Since 2009, ifa has been presenting an award to persons or organisations who, by virtue of their scientific, scholarly, social, socio-political, artistic, entrepreneurial or financial engagement, have made outstanding contributions to peace, international understanding and the dialogue of cultures.
The award orginates from an initiative of the Association of Friends of ifa. Until 2019, the distinction was named after Theodor Wanner (1875-1955) at whose urging the German Foreign Institute (DAI), today's ifa, was founded in 1917.
Patron of the ifa Award is the Federal Foreign Minister. It is endowed with a grant of € 10,000 dedicated to a cultural and peace-building project chosen by the award recipient. In addition, she or he is presented with an artistic prize object as a visible token of appreciation. In co-operation with the Steidl publishing house, ifa also produces a portrait volume on each awardee.
The award recipients are selected by majority decision of a jury formed by the board of the Friends Association and ifa. The jury is free in its selection.