Greece Honors Distinguished Hellenes of the Diaspora


Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou meets the honorees in Athens on Thursday. Credit: Presidency of the Hellenic Republic


ByTasos Kokkinidis


Greece honored eight distinguished figures of the Greek diaspora for excellence in their fields and promoting Greece abroad in an event on Thursday in Athens.

The third edition of the annual Argo Awards, held under the auspices of President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, took place at the Benaki Museum yesterday.

The Argo Awards was initially established by a group of Greeks in Brussels, Belgium. As the group notes, the awards aim to highlight the “Greece, of extroversion, creation, cosmopolitanism and open horizons.”


The members of the Diaspora honored by Greece


Science Award: Kypros Nicolaides

Nicolaides, a Professor of Fetal Medicine at King’s College London, is one of the pioneers of fetal medicine; his discoveries have completely revolutionized the field. He was elected to the US National Academy of Medicine in 2020 for “improving the care of pregnant women worldwide with pioneering rigorous and creative approaches, and making seminal contributions to prenatal diagnosis and every major obstetrical disorder.”


Culture and Arts Award: Jeffrey Eugenides

Eugenides has written numerous short stories and essays, as well as three novels: “The Virgin Suicides” (1993), “Middlesex” (2002), and “The Marriage Plot” (2011). The Virgin Suicides served as the basis of a feature film, while Middlesex received the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.


Entrepreneurship Award: George Yancopoulos

Regeneron’s Chief Scientific Officer is the holder of more than 100 patents. Yancopoulos is a principal inventor and developer of Regeneron’s seven FDA-approved medicines, as well as of Regeneron’s foundational technologies for targeted drug development, such as its proprietary TRAP technology, and the VelociGene and VelocImmune antibody technologies.


Innovation Award: Anastasia Ailamaki

Ailamaki is a professor of computer sciences at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland and the Director of the Data-Intensive Applications and Systems laboratory. She is also the co-founder of RAW Labs SA, a Swiss company developing real-time analytics infrastructures for heterogeneous big data.


Humanitarian Award: Archimandrite Themistoklis Adamopoulos

Currently permanently residing in Sierra Leone, Africa, the clergyman is the chancellor (protosygelos) of the Holy Diocese of Guinea.


Sociopolitical contribution: Margaritis Schinas

Schinas is the European Commission Vice President for promoting the European Way of Life. He took office in December 2019 as a vice-president in the Von der Leyen Commission. He previously was a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 2007 to 2009 and served as chief spokesperson of the European Commission from 2014 to 2019.


Sports Award: Lefteris Petrounias

Petrounias is the 2016 Olympic champion, 2020 Olympic bronze medalist, three-time World champion (2015, 2017, 2018) and a six-time (2011, 2015-18, 2021) European medalist on the still rings (five gold and one bronze). He was named the Greek Male Athlete of the Year, for the years 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.


Gastronomy Award: Costas Spiliadis

Spiliadis is the Executive Chef and Founder at Milos restaurants. Since the first restaurant called Milos was founded in Montreal in 1979, the chain’s refined gastronomy has transcended the globe and acquired passionate fans.