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Nominating a Leader

The James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards recognize individuals advancing breakthrough solutions to critical issues facing California. Each Award recipient’s organization receives $250,000 and help sharing their solutions with policymakers and other leaders in their communities.

Nominations for the 2022 Leadership Awards closed on May 11, 2021. We anticipate opening nominations for the 2023 Awards in February 2022.

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Nominations Tips

Who should nominate

We welcome nominations from people who are well acquainted with the nominee and can describe their alignment with the award criteria. Some nominators are familiar with the nominee’s policy field and can describe how their approach is different from their peers or ripe for expansion; others can describe how they or their peers have been affected by the nominee’s work. The nominator must be someone other than the nominee or a family member and, preferably, not employed by the nominee.

Demonstrating significance

The significance section provides an opportunity to describe the problem the leader and organization are working to solve and why it is important to California. Strong nominations provide the number of people affected by the problem.

Types of innovation

We consider many forms of innovation, including work that:

  • Represents an entirely new approach or a creative leap from standard practices
  • Is not widely known or practiced in California
  • Applies a proven approach in a new way or within a new context

Demonstrating effectiveness

Competitive nominations address the problem described in the significance section and provide tangible evidence of the effectiveness of the leader’s work by referencing evaluations, impact data, or examples of how the work has achieved change or directly impacted people’s lives. Changes within the organization like budget or staff levels are not by themselves examples of effectiveness.

Use the Prompts

Use the prompts in the nominations form to guide your responses. They describe the types of information often included in the most competitive nominations.

Word counts

Each section has a word limit. The higher the word count, the more detail we would like you to share about the leader and their work. Avoid repeating information provided in a previous section.

Other Questions

If you have additional questions, please be sure to read through the Leadership Awards FAQ before completing your nomination. You may also review the nominations questions here.

Selection Timeline

Timeline for the 2022 Leadership Awards

March 8, 2021

Nomination period opens for the 2022 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards.

May 11, 2021 at 11:59 pm PDT

The nominations period closes.

Late July 2021

The Selection Committee meets to discuss nominations and selects 10-12 finalists. Finalists are notified.

August – October 2021

Leadership Awards staff, consultants, and an expert in each finalist’s field of work meet with finalists individually to further understand their work and its impact on California. All nominators are notified about the status of their nomination.

Late October 2021

The Selection Committee meets to review reports of the site visits and to select four to six award recipients. Recipients and other finalists are notified.

February 2022

Award recipients are announced.