NEW YORK (AP) – Marie Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine who was forced out of her job by the Trump administration last year, is being honored by PEN America.
The literary and human rights organization announced on Monday that Yovanovitch has won the PEN / Benenson Courage Award, previous recipients of which have included Anita Hill and student activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. During President Donald Trump’s impeachment hearings, Yovanovitch told House investigators that Ukrainian officials had warned her in advance that Rudy Giuliani and other Trump insiders planned to “ do things, including me ” and “ hurt her. ”
Yovanovitch was recalled from Kiev when Giuliani urged Ukrainian officials to investigate baseless corruption allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden, 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidate, and his son Hunter. The alleged attempt to get a foreign government to investigate a political opponent led to Trump’s two-count deposition by the Democrat-led House in December. The Republican-led Senate acquitted him on both counts.
“At a time when, for government officials, standing on principle can end a professional career, Ambassador Yovanovitch has not flinched,” Suzanne Nossel, CEO of PEN America, said in a statement. “She is a powerful example of the kind of courage this award should honor.”
Yovanovitch is currently working on a memoir, which is expected to be released next year. She will be one of the guests on December 8 at PEN’s annual gala, held online due to the coronavirus pandemic. Other honors include author and musician Patti Smith and Chinese dissident Xu Zhiyong.