THE Karen Takacs Award for Women’s Leadership in International Development



Recognizing feminist advocacy & collaborative leadership in global cooperation


History & Overview

The Karen Takacs Award is presented annually by the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) to an individual who has notably, by virtue of working collaboratively, made a difference in the lives of women globally. The award honours outstanding collaborative leadership and commitment to promoting women’s equality.  The winner will be honoured at the CCIC 2019 Annual General Meeting, Sunday, June 2, 2019 in Vancouver and will be given the opportunity to host a workshop to share her expertise and experience of collaborative leadership in 2019-20.

History & Context

Karen Takacs was a celebrated and cherished leader of the Canadian international community. For over 20 years, Karen worked tirelessly to improve the lives and advance the rights of women and girls locally, nationally, and internationally.Karen was a catalyst for collaboration in the Canadian international sector. Throughout her life, Karen was admired for motivating and bringing people together around a common cause. By way of encouragement, generosity, and humour, Karen led by mobilizing and supporting others. Following Karen’s passing in 2015, the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) created an award to honour her invaluable contribution to the fight for social and economic justice, and to celebrate the unique collaborative leadership she demonstrated throughout her career, including her time as Chair of the Board of CCIC.  For the Canadian global development community, The Karen Takacs Award is a symbol of feminism, collaboration, advocacy, mentorship, and resilience.


Criteria for Selection

To nominate someone for this award, please see the criteria below. Nominations must be received by May 6th, 2019.

In order to be considered for the award, a nominee must:

  • Identify as a feminist
  • Be peer-nominated
  • Be making a meaningful contribution to the rights of women and girls by challenging power structures on a global scale – for example, in relation to Indigenous peoples and migration


Expectations for Award Winner

  • Attendance at the CCIC 2019 Annual General Meeting (Sunday, June 2, 2019 in Vancouver) to receive award, either in person or by video
  • Serve on The Karen Takacs Award committee for 1 year, following the receipt of the award
  • The winner will be invited to host a leadership relevant workshop within the year the award is presented (2019-20).


Nomination Procedures

  • Two central nomination letters that provide an accounting of the nominee’s advocacy for women’s equality and collaborative leadership contributions. In each nomination letter, the nominator is asked to demonstrate the following:
    • Evidence of the nominee’s contributions to feminist advocacy for women and girls
    • Evidence of how the nominee has made a difference by working collaboratively
    • Evidence of how the nominee has influenced or inspired her peers
    • Evidence of how the nominee has challenged power structures on a global scale
  • Links to websites and other documentation that describes and illustrates the nominee’s advocacy work and its impact (including testimonials from those benefiting from or witnessing the activism) will be useful to the committee
  • The nominee’s curriculum vitae or resume
  • The candidate’s CV and all nomination letters should be submitted as one pdf attachment to Sophie Rosa, Director, Public Affairs and Member Services at



2016: Karen Takacs (received by her family)


 2017: Patricia Erb  former President and CEO of Save the Children Canada


2018: Beth Woroniuk  MATCH International Women’s Fund, Women Peace and Security Network Canada


  Kate McInturff  Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (received by her family)



2019: Liz Bernstein  Founding Director of the Nobel Women’s Initiative