Thank you to all who nominated an outstanding California leader for a 2023 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award. While it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the challenges we face, it is increasingly clear to us – by reading your nominations – that California has no shortage of creative, dedicated people who can solve our toughest problems. Thank you for giving us an opportunity to learn about the many innovative leaders who work tirelessly to make a more prosperous, equitable California.

In total, we received nominations for 394 individuals and leadership teams addressing critical issues facing our state. The nomination pool was highly competitive, and we were only able to advance to the final round the 12 nominations that most closely aligned with the selection criteria. As of August 16, all nominators have been notified of the status of their nomination. If you nominated a leader and did not receive a status update, please contact us.

We recognize the time and resources nominators invested to educate us about your nominee. The Leadership Awards program relies on the insights of thoughtful partners like you, and we remain grateful for your participation.

We encourage nominators to nominate again in future years, either by providing updated information about your 2023 nominee or by nominating another leader. Many Leadership Award recipients have been nominated over multiple years before being selected, and we welcome the opportunity to learn more about inspiring leaders as their work evolves.

To maintain an equitable and efficient process, the Foundation does not provide feedback on individual nominations. However, we can share that highly competitive nominations typically:

  • Focus on a specific approach the nominee has implemented to address a critical issue
  • Describe how the nominee’s work represents an innovation from the standard practice in their field
  • Describe work that has advanced beyond the initial development stage to full implementation
  • Highlight work that does not strongly resemble to the work of recent Leadership Award recipients
  • Include concrete examples and data documenting the effectiveness of the nominee’s approach; in particular, its measurable impacts on people and communities
  • Indicate opportunities for the nominee to leverage a Leadership Award for further impact
  • Have the potential to elevate leaders and center communities that reflect the diversity of California

Over the next two months, Leadership Awards staff, consultants, and an expert in each finalist’s field of work will meet with finalists individually to further understand their work and its impact on California. In late October, the Selection Committee will meet and select four to six award recipients. The 2023 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award recipients will be announced in early February 2023. You can find more information about the selection criteria and nominations process on the nominations page and the FAQ page of our website.