Peace at Individual, Local or Global Levels
received by Michael Shipler. The Award was presented by American University's International Peace & Conflict Resolution Program; the Peacebuilding & Development Institute; and the Center for Peacebuilding International.

International War Correspondents Award, Prix Bayeux-Calvados
Centre Lokole's Bukavu-based journalist, John Kadjunga, is one of 10 finalists for this award due to his work focusing on personal stories of women in war-torn Shabunda, South Kivu province, DRC, who have been raped by armed groups and are now rebuilding their lives. The story included interviews with these rape survivors as well as other agents assisting these women, including Medecins Sans Frontieres. (2005)

The Independent Media Commission (IMC) of Sierra Leone
in collaboration with Celtel (a leading mobile phone company), held its first media awards ceremony in Freetown, Sierra Leone in December 2005. The awards recognized personalities and institutions that distinguished themselves in the field of journalism. Search for Common Ground's Talking Drum Studio (SFCG/TDS) won three awards for Best Radio Magazine, Best Development Reporting and Best Investigative Reporting. Common Ground News Feature, one of SFCG/TDS' nationally broadcast magazine programs, won both the award for Best Radio Magazine and for Best Development Reporting.



Children's Lives, Children's Voices - OneWorld/UNICEF competition
for the best radio produced by, for and with children. The runner-up is a "call for peace" from Studio Ijambo in Burundi.

International Harambee 2002 Award Reportage on Africa
presented to Inkingi Z'Ubuntu. The Harambee award is given for artistic endeavors which educate and promote humanitarian efforts in sub-Saharan African countries, dealing with topics such as ethics, religion, social, economic, and cultural issues relevant to sub-Saharan Africa.

Lauréate Prix Radi
presented by Radio France Internationale to Odette Kwizera for her work with "Reporters Without Borders."

Tolerance Prize 2004
Studio Ijambo producers Christophe Nkurunziza and Désiré Niyondiko's radio programme was recently awarded the by the Federation of International Journalists Africa Office. The prize was handed to Christophe Nkurunziza at a ceremony in Kinshasa, DRC, on 22 July, 2004.

Finalist Prix Bayeux-Calvados for War Correspondents radio category:
Studio Ijambo producer Odette Kwizera is one of 10 finalists for this international prize, to be decided in 2004, for a five-minute programme she produced on children affected by the ongoing war in northern Uganda.

Unicef/One World Children's Voices, Runner-up in 'spot' (60 seconds) category
for a peace spot produced by Studio Ijambo journalists with primary school children in 2003, international jury, competitors from around the world,

International Federation of Journalists Africa Office Tolerance Prize
to Studio Ijambo producer Christophe Nkurunziza (for a part of the "'Express"" radio programme highlighting the positive solidarity day in Ruyigi between two formerly conflicting communities)

RFI Jean-Helene Prize
Studio Ijambo journalist Odette Kwizera was awarded the RFI Jean-Helene prize in Paris in 2004 for a story she produced about child commuters in northern Uganda.

Children's Lives, Children's Voices - OneWorld/UNICEF competition for the best radio produced by, for and with children.
The winner in the 5-minute features category was Sisi Watoto (We, the children), by SFCG in the Democratic Republic of Congo. (November 2004)



Inform for Peace
for the best radio production in Burundi which seeks to promote peace and reconciliation), awarded by the Association of Burundian Journalists and the Press House to Studio Ijambo producer Charles Ndayisenga for a programme with ex-child soldiers, one of the '"remesha ibibondo" (give hope to youth) programme series, 2003

Fight Against Impunity Award
an award for the best radio production in Burundi which seeks to combat ongoing impunity, awarded by the Association of Burundian Journalists and the Press House to the Studio Ijambo programme "inama n'íngingo" ('let's sit and decide together," focusing on the impact of provisional immunity given to members of political parties and armed groups), 2003

To JAMAA, Excellence in Peace Literature Award (Honorable mention)
for "Le Meilluer Choix" (comic book), presented by UNESCO, 2003



Web Community Excellence Award
for websites with "up to date content...easy to navigate...a leader in its field."

Golden Web Award, 2001-2002
"in recognition of creativity, integrity, and excellence on the Web" by the International Association of Webmasters and Designers.

Peace Promoter of the Year award
from Inquirer newspaper

Agnes Nindorera
Nieman Fellowship, Harvard University

Cultures of Peace Award
presented by Psychologists for Social Responsibility

Selection for the Peace and Human Security Media Festival
in New York, 2002



Wild School Award
presented to John Marks and Susan Collin Marks by Upland Hills School (awarded for rare and profound achievement and unique contributions to the community-specifically, presented in acknowledgement of the work Susan and John have done on behalf of non-violent mediation and action around the world, and for their dedication to promoting peaceful co-existence and understanding between peoples of all racial, social, and economic backgrounds).

The Idom Sisters Website Award
for "a high-quality site with excellent whose purpose is clearly defined at the site opening."

Bob's Steel Website Award
for "general web sites that have perfect "Bullet-Proof" structure, function, organization, presentation, and coding.

Believe 2 Achieve Gold Award
for overall website excellence.

Harbeson Associates Merit Award
for merit in websites "in areas of content, good taste, new technology, design and navigation."

Mesweet's Bronze Award
for website content and design.



Prix Jeunesse International Award
as a finalist for Nashe Maalo: Dime's Party episode, presented by the Prix Jeunesse International Nomination Committee, Munich

Gabriel Award for NasheMaalo
Dime's Party episode, presented by UNDA-USA and the National Catholic Association for Communicators, for the highest achievement in excellence and public service in the art & communications, Orlando,

Silver AXIEM Award to Nashe Maalo
Dime's Party episode, established to recognize absolute excellence in electronic media. It is the only competition in the world representing the entire electronic media industry and is judged and sponsored by a wide variety of members of the electronic media community.

Zlatna Buba Mara Award to Nashe Maalo series
presented by the listeners of Radio Buba Mara, one of the most popular radio stations in the Republic of Macedonia; Awarded for the most popular children's television programme of the year, based on listeners' votes, Skopje.

Courage in Journalism Award
presented by the International Women's Media Foundation to Agnes Nindorera

Grands Citoyens de Paix
presented to Studio Ijambo (as a whole) and journalist Christine Ntahe (individually) by L'Action Pour la Paix des Grands Lacs (APPAX), 2000

Silver AXIEM for "America's Search for Common Ground"
with WNYC, presented by the Axiem competition. Awarded in recognition of absolute excellence in electronic media, it is the only competition in the world representing the entire electronic media industry and is judged and sponsored by a wide variety of members of the electronic media community.



ECHO award
presented to Studio Ijambo by the European Community Humanitarian Office



Columbus International Film Festival Award : Honorable Mention
for "Africa: Search for Common Ground"

Brian Rich
Nieman Fellowship, Harvard University



Alexis Sinduhije
Shorenstein Fellowship, Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government


Other Awards

Extras: Studio Ijambo has also been featured in various international documentaries, including those produced by ABC Nightline, Peace x Peace, Kaos Films, Reuters Africa Journal and German Television. Ahoka Social Entrepreneurship Award
to Lena Slachmuijlder for Participatory Theatre in DRC.

Ahoka Social Entrepreneurship Award
to Lena Slachmuijlder for Participatory Theatre in DRC.

Electronic Media of the Year
award from the Analyst paper

ECHO award (runner up),
Talking Drum Studio Liberia, presented by the European Community Humanitarian Office

Best Director Award to Dritero Kasapi
for his direction of the Nashe Maalo: Other Side of the River episode, presented at the Macedonian National Film Festival, Krushevo,