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World Affairs Council of Western Michigan honors former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine with third Vandenberg Prize

Marie Yovanovitch.png
Jennifer Watkins
World Affairs Council of Western Michigan
Marie Yovanovitch, (ret.) Ambassador of the United States to Ukraine

The event held Friday at Grand Rapids’ Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

Marie Yovanovitch served from 2016-2019 as Ambassador of the United States to Ukraine. The honorable ambassador Yovanovitch provided testimony in the first impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. He is the only president impeached twice. The second impeachment trial held for the incitement of the January 6th Insurrection. As a diplomat, and a hearing participant, she sees democracy at risk.

“I think at the time of that impeachment we didn’t know the half of it. Now, with the January 6th Committee Hearings, we are hearing about the conspiracy, really. That reached to the highest levels and how broad it was to undermine a legitimate presidential election and to not transfer power peacefully. This goes to the heart of our democracy. To any democracy which is about free and fair elections and then the peaceful transfer of power. And so, I think we are in very serious times and we need to, all of us, need to do all that we can to safeguard our democracy.”

The first two Vandenberg Prizes were awarded to retired Ambassador Jon M. Hunstman, Jr. in 2020 and retired General James N. Mattis in 2021.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.