In The Know

Inaugural DC Power Index Prize to honor Ukrainian ambassador, Capitol Police officer

A powerful New York tradition is making its Washington debut with the launch of the inaugural D.C. Power Index Prize.

The annual awards ceremony will honor six “trailblazing women” when it’s held Wednesday at Café Milano, ITK can exclusively reveal.

The first recipients of the D.C. Power Index Prize are: Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova; Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards, who defended the Capitol during last year’s deadly Jan. 6 riot; Christine Grady, the chief of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health and the wife of the government’s top infectious diseases expert, Anthony Fauci; opera star Denyce Graves; entrepreneur and philanthropist Sheila Johnson; and Emmy-nominated “Transparent” actor Melora Hardin.

All of the women being honored, organizers say, “exemplify resilience, foster innovation, exhibit flexibility in times of crisis, and make a social and cultural impact.”

The power-focused prize is the brainchild of famed magazine editor Joanna Coles, Microsoft corporate vice president Teresa Carlson and DeDe Lea, Paramount Global’s executive vice president for global public policy and government affairs.

The event is Washington’s chance to pack its own powerful punch, with a nation’s capital version of the long-running Power 100 lunch in New York that was created by Coles.

“Women from D.C. have been traveling to New York for the last decade for the Power 100 lunch, but there are so many extraordinary women here in Washington, we wanted to broaden the scope of those we honor,” Coles told ITK.

“Washington is where women are running congressional committees, newsrooms, museums, embassies and foundations. We’re breaking stories, creating public policy, interpreting the law and enforcing it,” the former Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief said.

Organizers say they envision the D.C. Power Index Prize, which is being executive produced by Haddad Media, as a yearly soiree. A who’s who of more than 100 women changemakers are expected at the inaugural luncheon, including lawmakers, diplomats, journalists, and business and government officials.

“Every single one of these women has led by example and made an impact on our world,” Coles said in a statement about this year’s honorees.

“They have not only inspired us, but collectively they’ve touched the lives of millions of people in this country and around the globe,” she said.

“We are honored to showcase their accomplishments.”

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