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Wonk of the Year 2017 Malala Yousafzai

Award ceremony September 25 in AU's Bender Arena
Full Story

American University has hosted many dignitaries and world leaders over the years. Yet few AU speakers have had such a meteoric rise, at such a young age, as Malala Yousafzai. She just turned 20 years old this summer, and she's already an international icon. AU is now recognizing Yousafzai as the 2017 Wonk of the Year.

Though previously an advocate for girls' education in the Muslim world, her activism became global after a brush with death on a school bus when she was shot by Taliban fighters. Since that time, she's gained worldwide renown as a champion of human rights and gender equity.

Event Information

Monday, September 25, 2017 — 8:15 pm  Tickets required

Bender Arena
American University
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016

KPU: Kennedy Political Union logo

The Kennedy Political Union (KPU) is American University’s non-partisan, student-run, student-funded speakers bureau.

Learn about KPU

Previous Wonks of the Year

Donna Brazile speaks at a podium in front of an American University banner

Donna Brazile

The political strategist and first female presidential campaign manager was named Wonk of the Year in 2016.

Donna's Story

Laura Bush speaking at a podium, a wonk banner in the background

Laura Bush

Former First Lady Laura Bush was named Wonk of the Year in 2015.

Laura's Story

Anderson Cooper speaking at a podium

Anderson Cooper

The CNN anchor was named Wonk of the Year in 2013.

Anderson's Story

President Bill Clinton speaks in front of an American University banner

President Bill Clinton

Former President Bill Clinton accepted the inaugural Wonk of the Year award in 2012.

Bill's Story

About the Award

The Wonk of the Year award recognizes a well-known individual who represents the embodiment of a wonk—someone smart, passionate, focused, and engaged who uses their knowledge and influence to create meaningful change in the world.

2017 Sponsors

  • Host: AUSG Kennedy Political Union

  • Co-sponsor: AUSG Women’s Initiative

  • Co-sponsor: Muslim Student Association