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2022 Profile in Courage recipients include Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Liz Cheney

The Ukraine president and U.S. congresswoman are among five recipients of this year's awards from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Republican Rep. Liz Cheney are among the five recipients of this year's Profile in Courage Awards for protecting democracy in the United States and around the world.

The Kennedy family and John F. Kennedy Library Foundation have been giving out the awards since 1989 to public servants who have made courageous decisions without regard to personal or professional consequences. The awards are named in honor of JFK's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1957 book, "Profiles in Courage."

Jack Schlossberg, the grandson of former President John F. Kennedy, unveiled the recipients exclusively on TODAY Thursday.

In addition to Zelenskyy and Cheney, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, and Georgia Election Department worker Wandrea "Shaye" Moss are also being honored for their actions in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election.

"There is no more important issue facing our country — and the world — today than the fight for democracy. Today’s honorees put their careers and lives on the line to protect democratic principles and the integrity of our elections. Their service and courage inspire us all,” Caroline Kennedy, JFK's daughter and the honorary president of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, said in a statement.

Last year’s recipient was Sen. Mitt Romney, who was the only Republican to vote to convict former President Donald Trump during his first impeachment trial in 2020.

The awards are selected by a bipartisan committee of national, political and community leaders. Previous recipients include former Presidents Barack Obama, George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford.

Kennedy and Schlossberg will present this year's awards during a ceremony on May 22 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston.

Here is more on each recipient:

Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Address of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy is pictured during his regular address to the nation . Ukrinform / Future Publishing via Getty Images

The president of Ukraine has been hailed for showing courage and leadership as a voice of democracy since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February. He has been a target for assassination by Russian forces but has continued to speak on the world stage about the threat facing his country and the fight to preserve its democracy.

Liz Cheney

Capitol Hill
Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Republican congresswoman from Wyoming has suffered professional consequences for voting to impeach former President Donald Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. She was stripped of her leadership position in the GOP caucus for condemning the false claim by Trump that the 2020 election was stolen. She also is one of two Republican members of the Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Jocelyn Benson

Jocelyn Benson
Jocelyn BensonJohn F Martin / John F. Kennedy Library Foundation

Michigan's secretary of state had armed protestors gather in front of her home in December 2020 demanding that the state's presidential election results be reversed. Despite threats and harassment, she fulfilled the duties of her office in accordance with state law and certified the vote, which favored President Joe Biden.

Rusty Bowers

Image:
Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers resisted pressure to replace the state's slate of electors in the 2020 election. Ross D. Franklin / AP

The Republican speaker of the Arizona House resisted pressure from Trump and Rudy Giuliani to replace Arizona's legal slate of electors following the 2020 election.

He has endured threats and intimidation as well as an attempt to recall him from the legislature. He also stopped a Republican-sponsored bill in January that would have allowed the legislature to overturn the results of an election.

Wandrea “Shaye” Moss

Moss, an elections department employee in Fulton County, Georgia, had to go into hiding and change her appearance due to racist taunts and death threats after becoming the target of Trump allies looking to overturn the 2020 election.

Moss helped process the vote count on Election Day and was falsely accused of processing fake ballots for Biden. Despite the threats, she continues to serve in the Fulton County Elections Office.

Capitol Hill
Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., listens as the House Selects committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol meets to vote on contempt charges against former President Donald Trumps advisers Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino on Capitol Hill on Monday, March 28, 2022 in Washington, DC.Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images
2021 Annual Salute To Women In Sports Awards Gala
Jocelyn Benson attends The Women’s Sports Foundation’s Annual Salute to Women in Sports at New York Historical Society on October 13, 2021 in New York City.Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images for Women's Sports Foundation
Image:
Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, R-Mesa, offers up an amendment as lawmakers debate among three proposed laws that are designed to deal with distracted driving caused by cellphone use on the floor of the House of Representatives at the Arizona Capitol Thursday, April 18, 2019, in Phoenix.Ross D. Franklin / AP
Address of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy is pictured during his regular address to the nation, Kyiv, capital of Ukraine. The head of state said that we had already reached a strategic turning point and were moving towards our victory. The custom-size photo is courtesy of the press service of the Office of the President of Ukraine.Ukrinform / Future Publishing via Getty Images

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