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Event will honor pioneers in upper echelons of government and private sector

WASHINGTON DC (July 11, 2007) – The President of the Dominican Republic, the Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) and a legend in public relations are among five distinguished global pioneers to receive Counterpart International’s 2007 World Leadership Awards on Wednesday, September 19, 2007 at Guastavino’s in New York City.

President Leonel Fernández of the Dominican Republic will receive the World Leadership Award from the Washington DC-based organisation for championing the cause of the needy and underprivileged; while Senator Chastanet, CTO’s chairman as well as St. Lucia’s Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation will receive the CMEx visionary award for his pioneering role in the birth of the Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism and for influencing decision and policy makers in favor of using tourism for durable and sustainable development of the Caribbean region.

Public relations legend, David Finn, Founder and Chairman of Ruder Finn – one of the largest independent public relations firms in the world – will receive the Elizabeth Silverstein Legacy Award, in remembrance of Counterpart’s late founder. The award recognizes individuals who through their personal vision, drive and persistence have built institutions serving the cause for peace and international understanding. Finn has had an outstanding career spanning more than 50 years as a key executive in the field of public relations and as a widely published author.

Paxton Baker, the Executive Vice President and General Manager of BET J and BET Digital Networks, and President of BET Event Productions, will receive the CMEx Cultural Award which celebrates the achievements of individuals who have enhanced and revitalized the cultures of destinations. His pioneering role in launching music festivals across the Caribbean, promoting Caribbean tourism, and supporting charitable efforts will be recognized.

Also in winners’ row is the Caribbean’s largest carrier Air Jamaica which will receive the World Tourism Forum Award for Peace and Sustainable Development for furthering the cause of using sustainable tourism to enhance and improve the health, wealth, culture and environment of the communities it serves. The company is being honored for its years of commitment to the sustainable development of the regions it serves.

Announcing the Leadership Awards, Counterpart president Lelei LeLaulu said, “It's wonderful to be able to salute some of the real champions of the use of sustainable tourism to better the lives of people and enhance the places where they live."

Counterpart International, founded in 1965, gives people a voice in their own future through smart partnerships, offering options and access to tools for sustained social, economic and environmental development. Operating on five continents, Counterpart is supported by the generosity of its corporate and individual donors, foundations, host countries, multilateral institutions and several U.S. government agencies.

For further information about the 2007 World Leadership Awards, visit

For further information about Counterpart International, visit

Contact: Bevan Springer + 1 201 861-2056

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