Hubert H. Humphrey Public Leadership Awards

The Hubert H. Humphrey Public Leadership Awards presented by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs each year honor individuals, organizations, and corporations that have contributed to the common good through leadership and service.

Established by the Humphrey School in 2003, the awards have recognized 65 recipients during annual dinner presentations that have raised more than $1.5  million for student scholarships.

2018 Public Leadership Awards 

The recipients of the 16th annual Hubert H. Public Leadership Awards are:

THOMAS FRIEDMAN, author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, The New York Times, for interpreting large-scale trends across diverse and far-reaching topics, making sense of accelerating change, and providing reasons for hope in a complex and volatile world

SARAH BELLAMY, artistic director, Penumbra Theatre Company, one of the nation’s largest African American theater companies, for harnessing the unique power of theater to engage audiences in critical thinking and inspiring action on issues of race and social justice 

CHERYL REEVE, head coach and general manager, Minnesota Lynx, winner of four WNBA championships, for motivating extraordinary athletic performance in her players, and substantially expanding opportunities for women and girls

DANIEL RODRIGUEZ (Humphrey School MPA 2008), executive director, Merrick Community Services in East St. Paul, for showing how families and communities can grow stronger together when people understand, help, and support each other

The award recipients were honored at a gala dinner on June 26, 2018.  

Past Award Recipients, 2011-2017


Linda Thomas-Greenfield, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and former director general of the Foreign Service, for her more than three decades of work promoting the values of humanitarianism and responsible global engagement

Thor Companies, for its innovative approach to economic development, bringing opportunity and revitalization to North Minneapolis through strategic partnerships and investments

Tom Swain, former Lilydale mayor and former University of Minnesota vice president, for his long and distinguished life of active citizenship, and his commitment to education and government, developing opportunities for future civic leaders

Monica Meyer (Humphrey School MPP '99), executive director, OutFront Minnesota, for her leadership in grassroots organizing and in political strategy and advocacy, building coalitions among community activists around Minnesota


Lisa Jackson, Vice President of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives, Apple
Thomas Pickering, Former Ambassador to the United Nations
Alan Page, Retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice
David Durenberger, Former United States Senator
Sia Her (Humphrey School MPP '07), Executive Director, Minnesota State Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans


Walter F. Mondale, 42nd Vice President of the United States
Center for Victims of Torture, international nonprofit organization
Imam Sharif A. Mohamed, Islamic Civic Society of America/Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque and Cofounder, Open Path Resources
3M Company, corporate citizen dedicated to access to justice
Andrew M. Luger, United States Attorney, District of Minnesota
Katherine Siggerud (Humphrey School MA '87), Managing Director of Congressional Relations, Government Accountability Office
Melvin W. Carter III (Humphrey School MPP '11), Executive Director, Minnesota Children's Cabinet and former Saint Paul City Councilman


Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., Former President and CEO, National Urban League
Howard H. Baker, Jr., Former U.S. Senator (R−TN) and U.S. Ambassador to Japan
General Mills
Chanda Smith Baker, President and CEO, Pillsbury United Communities
Sherri Knuth (alumni recipient), Policy and Outreach Manager, League of Women Voters Minnesota


Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Carlson
Daniel Glickman and Chris Policinski, on behalf of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition
The Honorable Antonio Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and Former Prime Minister of Portugal
Trista Harris (alumni recipient), Executive Director of Headwaters Foundation for Justice


Alice Rivlin and Peter V. Domenici, on behalf of the Bipartisan Policy Center
MayKao Hang (alumni recipient), President and CEO of the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation
Walter F. Mondale, Former Attorney General for Minnesota, U.S. Senator, Vice President of the U.S., and U.S. Ambassador to Japan
Kim Nelson, Senior Vice President of External Relations, General Mills, and President of the General Mills Foundation


Bill Richardson, Former Governor of New Mexico and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
Nina Archabal, Retired Director, Minnesota Historical Society
Arlen Erdahl, Former Member of Congress and Associate Director of the United States Peace Corps
Anita Patel (alumni recipient), Vice President of Racial Justice and Public Policy, YWCA of Minneapolis
Roger Wilkins, Civil Rights Leader, Journalist, and Professor Emeritus of History

Past Award Recipients, 2003-2010


Frank Fahrenkopf, Jr., and Paul Kirk, Jr., Co-chairmen of the Commission on Presidential Debates during the 2008 presidential election
David B. Laird, Jr., Retired CEO, Minnesota Private College Council, Fund, and Research Foundation
John M. Harrington, Saint Paul’s 39th Chief of Police
Barbara Sigford, MD, Pioneer in developing protocols for the treatment of veterans with polytrauma
Barbara Sporlein (alumni recipient), Director of Planning, City of Minneapolis


Mike McCurry, Former Press Secretary to President Bill Clinton
Lou Bellamy, Founder and Artistic Director, Penumbra Theatre
James R. Campbell, Former CEO, Wells Fargo
Mary Lee Dayton, Community Advocate for Women and Children
Kiyoshi Nakasaka (alumni recipient), President and CEO, Washington CORE, LLC


Ward B. Chamberlin, Jr., Public Broadcasting Leader and Co-founder of AFS Intercultural Programs
Jane C. Freeman, Former First Lady of Minnesota
The Honorable Al Quie, Former Governor of Minnesota


John C. Danforth, Former U.S. Senator (R–MO), Ambassador to the United Nations, and Author of Faith and Politics
Harlan Cleveland, Former Ambassador to NATO, Former President of the University of Hawaii, and Former Dean of the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs
Josie R. Johnson, Civil Rights Leader and Educator
Eugene C. Sit, Chairman, CEO, and Global Chief Investment Officer, Sit Investment Associates, and Co-founder of the Minnesotan’s Military Appreciation Fund


George J. Mitchell, Peace Envoy and Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader
Kathleen Blatz, Former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice
Gary L. Cunningham, Chief Executive Officer, NorthPoint Health and Wellness
Geri M. Joseph, Former Ambassador and Community Leader


Lee H. Hamilton and James R. Thompson, on behalf of the 9–11 Commission
Ann Ellwood, Founder and Former Executive Director, MELD
Nancy Eustis, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs
David McCauley, Former Anoka County Commissioner


Madeleine K. Albright, Former Secretary of State of the United States
Marge Anderson, Chief Executive, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
Nathan Garvis, Vice President of Government Affairs, Target Corporation
Judge Gerald W. Heaney, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals


Elmer L. Andersen, Former State Senator and Governor of Minnesota
Roberta Cordano, Former Assistant Attorney General for Minnesota and Former Director of Disability Services, University of Minnesota
Pakou Hang, Former Deputy Political Director for the Late U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone
Walter F. Mondale, Former Attorney General for Minnesota, U.S. Senator, Vice President of the United States, and U.S. Ambassador to Japan

Remarks from Tom Friedman, 2018 Public Leadership Award recipient
Humphrey at podium
I believe that each of us can make a difference. That what is wrong can be made right.
Hubert H. Humphrey