D.C. Scene: Matt Dillon, Waterston, Queen Noor, Podestas

Refugees International Dinner
Lauren Bush Lauren, the co-founder of Feed Projects, and David Lauren, senior vice president at Ralph Lauren Corporation. Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Actor Matt Dillon, the emcee of last night’s Refugees International 33rd Anniversary Dinner, credits the late diplomat Richard Holbrooke for getting him involved with the plight of refugees 15 years ago.

Holbrooke’s widow, the journalist Kati Marton, explained that Holbrooke’s favorite movie was the zany film “There’s Something About Mary,” starring Dillon.

Dillon, actor Sam Waterston, Marton and her daughter Elizabeth Jennings, joined Queen Noor of Jordan and her daughter Princess Iman in the Mellon Auditorium where more than 500 guests helped Refugees International raise $650,000.

Refugees International provides assistance and protection for refugees and promotes solutions to the worldwide crisis, independent of government and United Nations funding.

Queen Noor presented Lauren Bush Lauren, the co-founder and chief executive of Feed Projects LLC, with the McCall-Pierpaoli Humanitarian Award.

Calling her “a role model,” Queen Noor added, “we have great expectations of her.”

Lauren was with her husband of less than a year, David Lauren, senior vice president of Ralph Lauren Corp. She explained the FEED Projects, a program that sells tote bags with the FEED logo. It has provided more than 60 million meals to children in poverty-stricken areas.

She wore a sleek Ralph Lauren dress, but pointed out her FEED bag.

The dinner’s honorary chairman was Japanese Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki. Guests included Senator Joseph Lieberman, the Connecticut Independent, Democratic Congressman Jim McDermott of Washington and Congressman Chris Smith, the New Jersey Republican, who received the Congressional Leadership Award. The same award was given posthumously to Democratic Congressman Donald Payne of New Jersey, who died in March.

Podestas’ Art Party

Lobbyists Tony and Heather Podesta held an “art party” Wednesday to showcase work they recently installed in their home.

Guests sampled from a sushi bar in the living room. Congressman John Larson, a Connecticut Democrat, and Democratic Congressman Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania stood in the kitchen holding plates of pizza cooked in the Podestas’ outdoor pizza oven by James Alefantis of Comet Ping Pong.

Journalist Steve Clemons and Andrew Oros, a professor of international politics at Washington College, celebrated President Barack Obama’s support of gay marriage by wearing matching T-shirts with the date of their wedding emblazoned on the front.

Artist Doug Aitken and architect David Adjaye, commissioned to design the National Museum of African American History and Culture, marveled at the Podestas’ contemporary-art collection with works by Marina Abramovic and Josephine Meckseper.

Heather Podesta wore a black-and-red-print Alexander McQueen dress, explaining she’d recently met with McQueen creative director Sarah Burton.

“Duty Free,” said Tony Podesta about where he gets his collection of quirky ties.

Women to Watch

Also Wednesday night, the Women to Watch Awards brought out former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Ambassador Capricia Penavic Marshall, chief of protocol of the U.S.

Running Start, an organization that encourages young women to enter politics, honored both women with awards at the National Press Club, as well as Republican Congresswoman Martha Roby of Alabama, actress Jacqueline Emerson of “The Hunger Games” and others.

Gifford, a victim of an almost fatal shooting last year, was mobbed like a movie star when she entered the VIP reception.

Penavic Marshall wore Oscar de la Renta and pearls.

The event also honored Taryn Davis, founder of American Widow Project, Natalie Randolph, the varsity football coach at Coolidge High School in Washington, and Rocio Ortega, a student activist.

(Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

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