Distinguished alumni

Peggy Bilsten Distinguished Service to Humankind

Bilsten, a 1982 Northwestern graduate, was an elementary and high school teacher before she was elected to the Phoenix City Council. Three years later, she was elected the vice mayor of Phoenix. As vice mayor, she advocated for people with disabilities and fought the abuse of women, serving on the mayor’s and Arizona governor’s commissions to prevent domestic violence.

A passionate opponent of child sex slavery, Bilsten participated in rescue trips to Indonesia, China, and war-torn Central Africa. She now works with StreetLight PHX, a ministry dedicated to eradicating child rape for profit. She also serves as the executive director of the Arizona Sexual Assault Association and is part of the staff for the Global Training Network, which equips church planters, leaders and pastors around the world.

Award year: 2011