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Honoree Rosanne Haggerty, NBC’s Willie Geist Join Annual IAVA Heroes Gala Lineup

NEW YORK, NY (October 17, 2017) – Today, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) is excited to announce the 2017 IAVA Civilian Leadership Award honoree and an additional special guest for the 11th Annual IAVA Heroes Gala on November 9, 2017 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York. 

IAVA is proud to announce Rosanne Haggerty, President and Chief Executive Officer of Community Solutions, and a founding IAVA Board member, will receive the 2017 IAVA Civilian Leadership Award. Rosanne is an internationally recognized leader in developing innovative strategies to end homelessness and strengthen communities. She is a leading voice on ending veterans homelessness, a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, an Ashoka Senior Fellow and a Hunt Alternative Fund Prime Mover. In 2012, she was awarded a Jane Jacobs medal for new ideas and activism from the Rockefeller Foundation. 

Since its founding in 2011, Community Solutions has helped more than 200 communities across the US find permanent homes for more than 185,000 homeless Americans. This figure includes more than 70,000 veterans. 

“Rosanne is a true hero for veterans nationwide. For decades, she and her selfless team at Community Solutions have led the nation in creating innovative solutions that have significantly reduced veteran homelessness nationwide,” said Paul Rieckhoff, IAVA Founder and CEO. “As a Board Member, Rosanne has also been a pivotal leader in guiding IAVA from a tiny start-up into a national powerhouse. Her deep personal commitment to the veterans community is an example for all Americans and we are honored to have the opportunity to celebrate her contributions on behalf of the IAVA community and the millions across the country her work has touched.”  

IAVA is also excited to announce that Willie Geist, Co-anchor of MSNBC’s Morning Joe and host of NBC News’ Sunday TODAY, will join us again at the 11th Annual Heroes Gala to host a Facebook Live stream from the “Cammo Carpet”. Geist will interview military leaders, celebrities, politicians and business leaders, and joins a lineup that includes Stephen Colbert, host of CBS’ “The Late Show” and IAVA’s 2011 Civilian Leadership Award honoree; and Meghan McCain, host of ABC’s “The View” and daughter of Senator and war hero John McCain. 

“IAVA is thrilled to have Willie Geist join us again this year for Heroes Gala 2017,” said Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and CEO of IAVA. “Willie is an incredible talent and advocate who always has our back. As an IAVA friend and supporter, Willie has joined us at the Heroes Gala many times before and we know his personality, humor and heart will make our 11th Heroes Gala another night to remember. He continues to be one of the most consistent and strong voices for veterans causes across America. Willie hosting our Cammo Carpet is something people are not going to want to miss!”

Over the past eleven years, the Heroes Gala has empowered Iraq and Afghanistan Vetearns of America to support post 9/11 veterans by raising millions of dollars for the best-in-class advocacy programs and transition support services provided nationwide to over one million veterans. This year, the Heroes Gala will also celebrate and support IAVA’s groundbreaking She Who Borne the Battle campaign, which is focused on increasing public awareness and creating policy changes for women veterans, passing the Deborah Sampson Act and changing the exclusionary VA motto. It’ll be an incredible night of patriotism, inspiration and service and a highlight of the fall social calendar.

Past honorees and distinguished guests have come from across the military, business, sports, entertainment and politics and include: Admiral Mike Mullen, Jon Stewart, Peter G. Peterson, Retired General David Petraeus, Miss USA Deshauna Barber, Joan Ganz Cooney, Henry Kissinger, Julian Bond, Roger Waters, Arnold Fisher, Senator Tammy Duckworth; Medal of Honor Recipient Sal Guinta, Willie Geist, Michael Bloomberg, Wes Moore, J.R. Martinez, NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly, Bill Hemmer, Rachel Maddow, Les Gelb, Coach Bill Cowher, Craig Newmark, Peter Berg, Nora Jones, Marc Roberge and OAR, Bob Woodruff, Skip Bayless, Shannon Sharpe, Harry Carson, Katie Nolan, Michelle Monaghan, Sebastian Junger and many more.  

The 2017 IAVA Heroes Gala is sponsored by: Fox Sports 1, Barbaricum, Reingold Inc, Vencore, Hero Clean, Heritage Strategies Inc, Western Asset Management, CNN, MSNBC, Steve Tisch, Lizzie & Jonathan Tisch, DC Group, Bob Woodruff Foundation, Amazon Studios, PBC USA, Greg D’Alba, JP Morgan, John Buoymaster, Emergent BioSolutions, Morgan Stanley, Abbvie, HBO, Active International, Jones Lang LaSalle, Boeing, David and Goliath, Fried Frank, and PhRMA. 

Sponsorship packages and tickets are available to the 11th Annual IAVA Heroes Gala online or contact IAVA at heroesgala@iava.org or 202-544-7692 ext 6208. 

Note to media: Email press@iava.org or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff or IAVA leadership.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization (VEO) with the most diverse and rapidly growing membership in America. As a non-profit founded in 2004, IAVA’s mission is to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans. Celebrating its 12th year anniversary, IAVA has connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided more than 7,300 veterans with personalized support from IAVA’s Master’s level social workers.