Universal Music Group’s executive vp of communications, Will Tanous, received the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor at the 34th annual ceremony on Saturday (May 11).
The ceremony — which took place on Ellis Island in New York Harbor — recognized more than 90 U.S. citizens "who have distinguished themselves within their own ethnic groups while exemplifying the values of the American way of life." Former recipients of the award include the late Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, Rosa Parks, Muhammad Ali and seven U.S. presidents.
Tanous, who is Lebanese-American, manages UMG's worldwide communications across 60 countries and also oversees public policy, investor and government relations, special projects and events and social responsibility. As a member of the company's executive management board, Tanous plays a critical role in UMG's business strategy development.
Alongside Tanous, honorees this year included a mix of leaders across industries, including singer Paula Abdul, musician Michael Franti, Broadway producer Wendy Federman and television host Montel Williams.
The Ellis Island Medal of Honors Ceremony is sponsored by the Ellis Island Honor Society, whose mission is "to honor and preserve America’s diversity and foster tolerance, respect and understanding among religious and ethnic groups." The group also supports the restoration and maintenance of Ellis Island.