ASPA maintains a robust national awards program, featuring more than 20 different awards. Individuals may apply for awards or nominate others each fall when the nomination process opens. Most awards are presented during ASPA's Annual Conference each spring. 

You will find each award listed below. Click on the names to view previous winners and other information. 

Want to apply for an award or nominate a peer?
Click here to access our awards nomination platform. 

ASPA Chapters and Sections also run awards program for their geographic region or individual subject area. Click here to find out more about Section awards, or click here to access the list of Chapters to contact them for more details. 

Chapter and Section Awards

Oveta Culp Hobby Training Award

These awards recognize chapters and sections that provide professional development to members through planned activities. All chapter and section programs presented during the past year are eligible. Nominations should explain how the programs meet the following criteria:

  • Is the program offered to ASPA members and transferable to other organizations?
  • Is the program a vehicle for ensuring ethical practices in government?
  • Does the program identify new topics and target audiences?
  • Does the program promote knowledge and skills to be a creative, ethical and responsible public manager?
  • Does the program identify beliefs and practices to excel in the public service?

Click here for more information.

Patricia Yearwood Chapter/Section Newsletter Awards

The award is given annually to recognize newsletters as a vital means of communication and a valuable service offered to chapter and section members. The chapters and sections will be placed into categories by membership size and judged accordingly. All chapters and sections are eligible. Chapters and sections wishing to be considered must submit three issues of their newsletters that were published between October and July 31 of the preceding year.

Click here for more information.

ASPA Awards

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Exemplary Practice Award

This award is presented to individuals and organizations who have made outstanding contributions to a more equal society. Up to four awards may be presented to individuals and/or organizations representing the following categories: federal, state or local government units; educational institutions; nonprofit institutions; private sector organizations. A narrative, not exceeding five pages in length, will provide the basis for the nomination. Emphasis will be on achievement and results, not simply effort. The following will also apply:
  • Complexity of the problems addressed and organizations directed
  • Severity of the problems addressed
  • Use of original/innovative/effective approaches
  • Impact of contributions
  • Contributions to the attainment of the goals of ASPA's EO/AA national policy positions
Click here for more information. 

Nesta M. Gallas Award for Exemplary Professional Service in Public Service

The award has been established to honor the lifetime achievements of a dedicated public servant and seeks to honor a pioneering and innovative leader of the Society whose career has been demonstrably characterized by:
  • Exemplary efforts to uphold legal and ethical standards locally, nationally and internationally
  • Sustained work to advance gender equality and diversity
  • Responsible, democratic and expert accomplishments in public affairs locally, nationally and globally
  • Mentorship of young academics and public servants who would seek to continue such professionalism in service to the public
Click here for more information.

John W. Gaston, Jr. Award for Excellence in Public Service Management

 This award is presented to a public manager for excellence in public service management, particularly in the areas of natural resource management or environmental protection. Selection criteria include demonstrated attention to the achievement of results that contribute to public safety, health, welfare and the quality of the environment through:
  • Strategy
  • Structure
  • Systems
  • Shared values and skills
Click here for more information.

International Public Administration Award

To be eligible to be nominated for the award, the individual must meet the following criteria:
  • Holds citizenship in a country other than the United States
  • Lives and works (primarily) in a country other than the United States
  • Contributes significantly to the field of public administration as a scholar, practitioner or both, as demonstrated by publications, other awards and honors and the testimony of the nominee's colleagues and beneficiaries of the nominee's work
  • Recommended or sponsored by an individual or institution that is in some demonstrable way affiliated with ASPA
Click here for more information.

Gloria Hobson Nordin Social Equity Award

This award recognizes lifetime achievement and effort in the cause of social equity. Candidates may be employees of state, local or federal government; employees in the nonprofit sector; or employees of colleges and universities. Elected public officials are also eligible for the award. Employees from the private sector are also eligible for the award, but the emphasis is on achievement and effort in the public sector. Candidates do not have to be ASPA members. Nominations may be submitted by anyone, including self-nominations. Candidates will be evaluated on three criteria:
  • The impact of their efforts on social equity
  • The consistency and level of effort on behalf of social equity
  • The duration of the effort on behalf of social equity
Click here for more information.

