Former Special Envoy
It was while filming “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” in war-torn Cambodia that Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie first witnessed the dire conditions faced by refugees.
Working with UNHCR, she began visiting refugees in Sierra Leone and Tanzania.
Responding to an emergency appeal from UNHCR, she donated $1 million to the organization, the largest donation UNHCR had ever received from a private individual.
Jolie was named a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador in August 2001.
Jolie has been working tirelessly since, meeting with refugees and internally displaced persons in over 30 countries.
In 2003, Jolie released Notes from My Travels, describing her extensive travels to war zones in Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan.
In 2012, Jolie was named Special Envoy to the UNC High Commissioner, and now represents
UNHCR at the diplomatic level for matters relating to major refugee crises.
She’s is also active in conservation and community development, and is a vocal advocate for causes such as the rights of child immigrants and vulnerable children worldwide, children education, human rights, sexual violence and women rights.
Having received numerous awards in recognition of her humanitarian work, with years of dedicated service to UNHCR and the cause of refugees, Angelina Jolie in April 2012 was appointed as Special Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Angelina Jolie dedicated over 20 years of service to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. She served as a Goodwill Ambassador from 2001 – 2012 and then as Special Envoy from 2012 – 2022.
In her critical role as Special Envoy, Ms. Jolie used her powerful voice to build awareness and support for refugees. Throughout her time with UNHCR, Ms. Jolie carried out more than 60 field missions bearing witness to suffering and resilience and calling for urgent solutions to protect the rights and safety of displaced people.
In December 2022, Ms. Jolie stepped down from her role as Special Envoy to engage on a broader set of humanitarian and human rights issues. As one of the most influential proponents of refugee rights, her portfolio will continue to include refugees and issues of forced displacement.
Over the years, we have worked with a number of high profile and influential personalities who have lent their time, voices and energy to the refugee cause and UNHCR’s work. This section pays tribute to these supporters, and salutes their dedication and service in upholding and supporting the rights of forcibly displaced people.
Dr. Lam Kin Chung
Dr. Lam Kin Chung, a retired UNHCR Patron, has devoted his life to advancing peace, education, and culture for refugees and marginalized populations worldwide. His philanthropic journey began in 1992 when he established the ‘Lam Kin Chung Morning Sun Charity Fund,’ which fosters peace through global education and cultural exchange programs.
Dr. Lam’s partnership with UNHCR commenced in 2017, where he leveraged his global real estate expertise to connect UNHCR with diverse stakeholders, including educational institutions and corporations. Notably, Dr. Lam’s philanthropy reached a pinnacle in 2020 when he supported education for Afghan refugee girls in Pakistan, benefiting over 1,300 children and leaving a lasting impact for generations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he furthered his humanitarian efforts by aiding the Syrian emergency through matching donations.
Grounded in his Buddhist beliefs and inspired by his mentor, Daisaku Ikeda, a UNHCR Humanitarian Award recipient, Dr. Lam remains resolute in his mission to assist those in need.