Myroslava Gongadze, Ukrainian journalist, wins the 2023 Inamori Ethics Prize


Courtesy of Dmytro Savchuk

Journalist and human rights activist Myroslava Gongadze is the newest recipient of the Inamori Ethics Prize for her work fighting corruption within the Ukranian government in the 1990s.

Sarah Karkoff, Staff Writer

Myroslava Gongadze is the latest winner of the Inamori Ethics Prize, bestowed by the Inamori Center for Ethics and Excellence here at Case Western Reserve University. Past winners include LeVar Burton and Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi.

The Inamori Ethics Prize, named after Dr. Kazuo Inamori, was created to honor special individuals who exemplify the concepts of ethics and leadership on an international scale. As Dr. Inamori has stated, “People have no higher calling than to serve the greater good of humankind and society.” The Inamori Ethics Prize seeks to honor this belief by uplifting and encouraging leaders who work to better humankind.

Gongadze, a Ukrainian human rights activist and journalist, has lived in the United States with her children since 2001 after being granted political asylum following the assassination of her husband, a fellow reporter. In the 1990s, Gongadze and her husband were important voices against the corruption within President Leonid Kuchma’s administration. Since 2004, Gongadze has worked with Voice of America where she continued to uncover the injustices of Kuchma and to bring justice to her husband. His death, and Gongadze’s ensuing work, were an important catalyst in the Orange Revolution of 2004. The revolution resulted in a change of power within Ukraine to Viktor Yuschenko, who served as president from 2005 to 2010. 

In regards to Gongadze, provost Ben Vinson III has stated “[Her] efforts and advocacy to find justice for her husband and for freedom in Ukraine demonstrate her leadership and influence as a free-press and human-rights advocate.”

Previously, Gongadze was a Neiman Foundation Fellow at Harvard University as well as a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at George Washington University. Her work has been published in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Journal of Democracy and a number of Ukrainian publications. Currently, Gongadze is the Eastern Europe chief of Voice of America. Despite living in the United States, she is often in her home country of Ukraine in order to report on the Russian invasion. 

In the words of Dr. Inamori himself, “Serve humankind through ethical deeds rather than actions based on self-interest and selfish desires.”

She is set to receive her award this upcoming September.