Public Integrity Award

This award pays tribute to an organization, that has made outstanding contributions to responsible conduct in public service. The award is presented to an organization that represents any domain of public service, local, state, national, international government or nonprofit; and presents evidence of accomplishing, or causing to accomplish, significant programs or projects benefiting the general public.

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Elmer B. Staats Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Public Service

The award was established to honor a public administrator's career accomplishments and contributions to public service and ASPA over a lifetime. The award criteria are threefold:

Career Accomplishments: The nominee may be retired or still in the workforce but must have:
  • At least 20 years of professional public service
  • Made outstanding contributions to an organization or organizations on a sustained basis
  • Managed, created or facilitated significant programs and/or projects within her/his areas of responsibility to the ultimate benefit of the general public
Contributions to Public Service: Service and contributions to the public sector and/or nonprofit sector are important factors in this award. Such activities may include service on boards and commissions, governmental service and service to professional organizations.

Contributions to ASPA: The nominee must have distinguished him or herself through three or more of the following:
  • Excellence in leadership of ASPA as its national president
  • Outstanding service as a member or former member of the ASPA National Council
  • Major contributions to the success of ASPA's national committees, boards and/or steering groups
  • Excellence in the leadership of ASPA Sections and/or Chapters
  • A sustained effort to enhance the image of the profession through ASPA
  • Other distinguished service to ASPA
Click here for more information. 

Donald C. Stone Service to ASPA Award

ASPA presents the Donald C. Stone Service to ASPA Award to pay tribute to ASPA members who have contributed outstanding services to the Society. The award can be presented to more than one person. Criteria is based on:
  • Outstanding service as a member or former member of the National Council
  • Major contributions to the success of national committees
  • Excellence in leadership of chapters or sections
  • Outstanding contributions to the planning and conduct of national or regional conferences
  • Sustained effort to enhance the image of the profession through ASPA
  • Other distinguished service to ASPA
Click here for more information.

Paul Van Riper Award for Excellence and Service

The award is given to an ASPA member who has made significant contributions both as an academic and practitioner. Award recipients will have distinguished themselves through their current active engagement in and contributions to developing the public service of the future. Special consideration will be accorded nominees with at least two of the following attributes:
  • A distinguished professional and nationally recognized leader who is actively and continuously engaged in contributing significantly to the practice and study of public administration throughout the 10 years preceding nomination for the award
  • An exceptional innovator in the practice and/or study of personnel administration and human resource development, with a focus on meeting the "human capital" challenges of the 21st century
  • An outstanding contributor for at least 10 consecutive years of service to ASPA, including previous recognition for exemplary service through an ASPA-affiliated national, section or chapter award
Click here for more information.

Dwight Waldo Award

This award is presented to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the professional literature of public administration over an extended career. To be eligible the nominee must have:
  • At least one article published in Public Administration Review
  • Twenty-five years of active scholarship that has furthered the discipline of public administration
Click here for more information. 

ASPA Student Awards or Scholarships

Walter W. Mode Scholarship

The Mode Scholarship is awarded from a special ASPA Endowment fund named in honor of Walter W. Mode, the 30th National President of ASPA and a public administrator with a distinguished record of public service at the federal and international levels. A $1,500 scholarship is awarded for graduate study in public administration to a student who is an ASPA member and who demonstrates a commitment to a career in the public service.

Click here for more information about the Endowment.

Click here for more scholarship details.

Wallace O. Keene ASPA Conference Scholarships

Awarded to students in the fields of public administration and public policy, this scholarship is intended to provide a student with financial assistance to attend the ASPA national conference and thereby expand their knowledge of the field and their acquaintance with others in the field. The $250 scholarship is intended to emphasize the impact of ethical leadership on the public's trust in government.
Click here for more information about the Endowment. 

Click here for more scholarship details.  

