Distinguished Public Leadership Award

Tommy G. Thompson Distinguished Public Leadership Award

Download the DPLA Nomination Form

Tommy G. Thompson served in elected office as a representative in the Wisconsin State Assembly (1973-1987) and as Wisconsin’s longest-serving Governor (1987-2001).  He accepted the call to public leadership and proudly worked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advance the public good.

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.

 Nomination Eligibility Criteria

A Distinguished Public Leadership Award nomination must include a description of the nominee’s significant law practice, judicial practice, legislative, public administration, and/or public policy achievements. Please submit your nominations to thompsoncenter@wisc.edu.

In addition, a 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;
  • 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; and
  • Not have previously received this award.

Process & Timeline

In the beginning of each academic year, the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership will solicit nominations for the Tommy G. Thompson Distinguished Public Leadership Award. The 2021 nomination deadline has passed.

The Faculty Advisory Committee and Public Leadership Board will appoint a panel to review nominees and select no more than five (5) finalists to forward to the Faculty Advisory Committee and Public Leadership Board for consideration as award recipients. The panel will include at least one representative of the following:

The Thompson Center will hold at least one event to honor award recipients. Award recipients will receive a plaque and may be offered the opportunity to provide remarks on public leadership.