Humphrey School News—April 30, 2018

Distinguished Author, Coach, Theater Director Among 2018 Humphrey Leadership Awardees

16th annual awards recognize creativity in advancing the common good

Four individuals from diverse careers who share a commitment to advancing the public good are being recognized with the 2018 Hubert H. Humphrey Public Leadership Awards.  

Author and journalist Tom Friedman, Minnesota Lynx basketball coach Cheryl Reeve, Penumbra Theatre artistic director Sarah Bellamy, and nonprofit leader Daniel Rodriguez—a Humphrey School alumnus—will receive their awards at a ceremony on June 26, 2018.

The awards, established to honor the Humphrey School of Public Affairs’ namesake, Hubert H. Humphrey, recognize individuals who have contributed to the common good through leadership and service. See the list of previous award recipients .

This year’s awardees share an uncommon belief in human potential, and resourcefully use narrative, creative expression, team building, and empathy to advance our common well-being as both local neighbors and global citizens.



A head shot of Thomas FriedmanTHOMAS 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

A head shot of Sarah BellamySARAH BELLAMY, artistic director, Penumbra Theatre Company, the nation’s largest African American theater company, for harnessing the unique power of theater to engage audiences in critical thinking and inspiring action on issues of race and social justice 

A head shot of Cheryl ReeveCHERYL 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

A head shot of Daniel RodriguezDANIEL RODRIGUEZ (Humphrey School MPA 2008), executive director, Merrick Community Services on St. Paul's East Side, for showing how families and communities can grow stronger together when people understand, help, and support each other

The award recipients will be honored at a gala dinner on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, at the McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak Street S.E. in Minneapolis. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and program. Proceeds support the Humphrey Public Leaders Fellowship.



Logos of Public Leadership Award sponsors Target, Best Buy, Medtronic, Cargill, and Lois Quam and Arshad Mohammed


  • North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters
  • Laura Bishop and Chuck Weber
  • Maureen and Kiyoshi Nakasaka
  • Dan and Katharine Whalen

For information about sponsorships, contact: Gwendolyn Freed, director of development, 612-625-9588;

For media inquiries, contact: Melanie Sommer, communications manager, 612-624-3566;

Office of Communications

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