Alumni Recognition

The LBJ School Alumni Board is accepting nominations for two alumni recognition awards — the Distinguished Public Service Award and the Rising Leader Award.

NOMINATE SOMEONE by June 9, 2023 at 5pm CDT to be considered for the 2023 Awards! Tap this link to nominate.

LBJ School and LBJ Alumni Board:

Distinguished Public Service Award

Established in 1989, the Distinguished Public Service Award is presented each year to an LBJ alum whose career and public service record best represents the values on which the LBJ School was founded.

Selection Criteria
All graduates of the LBJ School are eligible to be nominated. Nominees must have made significant contributions to public policy, such as the following: promoted the advancement of the public affairs vocation; been engaged in community service and/or volunteerism; shown commitment to the LBJ School and its mission; and demonstrated leadership, the ability to work well with diverse groups, and other attributes (honors/awards, etc.).

Anyone may submit nominations/self-nominations. To reactivate a nomination that was submitted within the past two years, the nominator must submit a new cover letter and, if needed, provide updated information.

Selection Committee
The selection committee includes members of the Alumni Board Recognition Committee, the Alumni Board faculty representative, the Alumni Board GPAC representative, and the previous year's Distinguished Public Service Award winner.

Past Distinguished Public Servant Award Recipients

2022: Bird Runningwater, President & Executive Producer CloudWoman Media, MPAff 19962005: Jorge C. Garcés (MPAff '77), deputy managing director, North American Development Bank
2021: Shamina Singh (MPAff '97), Founder and President of Center for Inclusive Growth, Mastercard2003: Michael Reyna (MPAff '82), chair and chief executive officer, Board of Directors, Farm Credit Administration
2020: Alejandra Castillo (MPAff '98), Former CEO of YWCA2002: Dana DeBeauvoir (MPAff '81), Travis County Clerk
2019: Stacey Abrams (MPAff '98), Former Democratic nominee for Georgia governor2001: Albert Hawkins (MPAff '78), assistant to the U.S. president and Cabinet secretary
2018: Nancy La Vigne (MPAff '91), vice president for justice policy, Urban Institute2000: Bill Owens (MPAff '75), Colorado governor
2017: Mark Zion (MPAff '80), executive director, Texas Public Power Association (retired)1999: Craig Pedersen (MPAff '81), executive administrator, Texas Water Development Board
2016: Laura Huffman (MPAff '91), state director, The Nature Conservancy in Texas1998: Tim Delaney (MPAff '83), chief deputy attorney general, State of Arizona
2014: Mike Naeve (MPAff '72), partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates1997: Ken Apfel (MPAff '78), U.S. Social Security commissioner
2013: David Berteau (MPAff '81), senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies1996: Steve Spinner (MPAff '84), job training adviser, U.S. Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee (posthumous recognition)
2012: Robert N. Campbell, III (MPAff '73), vice chairman and U.S. public sector leader, Deloitte LLP1995: Jesus Garza (MPAff '77), Austin city manager
2011: John O'Brien (MPAff '81), director, Texas Legislative Budget Board1994: Susan Rieff (MPAff '80), Governor's Policy Council director and chief environmental policy adviser, Texas Governor's Office
2010: Courtney Brown (MPAff '83), former director, LBJ School Office of Student and Alumni Programs1993: John Hall (MPAff '78), chair, Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission
2009: Edward E. Emmett (MPAff '74), Harris County judge1992: DeAnn Friedholm (MPAff '79), state (Texas) Medicaid director; deputy commissioner of Medicaid, Texas Health and Human Services Commission
2008: Anne Dunkelberg (MPAff '88), associate director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities1991: Rodney Ellis (MPAff '77), Texas state senator
2007: Rafael Fernández de Castro (MPAff '86), chair and full-time professor, Department of International Studies, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México1990: Jan Hart Black (MPAff '75), Dallas city manager
2006: Sheila Wilson Beckett (MPAff '77), resident budget adviser, U.S. Treasury Department1989: Billy Hamilton (MPAff '75), director of state and local services, KPMG Peat Marwick

Rising Leader Award

The Rising Leader Award recognizes the efforts of our more recent alumni who exemplify the LBJ mission of "improving the quality of public service in the United States and abroad at all levels of governance and civic engagement."

Selection Criteria
All graduates of the LBJ School under the age of 40, or within the first 10 years of their graduation from the LBJ School, are eligible to be nominated. The award honors alumni who have stood out as leaders, catalysts for change and for making a meaningful difference to individuals, organizations or governments.

Selection Committee
The selection committee includes members of the Alumni Board Recognition Committee, the Alumni Board faculty representative, the Alumni Board GPAC representative; and the previous year's Rising Leader Award winner.

Past Rising Leader Recipients

2022: Chris Rodriguez, President & CEO at Ability360, MPAff 2012
2018: Rachel Hoff (MGPS '14), communications director and policy adviser, Senate Armed Services Committee
2021: Erol Yayboke (MPAff '06), director of the Project on Fragility and Mobility at CSIS2017: Matthew Randazzo (MPAff '03), chief executive officer, The National Math + Science Initiative
2020: Lauren Rose (MPAff '10), Public Policy Director, Texas Network of Youth Services2017: Vanessa Stotts (MPAff '13), foreign service officer, U.S. Department of State
2019: Rudy Metayer (EMPL '16), Pflugerville City Councilmember