The Evaluation Committee was made up of the representatives of Partners, representatives from Latvian civil society and winners from last year.

Nominees will be evaluated by the fallowing jury:


Arnis Kākulis, Director, Baltic region of AECOM, AmCham President

Arnis Kākulis holds position of the Director at AECOM since 2007. He is also responsible for the AECOM transport business sector in the Baltics. Before AECOM, Arnis worked in Chicago for eight years, OWP/P, which is a multidisciplinary architectural, engineering and consulting services company, employing 300 people. Before joining OWP/P, Arnis Kākulis took a position of Vice CEO at SYLLA Corporation. Arnis Kākulis obtained a Master's degree in architecture and a Master's degree in urban planning at the University in Milwaukee, USA. Since March 2013, Arnis serves in the board of the American Chamber of Commerce in Latvia.
 Kristīne Zonberga, Director of the Civic Alliance - Latvia

Director of Civic Alliance – Latvia, has 7 years experience in the field of research and more than 5 years working experience in CSOs sector. Kristine represents and advocates the interests of civil society in common at local and national level, ensures monitoring of the quality of civil participation and practices in public administration, as well as provides consultations and trainings in the field of legal matters of CSOs and organizational management and civil participation. Author of the publications about the issues of public administration and civil participation.  Has a master’s degree in Public administration and bachelor degree in political science.

 Chad Twitty, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy Riga

Chad Twitty manages the cultural, educational, and media engagement for the United States Embassy in Riga.  He joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 2009 and has also served in Moscow, Singapore, and London.  Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Chad was the Vice President and Director of Marketing and Communications for Alliance Bank of Arizona in his hometown of Phoenix, Arizona.  Chad holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in Russian from Arizona State University.  During his time at Arizona State, he also worked in the Media Relations Department of the Phoenix Suns basketball team (National Basketball Association). 

 Māra Sīmane, Consultant of Cross Sectoral Coordination Center

Māra Sīmane works at the Cross Sectoral Coordination Center under the Prime Minister with the National Development Plan 2014-2020, especially on strengthening human securitability. She is the Lead Author of the Latvian Human Development Report on Human Security that won the UN award in 2004 for  "Excellence in Human Development Innovations", and authored Latvia's first Millenium Development Goals Report.  From 2006-2011 she also headed the Latvian Platform for Development Cooperation (LAPAS), an umbrella organization for Latvian NGOs engaged indevelopment cooperation and development education.

Hamid Ladjevardi, Chairman of American Baltic Investments

Hamid Ladjevardi is a board member of the non-profit organizations, Latvian Foster Family Association and   Kids First Fund that deal with the welfare of children. Prior to this, he was co-founder and manager of the general partner of Baltic Fund 1, L.P., the first and longest running private equity fund in the Baltics, which was established in 1994. He has been actively involved in investment projects in the Baltic States since late 1991. A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, Hamid Ladjevardi received Bachelor of Arts degrees in economics and political science and then went on to receive his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Hamid Ladjevardi is Co-Chairman of the U.S.-Baltic Foundation that promotes democracy, free markets, investments, and cultural exchange with the Baltic States.

Adriāna Kauliņa, Public Affairs Manager at Swedbank

RBS MBA, since 2014 Adriāna creates public engagement strategy of Swedbank, develops and implements social initiatives and partnerships of Swedbank, Baltic PR Awards and Adward's integrated communication campaigns. The creator of the "Swedbank Schools Program" which is Human Development Award 2017 winner  in the category "Outstanding Commitment to Education Award".

 Zaiga Pūce, chairwoman of association "Ascendum"

Chairwoman of association “Ascendum”, member of the Board of the Association for NGOs of Contemporary Culture, Member of the Council of the Civic Alliance - Latvia and Head of the Policy and Strategy of CAL. Zaiga has 16 years experience in the non-governmental sector, leading and developing NGOs that have become leaders in their fields. Zaiga leads a successful NGO and actively represents the interests of NGOs in government and public administration. She has a higher education and a Master's degree in Education management and Bachelor's degree in Law.

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