SNHU Global Education Movement Among Finalists for Larsen Lam Iconiq Impact Award

Manchester, NH December 3, 2020 – Today, Lever for Change and ICONIQ Impact announced that Southern New Hampshire University’s (SNHU) Global Education Movement (GEM) is one of five finalists for the Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award. The $12 million Award, sponsored by philanthropists Chris Larsen and Lyna Lam and the Sea Grape Foundation, finds and funds bold solutions that achieve significant social change for displaced people and refugees.

$12 Million Award Will Fund Bold Solutions for Long-Term Transformational Change in the Lives of Refugees.

SNHU GEM was selected as the first large-scale online learning initiative for refugees, serving nearly 1,700 learners across five countries and 10 sites directly in the camps and urban areas where they live. Through GEM, SNHU partners with in-country organizations to deliver high-quality, low-cost education that is tailored to meet the needs of displaced learners.

SNHU degrees are fully accredited and internationally recognized, allowing students to become competitive in national and global job markets, and offering potential for personal economic growth, as well as social and political autonomy. Today, more than 88% of GEM graduates are employed within six months of graduation.

“We’re excited to be a finalist for the Award among an incredible group of organizations committed to empowering refugees and providing tools to transform lives,” said Chrystina Russell, SNHU Senior Vice President and Executive Director of the Global Education Movement. “For refugees around the world, higher education serves as an incredible beacon of hope that can lead to new opportunities, livelihoods and long-term stability.”

The Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award was launched in January 2020 to identify actionable ideas that will transform the lives of refugees and displaced people. The five finalists present promising solutions that will not only improve the well-being of refugees in the short term but can also be scaled up to help secure better outcomes for refugees in the long term.

The Award was inspired by Lyna Lam’s own experience as a refugee after the Vietnam War and Cambodian Genocide. The Award is being managed by Lever for Change, a nonprofit that helps donors to find and fund solutions to the world’s greatest challenges, including racial and gender equity, economic development and climate change.

“Traditionally, societies provide protection and sanctuary for refugees, but rarely do we think about their lives beyond short-term relief efforts,” said Cecilia Conrad, CEO of Lever for Change. “These Award finalists inspire us with their bold solutions to tackle the long-term consequences of displacement for refugees.”

The recipient of the Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award will be announced in March 2021.

Learn more about the Award:


Global Education Movement
The Global Education Movement (GEM) is a major Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) initiative offering university degrees to refugees around the world. Created in 2017, GEM is the first large-scale online learning initiative for refugees, partnering with in-country organizations to deliver high-quality, low-cost education tailored to meet the needs of displaced learners.

 More Information
ICONIQ Capital | Sea Grape Foundation | Lever for Change | 100&Change | Bold Solutions Network

Media Contacts:
Lauren Keane
Assistant Vice President of Communications
Southern New Hampshire University
[email protected]

Marc Moorghen
Communications Director
Lever for Change
[email protected]