William Thorsell Gathers International Colleagues to Form 25th Lionel Gelber Prize Jury

November 18, 2014 (Toronto and Washington) – Patricia Rubin, Chair of the Lionel Gelber Prize Board and niece of the late Lionel Gelber, the Canadian scholar, diplomat, and author in whose memory the Prize was created, today announced the 2015 prize jury, selected by returning Jury Chair William Thorsell.

Ms Rubin noted: “As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Lionel Gelber Prize, we acknowledge that the acclaim of the Prize over the years begins with the formidable task entrusted to the jurors. We welcome with gratitude the insight and contribution of these five internationally-renowned individuals.”

The Jurors for the 2015 Lionel Gelber Prize are:

  • William Thorsell, Jury Chair (Toronto, Canada)
  • Anne Applebaum (Warsaw, Poland)
  • Gary Bass (Princeton, USA)
  • Matias Spektor (Brazil)
  • John Stackhouse (Toronto, Canada)

About the Prize: The Lionel Gelber Prize, a literary award for the world’s best non-fiction book in English on foreign affairs that seeks to deepen public debate on significant international issues, was founded in 1989 by Canadian diplomat Lionel Gelber.  A cash prize of $15,000 is awarded to the winner. The award is presented annually by The Lionel Gelber Foundation, in partnership with Foreign Policy magazine and the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.  

Gary J. Bass won the 2014 Lionel Gelber Prize for his book The Blood Telegram, published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

March 30, 2015, marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of this prestigious international award.

Key Dates:  The Lionel Gelber Prize longlist will be announced on January 26, the shortlist on February 9, and the winner on March 30, 2014.  The winner will speak at a free public event to be held in the Campbell Conference Facility at the Munk School of Global Affairs, at the University of Toronto, on Tuesday, April 21, 2015.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

June Dickenson | junedickenson@cogeco.ca | (905) 541-4556

Lionel Gelber Prize Website: https://munkschool.utoronto.ca/gelber/  | Facebook | Twitter


Juror Biographies:

William Thorsell, Jury Chair (Toronto, Canada) is currently Continuing Fellow, Massey College, University of Toronto and Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. After more than ten years as Editor-in-Chief of The Globe and Mail in Toronto, Mr. Thorsell was appointed Director and CEO of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto in August, 2000. He was invested into the Order of Ontario in January 2008 and also invested as Chevalier, Order of Arts and Letters, in France in 2010.

Anne Applebaum (Warsaw, Poland) Anne Applebaum is a journalist, historian and a columnist for the Washington Post and Slate, as well as a regular contributor to the New Republic, The New York Review of Books and many other publications. She runs the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute in London, and in 2012 – 2013 held the Phillipe Roman chair in History and International Affairs at the London School of Economics. Her book, Gulag: A History, won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction, as well as Britain’s Duff-Cooper Prize. Her most recent book, Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944 – 1956 was nominated for a National Book Award and the Lionel Gelber Prize and won the Cundill Prize in Historical Literature. She is a graduate of Yale University and the London School of Economics.

Gary Bass (Princeton, USA) is Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide, which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and won the Lionel Gelber Prize, the Asia Society’s Bernard Schwartz Book Award, and the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations’ Robert Ferrell Book Prize; Freedom’s Battle: The Origins of Humanitarian Intervention; and Stay the Hand of Vengeance: The Politics of War Crimes Tribunals. A former reporter for The Economist, he has written often for The New York Times, as well as other publications.

Matias Spektor (Brazil) is an Associate Professor at Fundação Getulio Vargas in Brazil. He is the author of Kissinger e o Brazil (2009), Azeredo da Silveira: um depoimento (2010) and is currently completing a book on US-Brazil relations. Dr. Spektor is also working on a multi-archive research program on the history of Brazil’s nuclear program. He was a Visiting Fellow with the London School of Economics (2009), the Council on Foreign Relations (2010), the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (2012), and holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford. He is currently Rio Branco Chair in International Relations at King’s College, London.

John Stackhouse (Toronto, Canada) is an award-winning journalist, author and Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and C.D. Howe Institute. He was previously Editor-in-chief of The Globe and Mail, as well as the newspaper’s business, foreign, and national editor and, from 1992 – 1999, its international development correspondent, based in New Delhi. The author and co-author of several titles, including the best-selling work Out of Poverty, he is currently working on a book on the digital revolution.