Lena Madesin Phillips Award

The aim of the Lena Madesin Phillips Award is to recognize an individual BPW member who makes a significant contribution to the development of BPW at international level and/or to improve the status of women with the leadership and dedication inspired by Dr. Lena Madesin Phillips, the founder of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW International). It is to be regarded as the highest award given by BPW International.

Lena Madesin Phillips Award 2021

Ambica Shrestra, Nepal

Congratulations to Ambica Shrestra, winner of Lena Madesin Phillips Award 2021, for her over four decades of women empowerment in Nepal. Ambica formally served as Asia-Pacific Regional Coordinator for BPW International during 2005-2008.


Lena Madesin Phillips Award is the highest award of BPW International, given to those who previously hold international posts in BPW and significantly contribute to BPW International for over 17 years, as Lena Madesin Phillips was international president for 17 years.

This award is typically given once every triennium at the opening ceremony of BPW International Congress. This triennium, the award ceremony was held virtually on 29 March 2021.

Past Winners

2008  Dr. Livia Ricci, Italy

         Dr. Yvette Swan, Bermuda

         Sylvia Perry, UK

2011  Dr. Antoinette Ruegg, Switzerland

2014  Dr. Pat Harrison, Australia

2017  Dr. Chonchanok Viravan, Thailand

         Elizabeth Benham, USA

2021  Ambica Shrestha, Nepal


A nominee for the Lena Madesin Phillips award shall meet the following conditions:

  1. Nominee has been a BPW member for over 17 years (which is the number of years that Dr. Lena Madesin Phillips was International President).
  2. Nominee holds or previously held international posts, is leading/led international project(s), is/was President of BPW Federation or BPW Associate clubs.
  3. Nominee is not a member of the current Executive Board.

A nominee cannot nominate herself.