James E. Webb Award

This award is presented to the person(s) who gave the most outstanding paper at ASPA's Annual Conference. In order to be considered for this award, individuals submitting proposals for the conference MUST indicate their interest on their submission form at the time of submitting their paper proposal. Additionally, up to three honorable mention awards may be selected. Papers will be judged based on the following criteria (which fit within the overall goals of improving the theory and practice of public administration as well as serving as a benefit to members of ASPA):
  • Originality
  • Policy Relevance
  • Theoretical Significance
  • Research Competence
  • Writing Style
Click here for more information. 

CAP Awards

Organizational Leadership Awards

This award, presented to an organization, recognizes outstanding applications of a systems approach to performance measurement that has resulted in a culture change, sustained improvements and demonstrated positive effects on government performance and accountability. The award recognizes an organization, rather than a person that has yielded outstanding results on a sustained basis. The organization may be selected from all levels of public service ̶ local, state or federal government, as well as from international and public service nonprofit organizations. Preference will be given to an organization whose results have been measured and whose impact has been documented in the literature or at conferences.

Click here for more information.

Emerging Leaders Award of Excellence

This new program will recognize up to five early- or mid-career professionals in the field of performance management at the federal, state or local level. This award recognizes and encourages a new generation of practitioners who are actively implementing performance management systems, innovating new practices and promoting the importance of performance and accountability within their governments and communities.

Click here for more information.

The Harry Hatry Distinguished Performance Measurement and Practice Award

Awarded to an individual whose outstanding teaching, education, training and consultation in performance measurement has made a significant contribution to the practice of public administration. This award recognizes a person who has made outstanding contributions on a sustained basis rather than a single accomplishment. The award winner must have spent the primary part of his/her career in public service.

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PAR Awards

Laverne Burchfield Award

The writer of the best book review in Public Administration Review is honored with this award.

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Louis Brownlow Award

This award is presented for the best Public Administration Review article written by a practitioner.

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Chester Newland Award

Presented for the best commentary by a practitioner in Public Administration Review.

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William E. Mosher and Frederick C. Mosher Award

The author of the best Public Administration Review article written by an academic.

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Joint Awards

The National Public Service Awards

Award winners are selected from all levels of public service: local, state and federal governments, as well as international and public service nonprofit organizations. Awards are not made by category, so there could be, for example, two county winners and no winners from a state government. While individuals may hold a position in academia or a nonprofit organization, all recipients must have made significant contributions as career public servants in at least one level of government. Nominees holding elected office will be evaluated on the basis of their careers in public service, excluding time served as an elected official. Legislative branch staff are eligible, however legislators without public management experience should not be nominated. Nonprofit organizations are those with a service delivery mission. NPSA winners will be those who have, on a sustained basis, done some or all of the following:
  • Made a profound difference in improving service to the public
  • Been willing to take risks to achieve change
  • Fostered a more democratic society
  • Served as a champion of social equity
  • Changed the way a governmental organization operates so that it better achieves its goals
  • Achieved substantial savings in government
  • Developed a cadre of other government leaders
Click here for more information.

NASPAA/ASPA Distinguished Researcher Award

Presented jointly by ASPA and NASPAA, this award recognizes the research of an individual whose published work has had a substantial impact on the thought and understanding of public administration. It is not intended to honor lifetime contributions to the field. It allows the public administration community to recognize an identifiable body of work by an individual that has had specific consequences for the way we think about the field.

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Charles H. Levine Memorial Award for Excellence in Public Administration

A joint award presented by ASPA and NASPAA, the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration, it recognizes a public administration faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and service to the wider community. Nominations must include a current curriculum vita of the nominee and a one-page statement on each of the following three criteria:
  • Research: The nominee should have publications in the public administration field that have made an impact on the field. The publications may include books, refereed journal articles, research notes, monographs or book chapters
  • Teaching: The nominee should have a demonstrated record of outstanding teaching. Teaching evaluations, awards and accomplishments of students may be submitted as evidence of teaching ability
  • Community and Public Service: Service and contribution to the public or nonprofit sector is an important factor in the award. Such activity may include service on boards and commissions, government service and service to professional organizations
Click here for more information.