The Evaluation Committee was made up of the representatives of Partners and representatives from Latvian society. 

Nominees were 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, Acting Director of the Civic Alliance in Latvia
Kristine Zonberga has 7 years experience in the field of research and more than 4 years working experience in CSOs sector. For several years, she provides consultations, monitors the quality of civic participation in public administration, gives opinions on CSOs to the government and parliament, participates in official meetings of public administration, contributes improvements in the legal acts development and implementation. Author of the publications about the issues of public administration and civic participation.  Currently working as a Acting Director of NGO Civic Alliance - Latvia.
 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.

Zigmunds Zaļenko, Human Development Award 2016 Winner in the category the Social Responsibility Award
Zigmunds Zaļenko is a handyman in Brocēni preschool educational institution "Mūsmājas", however, he does much more than his job requires. He is working on initiative “Rolling car” ("Ripo auto") making wooden car models and races together with children.
Paul Poletes, Deputy Chief of Mission at U.S. Embassy Riga
Paul Poletes joined the Foreign Service in 1998, since then he has worked in Athens, Dhaka, Bishkek, Tirana, and Ashgabat. Paul has also worked twice in Washington, first as the Montenegro Desk Officer, and later as the Deputy Director for Central Asian Affairs, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs. Most recently, Paul worked as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan from 2014-2016.  Paul has masters degrees from the National Defense University and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a BA from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Paul speaks Latvian, Russian, Albanian, and Greek.

Dace Akule, Civil Society and Policy Expert
Dace Akule is the former Director of the PROVIDUS, she also previously worked as a political researcher on good governance and migration issues in the EU. Prior to that, Dace was freelance journalist in several international media such as European Voice, EU Observer, Transitions Online and Radio Free Europe / Radio Freedom in the Latvian version. She holds a Masters Degree in International Relations from the Vienna Diplomatic Academy and the John Hopkins University (Bologna).

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