Skip to main content
Our Boston office will be closed from 3-5 PM on Tuesday, May 14 and Wednesday, May 15. Our Lowell office will be closed from 9 AM - 12 PM on Friday, May 17.

IINE Honors Giovanni Caforio, Bristol Myers Squibb’s Executive Chairman of the Board, at 42nd Golden Door Award Gala

  March 8, 2024

On Monday, March 4, 480 IINE community members gathered at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston for our 42nd Golden Door Award Gala. Each year, the Golden Door Award is presented to an immigrant who has made outstanding contributions to U.S. society. The award takes its name from Emma Lazarus’s words, which are inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty: “From her beacon hand glows world-wide welcome…I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” This year, the award was presented to Giovanni Caforio, Executive Chairman of the Board and Former CEO at Bristol Myers Squibb. 

Highlights of the Evening

Golden Door Award Honoree Giovanni Caforio Advocates for Equitable Support for All Immigrants So They Can Pursue Their Dreams   

Born and educated as a trained physician in Italy, Giovanni joined Bristol Myers Squibb in 2000, assuming a number of roles over the years, most notably as CEO and today, as the Executive Chairman of the Board. At the Golden Door Award gala, Giovanni’s colleagues, including Vicki Sato, Chair, Denali Therapeutics and VIR Biotechnology, and Ted Samuels, Lead Independent Director, Bristol Myers Squibb, paid tribute to his impactful leadership, which has led to the development of medicines that have fundamentally changed the way we treat cancer; his commitment to developing a patient-focused culture driven by innovation and accountability; and his strong belief in the business value of diversity and inclusion.  

Giovanni accepted the Golden Door Award with humility, taking a moment to acknowledge the privilege he had when coming to the U.S. as an immigrant—a medical degree and an American company supporting him—and to call on our country to provide newly arrived immigrants with the necessary support to build a strong foundation. Learn more about Giovanni and his exceptional accomplishments in the video below.  

IINE’s Own Lead Case Specialists Pierre Julnor Laurent and Safeena Niazi Share Inspiring and Difficult Stories of Forced Migration 

In Haiti, Pierre rose through the ranks as a talented doctor, ultimately leading Port-au-Prince’s citywide response to the COVID outbreak. It was a role he embraced, having always been drawn to help those in need. When gang violence escalated in his beloved home country, Pierre had no choice but to leave. He didn’t want to go, but after several kidnapping attempts, he knew it was the only way to ensure his and his family’s safety. In the U.S., Pierre found IINE – and a new purpose. As a Lead Case Specialist, he continues to serve others by helping fellow Haitians find security and a new start in Massachusetts. Hear Pierre’s story in the video above.  

Safeena Niazi at Golden Door Award 2024

A host of the evening, Lead Case Specialist Safeena Niazi also reflected on her own journey of forced migration. Originally from Afghanistan, Safeena came to the U.S. in 2017 and was resettled by IINE; today, she is a member of our Legal team. Safeena shared how she fearfully watched from afar as the Taliban took over her home country in 2021 and the relief she felt when a close friend and trusted colleague was able to escape and reunite with her here.  

Both Pierre and Safeena’s stories brought tears to the gala attendees’ eyes as they reminded us all of how much refugees and immigrants often have to leave behind to find safety and rebuild their lives in our communities.  

IINE Supporters Raise Nearly $1.7 Million for Refugees and Immigrants  

The evening was a resounding success, thanks to the generous support of our attendees and sponsors, including Gordon Dyal & Co. Advisory Group LP, Bristol Myers Squibb, Biogen, Evercore, Jean Hynes and Mark Joseph Condon, Mark and Becky Levin, Moderna, Morgan Stanley, and ThermoFisher Scientific. The $1.7M raised comes just in time. “IINE is now the largest-scale resource for newly arrived refugees and immigrants seeking humanitarian relief in Massachusetts and New Hampshire,” said CEO and President Jeff Thielman. “Three years ago, we served 4,000 clients; this year, we are on pace to serve 18,000 individuals and families, including thousands of Haitian, Afghan, and Ukrainian families seeking peace and security...Thank you for being here tonight, for celebrating and supporting our mission, and for believing in immigrants and refugees.”  

Learn more about the Golden Door Award here.


Related Articles