2022-2023 Distinguished Public Leadership Award Recipient

Tommy G. Thompson Distinguished Public Leadership Awarded to David Prosser

MADISON—The Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership is delighted to announce that David Prosser will be honored as the 2022-2023 Tommy G. Thompson Distinguished Public Leadership Award recipient. The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, February 15 at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Room 412 East.

Consistent with Tommy’s legacy, the Tommy G. Thompson Distinguished Public Leadership Award seeks to recognize Wisconsinites who have committed themselves to public service, worked tirelessly to advance sound public policy, and exhibited virtuous leadership.  This award seeks to recognize leaders who have exercised sound judgment and an entrepreneurial spirit and served as exceptional role models for others in public service.

Justice David Prosser is an American jurist and politician who served on the Wisconsin Supreme Court from 1998 to 2016. Prosser was appointed by Governor Tommy Thompson, resulting in a bipartisan group of 77 of the 132 state legislators sending a letter of support of the appointment to the Governor. Prior to this appointment, Prosser served in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1979-1996 representing the Appleton area. During his tenure in the Assembly, he served six years as Minority leader and two years as Speaker. In 1996, toward the end of Prosser’s tenure, Madison Magazine reporter, Chuck Nowlen surveyed more than 400 Wisconsin lawmakers and local lobbyists, asking them to rank legislators in various categories – good and bad. Prosser’s colleagues rated him at the top in the categories: hardest worker, smartest man/woman of principle and best orator (tie with Senator Michael Ellis of Neenah). Prosser served as a member of the Wisconsin Council of Criminal Justice, Judicial Council Commission on Preliminary Examinations, the Wisconsin Sentencing Commission, the Wisconsin Sesquicentennial Commission, and the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.

To be nominated for the award, a nominator must describe the nominee’s significant law practice, judicial practice, legislative, public administration, and/or public policy achievements. In addition, the nominee must be a Wisconsin resident; have served Wisconsin in an elected, appointed, or civil service leadership role in local, state, or federal government office; and have exhibited a collegial approach to public service and an ability to work effectively with citizens and colleagues from all walks of life in the spirit of Governor Thompson.

The Thompson Center Faculty Advisory Committee and Public Leadership Board appoint a panel to review nominees and select no more than five finalists to forward to the Faculty Advisory Committee and Public Leadership Board for consideration as award recipients. The panel includes at least one representative of the following: University of Wisconsin alumni; the private sector; and a Wisconsinite from the Northwest, Northcentral, Northeast, Southwest, and Southeast regions of the State of Wisconsin.