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Public Citizen Recognizes Krystal Wubben for Longtime Dedication to Public Interest

Nov. 7, 2017

Public Citizen Recognizes Krystal Wubben for Longtime Dedication to Public Interest

Employee of Organization Devoted to Advancing Human Rights in the Americas Will Be Honored With 15th Annual Phyllis McCarthy Public Interest Service Award

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Krystal Wubben, director of finance and operations at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), will receive the 15th annual Phyllis McCarthy Public Interest Award at a reception at 4:30 p.m. EST Thursday, Nov. 9, at Public Citizen’s office at 1600 20th St. NW in Washington, D.C.

Almost 10 years ago, Wubben was hired as WOLA’s finance and operations manager. Joy Olson, executive director of WOLA at the time, said that although Wubben began the job with little experience, she learned quickly and put in tireless work to make the position her own. Because of her handling of WOLA’s finances and management of human resources, the organization was a finalist in the The Washington Post’s Excellence in Nonprofit Management award and was recognized twice in Washingtonian Magazine as one of “D.C.’s Best Places to Work.”

According to Olson, “our auditors regularly go out of their way to praise Krystal’s responsiveness and the quality of WOLA’s books.”

Public Citizen created the award after Phyllis McCarthy, a 24-year employee of its Health Research Group, passed away in November 2002. She worked for 24 years as a managing editor and office manager, playing an integral part in the development and preparation of publications, reports, medical journal articles and petitions to government agencies. The award recognizes individuals who have worked tirelessly for a public interest group, performing critical functions as did McCarthy, but who have not received public credit commensurate with their contributions.

“This is the 15th year we have honored a strong but unheralded public interest person by recognizing her hard behind-the-scenes work,” said Dr. Sidney Wolfe, founder and senior adviser of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group and award administrator. “We are thrilled to honor Krystal Wubben for her dedication to the public interest.”

According to Matt Clausen, the current executive director of WOLA, Wubben is “an essential person who works hard behind the scenes to ensure that WOLA is always functioning as efficiently as possible. The hard work that her fellow employees see every day is indicative of her tenacity and commitment to her work, regardless of how much or how little attention it receives.”

“As with all people who receive this award, Krystal Wubben is an unsung hero at WOLA and in the human rights community,” Olson said. “While others testify before Congress and give press conferences, Krystal has no profile outside of the organization. But within WOLA, we know how things get done, and she is our hero. Krystal is a wonderful human being. She has dedicated her professional life to public interest work.”

WOLA is a leading research and advocacy organization that strives to advance human rights in the Americas, tackling problems that transcend borders and demanding cross-border solutions. The organization focuses on making social change and advocating for more just societies in the Americas.