Thank you to all who nominated California leaders for the 2024 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards. Your nominations showcased the abundance of dedicated and creative individuals who are poised to tackle our state’s most pressing challenges. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to delve into the inspiring stories of these leaders who are devoted to advancing California’s prosperity and equity.

In total, we received 320 nominations for individuals and leadership teams engaged in addressing critical issues within our state. The nomination pool was highly competitive, and 12 nominations that closely aligned with our selection criteria advanced to the finalist stage. As of August 29, all nominators have been notified of the status of their nomination. If you have submitted a nomination but have not received an update, please contact us.

We recognize and appreciate the effort and time invested by nominators to teach us about their nominees. The Leadership Awards program relies on the valuable contributions of partners like you, and we remain grateful for your participation.

We encourage nominators to consider submitting nominations again in the future, whether by providing updated information about their 2024 nominees or nominating another impactful leader. It is not uncommon for Leadership Award recipients to be nominated multiple times 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, competitive nominations typically:

  • Focus on a specific approach the nominee has implemented to address a critical issue.
  • Have a through-line that connects the significance, innovation, and effectiveness of their work.
  • Describe how the nominee’s work represents an innovation from the standard practices in their field.
  • Highlight work that has progressed beyond the initial development stage to full implementation.
  • Emphasize work that stands apart from recent Leadership Award recipients.
  • Include concrete examples and data that demonstrate the effectiveness of the nominee’s approach, particularly its measurable impacts on people and communities.
  • Indicate opportunities for the nominee to leverage a Leadership Award for further impact.
  • Showcase leaders and communities that reflect the diversity of California.


Over the next two months, our staff, consultants, and experts from each finalist’s field will conduct individual meetings with the finalists to gain a deeper understanding of their work and its impact on California. In late October, the Selection Committee will convene to select four to six award recipients for the 2024 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards. The recipients will be announced in early February 2024. Additional information about the nominations process can be found on the nominations page and the FAQ page of our website.

Once again, thank you for being a vital part of this process in recognizing and celebrating California’s outstanding leaders.