PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose lifelong public service career includes turns as secretary of state, presidential candidate, senator and first lady, is the recipient of the 2013 Liberty Medal.
Clinton will receive the medal in a Sept. 10 ceremony at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. She was not in attendance for Thursday's announcement.
Liberty Medal sponsors and partners said Clinton's nearly four decades of public service exemplify the qualities that the award was established to honor, from her groundbreaking outreach to global leaders to her continuing work to advance opportunities for the world's girls and women.
"The Liberty Medal recognizes individuals who have furthered the ideals of freedom, democracy, and equality, often against great odds," said Jeffrey Rosen, National Constitution Center president and CEO. "Hillary Clinton has devoted her life to expanding opportunities for 'We the People' not just in this country but around the globe."
Liberty Medal sponsors cited Clinton's work as secretary of state from Jan. 2009 to Feb. 2013, when she traveled to 80-plus countries — more than any of her predecessors — "as a champion of human rights, democracy, civil society and opportunities for women and girls around the world."
They also noted her bipartisan efforts as first lady in support of affordable health care and her work as U.S. senator from New York to secure more than $20 billion after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks for the city and its first responders.
"Former Secretary Clinton has dedicated her life to serving and engaging people across the world in democracy," former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, chairman of the National Constitution Center, said in a statement.
Previous recipients of the medal, which was established in 1988 to celebrate the bicentennial of the Constitution, include rock singer and human rights activist Bono, former South African President Nelson Mandela and former President Jimmy Carter.
Six winners have subsequently received the Nobel Peace Prize.
Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, and former President George H.W. Bush were jointly awarded the Liberty Medal in 2006 for their efforts helping victims of Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami in southeast Asia. Both went on to serve terms as chairmen of the National Constitution Center.
The National Constitution Center, which opened in 2003 near Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, is dedicated to increasing public understanding of the Constitution through its museum exhibits, public lectures and debates, and educational outreach and research.
Liberty Medal: http://www.constitutioncenter.org/libertymedal