“Diversity in society is a fact, but pluralism is a deliberate choice - by governments, by civil society organisations like the Foreign Policy Association, by communities and by individuals, to accommodate and value diversity in society.” -John McNee Secretary General of the Global Centre for Pluralism, Foreign Policy Association Dinner, New York, May 3, 2017.
The Foreign Policy Association of New York honored Mawlana Hazar Imam with the Foreign Policy Association’s 2017 President’s  Award. Secretary General of the Global Centre for Pluralism, John McNee, represented the Imam at the event and accepted the award on his behalf. Along with him, the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Dr. David J. Skorton, was also awarded for his achievement in international affairs, and expressed his gratitude and admiration for the work of Mawlana Hazar Imam.
Alexander Lari, the Director of Foreign Policy Association and Vice Chairman World Affairs Council of America, highlighted some of the work of Mawlana Hazar Imam and the Aga Khan Development Network, in uplifting health and education for people living in remote and poor areas of the world. He also spoke of the Global Centre for Pluralism, founded in partnership with the Government of Canada, which is a research and educational center to promote diversity and promote openness.
In conferring the honor, Director Lari remarked, “The Foreign Policy Association honors his work in promoting understandings and acceptance across borders through the work of his Global Centre for Pluralism.” 
Accepting the award, John McNee conveyed His Highness’ deep appreciation to the Board of the Foreign Policy Association and to the President, Noel Lateef. He added, “His Highness has been a real admirer of the FPA since he was an undergraduate at Harvard.” He spoke about the urgency of Pluralism in today’s world, explained the holistic mission of the Global Centre for Pluralism, and concluded by saying, “Pluralism needs champions and supporters, it is under assault. By conferring this prestigious Medal on His Highness, the FPA is giving important recognition and profile to the cause. We are very sincerely grateful.” 
President Shajahan Merchant of the Aga Khan Council for the Northeastern United States, was one of the leaders from the Jamati institutions who were present at the black-tie event.  Remarking on the significance of the event, he said, "Understanding and embracing pluralism as an essential part our shared value system and is key to a peaceful and tolerant society."