Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb elected as best in the world
The Mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, has won an international prize for his role and has been elected as the best mayor in the world.
World Mayor Prize 2021 goes to Ahmed Aboutaleb
London-based think tank City Mayors Foundation issues the World Mayor Prize every two years, dedicating the most recent prize to mayors who have shown outstanding leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several Dutch mayors made it onto the 2020 / 2021 longlist, including Femke Halsema from Amsterdam, Ahmed Marcouch from Arnhem, and Klaas Agricola from Dantumadiel. However, Aboutaleb was victorious, receiving the 2021 World Mayor Prize for his commitment to treating all citizens as Rotterdammers “irrespective of their origins and backgrounds,” which the jury said was essential for building a strong and fair city.
This year, Aboutaleb shares the prize with Philippe Rio, Mayor of Grigny in France who was hailed as a social visionary and pragmatist by the jury.
Mayor of Rotterdam praised for his "exceptional leadership"
Aboutaleb, who was sworn in as mayor in 2009 and is one of the longest-serving mayors in Europe, is the first Dutch mayor to receive the award. The jury praised his “exceptional leadership” during the pandemic: “[he] has led the city of Rotterdam since 2009 with courage, patience and humility... During all his years as mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb has always acted as a father of a very large family.”
In response to the news, Aboutaleb said he was speechless. “It is an honour that the people of Rotterdam have nominated me for this,” he told NOS. “I have the most beautiful job that you can imagine.”