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The Andrus Award for Political Leadership

The Andrus Award is presented annually to an outstanding public leader who has demonstrated the types of qualities – integrity, courage and common sense – that defined the distinguished career of Cecil Andrus.

Alan Simpson speaking

Senator Alan Simpson was the inaugural award winner in 2012. The distinguished Wyoming senator was noted for his valuable, courageous and bipartisan work in the U.S. Senate and as co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. After leaving the Senate in 1996, Simpson taught at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and served for two years as the Director of the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School.


Sandra Day O'Connor at podium

In 2013, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor became the second recipient of the Andrus Award. Justice O’Connor was a trailblazer for women in the legal field, serving as the first female Justice on the Supreme Court. Her courage in that role was not only based on her gender but in later years for often having the swing opinion. Since  her retirement from the Court, O’Connor has dedicated her time to promoting civic education.