Former US Ambassador to Ukraine to be honored by PEN America

Entertainment
Marie Yovanovitch

FILE – Former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch speaks at Georgetown University in Washington, on Feb. 12, 2020. Yovanovitch, who was forced out of her job last year by the Trump administration, is being honored by PEN America. The literary and human rights organization announced Monday, Sept. 28, that Yovanovitch has won the PEN/Benenson Courage Award. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine who was forced out of her job last year by the Trump administration, is being honored by PEN America.

The literary and human rights organization announced Monday that Yovanovitch has won the PEN/Benenson Courage Award, of which previous recipients include Anita Hill and student activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. During the impeachment hearings of President Donald Trump, Yovanovitch told House investigators that Ukrainian officials had warned her in advance that Rudy Giuliani and other Trump insiders were planning to “do things, including to me” and were “looking to hurt” her.

Yovanovitch was recalled from Kyiv as Giuliani pressed Ukrainian officials to investigate baseless corruption allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden, the 2020 presidential candidate for the Democratic Party, and his son Hunter. The alleged attempt to make a foreign government investigate a political opponent led to Trump’s impeachment in December on two counts by the Democratic-run House. The Republican-run Senate acquitted him on both counts.

“At a time when, for government officials, standing on principle can spell an end to a professional career, Ambassador Yovanovitch did not flinch or falter,” said Suzanne Nossel, CEO of PEN America, said in a statement. “She is a powerful exemplar of the kind of courage this award is meant to honor.”

Yovanovitch is currently working on a memoir, expected to come out next year. She will be among the guests Dec. 8 at PEN’s annual gala, to be held online because of the coronavirus pandemic. Others receiving awards will include author and musician Patti Smith and Chinese dissident Xu Zhiyong.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

CBS47 On Your Side

Do you have a problem that you need help solving? Contact CBS47 and let us be On Your Side.

Phone: 559-761-0383
Email: OnYourSide@cbsfresno.com

Images from Armenia

Small patients in Armenia
Yerevan by night.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers in Gyumri.
Doctors unpack medical supplies from The Central Valley.
Fresno Medical Mission at work.
Medical Supplies being unloaded.
Fresno Medical Mission at the ready.
KSEE24 crew witnesses the miracle of life in Gyumri, Armenia.
Life saving work of Central Valley surgeons in Armenia.
Ribbon cutting on new surgical center in Ashtarak Armenia. Fresno donors made this dream come true.
KSEE24 on assignment with the Fresno Medical Mission
Honorary Consulate to Armenia Berj Apkarian explains the crisis facing one hospital.
KSEE24's Stefani Booroojian and Kevin Mahan at the meeting with President Bako Sahakyan.
Medical Meeting in Artsakh.
The President of Artsakh meets with the Fresno Medical Mission.
Learning modern medicine techniques with the Fresno Medical Mission in surgery.
Leaning in for a look. Dr. Brien Tonkinson holds class and helps a patient in Armenia.
Fresno Medical Mission cares on one of the smallest patients in the region. Six-year old Yanna receives life-changing better breathing surgery.