The International Vigdís Prize is an international award conferred for outstanding contributions to world languages and cultures. The Prize is awarded by the Icelandic government, the University of Iceland, and the Vigdís International Centre for Multilingualism and Intercultural Understanding, in honour of Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, President of Iceland (1980–1996) and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Languages. Established in 2020, the International Vigdís Prize amounts to 6 million Icelandic kronas (ISK) and is awarded annually.

In 1980, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir became the first woman in the world to be democratically elected Head of State. She has been UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Languages since 1999. Throughout her career, Vigdís has shown visionary leadership in strengthening small language communities and promoting multiculturalism and linguistic diversity.

The International Vigdís Prize is awarded to individuals, organizations or institutions to spotlight exceptional achievements in the promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity, multilingualism and translation.

Nominations for the International Vigdís Prize 2023 are now open. Submission deadline is 22 May 2023. Further information on the University of Iceland’s website.

Previous Awardees

2022: Juergen Boos

Juergen Boos, the President and CEO of the Frankfurt Book Fair.

©Kristinn Ingvarsson

Click here to watch a recording from the event.

2021: Katti Frederiksen

Katti Frederiksen, a Greenlandic linguist, writer and politician.

2020: Jonhard Mikkelsen

Jonhard Mikkelsen, a Faroese linguist, teacher and publisher.