SIGNIFICANCE The leader's work addresses an issue that is critical to California's future, and the issue is anticipated to affect the quality of life of a substantial number of Californians into the future.
INNOVATION The leader is advancing an innovative strategy that directly improves people's lives. The work represents a leap in creativity or a fundamental departure from usual practice.
EFFECTIVENESS The leader has been highly effective in achieving positive change. His or her work has a measurable record of accomplishment.
INCLUSIVENESS The leader helps build bridges among people with differing viewpoints or different backgrounds.
TIMING OF RECOGNITION The leader's project is at a stage at which this recognition could substantially enhance its probability to inspire replication, and/or the relevant policy environment is conducive to progress at this time.
LEADERSHIP CAPACITY The leader is well-positioned and prepared to take the next step in advancing change.
February 11, 2019
Nomination period opens for the 2020 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards.
April 30, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. PDT
The nominations period closes.
The Selection Committee meets to discuss nominations and selects 10-12 finalists. Finalists are notified.
Irvine 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.
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.
Award recipients are announced.
(Chair) Member, Board of Directors, The James Irvine Foundation
Executive Director, Sustainable Conservation
Joseph I. Castro
President, California State University, Fresno
Executive Director, California State Association of Counties
Oscar E. Cruz
President and CEO, Families In Schools
Dr. Katherine Flores
Director, UCSF Fresno Latino Center for Medical Education and Research
President and CEO, The James Irvine Foundation
Julie A. Su
Secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency
Organizational affiliations are listed for identification purposes only.
Nominated leaders may be:
Nominees must be residents of California. We seek nominees who have not been extensively recognized for their work through other awards.
We seek to recognize leaders who are advancing innovative and effective solutions to critical issues facing California, and whose work is making a significant difference to the future of our state. We ask nominators to review the selection criteria and nominations questions carefully before nominating.
We welcome nominations from people who are well acquainted with the nominated leader or leadership team and can attest to their qualifications. The nominator must be someone other than the nominee or a family member. We encourage nominations from persons not employed by the nominee. Nominators do not need to collaborate with a nominee in preparing the nomination, but they may do so if they choose.
We recommend submitting only one nomination per nominee. Typically, nominations are submitted by one nominator, though we do permit two nominators to submit a joint nomination. The information in the nomination submission, rather than the number of nominators, determines whether the nominee will advance to the next stage. If we receive more than one nomination for a nominee, we may advance only one of the nominations after the first stage of review.
Yes. Several past award recipients were nominated in multiple years.
No. The awards are designed to provide an opportunity for recipients to educate policymakers and practitioners in their field about the solutions they have implemented, thereby expanding the number of Californians who benefit from their work.
Award funds typically are directed to the organization that the award recipient leads. Recipients may determine how funds will be spent, though funds may not be earmarked for lobbying or directed toward programs that receive more than 50 percent of their total funding from government resources.
When James Irvine established the Foundation in 1937, he stipulated that its funds “shall be used for such charities that do not enjoy substantial support through taxation.” As a result, we may only make a grant to a publicly-funded organization if the grant supports a specific project that does not receive most of its funding from public dollars. For the Leadership Awards, if a recipient’s organization receives more than 50 percent of its total revenue from government sources, the award funds would need to be applied to a specific project that is not supported in majority by government funds.
No. References and/or letters of support are not necessary – and are not considered during the nominations review process.
The nominations deadline is April 30, 2019, 11:59 p.m. PDT.
The Foundation will contact nominators by late summer 2019 to notify you of the status of your nomination.
This timeline explains the selection process throughout the year:
February 11, 2019 Nomination period opens for the 2020 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards.
April 30, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. PDT The nominations period closes.
August 2019 The Selection Committee meets to discuss nominations and selects 10-12 finalists. Finalists are notified.
August–October 2019 Irvine staff, consultants, and an expert in each finalist’s field of work meet with finalists individually to further understand his or her work and its impact on California.
November 2019 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 2020 Award recipients are announced.
We anticipate publicly announcing award recipients in February 2020.
Yes, the process is designed so that nominators can stop and save their work at any time. Simply create a username and password and save for future use. Nominators may re-enter the application by clicking on this link. Please note that once a nomination has been submitted it may no longer be edited.
The narrative portion of the nomination application contains the following seven questions, each with their own word limit:
Summary of Nominee's Work – In 200 words or fewer, briefly describe the work of the nominee’s organization and the nominee’s role in that work. If the nomination focuses on a specific project the nominee(s) leads, please also describe that project. To the extent possible, focus on the nominee’s current work as opposed to prior work with other organizations.
Significance – In 250 words or fewer, please address how the work of the nominee(s) helps solve an issue that is critical to California's future. Please describe and indicate the size of the California population that may be affected by the issue the nominee(s) addresses. Please also discuss how the issue the nominee(s) addresses affects the quality of life of this population.
Innovation – In 500 words or fewer, please describe how the nominee(s) uses innovation to improve people's lives. Indicate how the nominee’s work represents a leap in creativity or a new approach. Consider providing examples to demonstrate how the nominee’s work is different from – or an improvement upon – usual practices or approaches in the field.
Effectiveness – In 500 words or fewer, please indicate how the nominee(s) has been effective in achieving positive change, including any measurable record of accomplishment. Strong nominations typically include quantitative data demonstrating impacts or outcomes on populations or communities. Other examples of effectiveness might include summaries of evaluations or internal studies, a description of the nominee’s role in changing one or more policies or practices, and/or compelling anecdotes. Data about organizational effectiveness, such as budget increases are less compelling.
Inclusiveness – In 200 words or fewer, please address whether and how the nominee(s) helps build bridges among people with different viewpoints or backgrounds. Describe the demographics of the populations with whom the nominee(s) works or serves. If possible, use examples to demonstrate how the nominee(s) collaborates with key stakeholders.
Timing of Recognition – In 300 words or fewer, please address whether the work of the nominee(s) is at a stage of maturity where recognition could substantially aid the nominee’s efforts to advance it. If possible, address the methods the nominee(s) might use to advance the work, such as altering people’s beliefs or behaviors, changing public policies or spending, expanding or replicating services at additional sites, or training others to deliver services. You may also describe any evidence that the policymaking environment is conducive to progress in the near future.
Leadership Capacity – In 300 words or fewer, please describe the nominee’s capacity to take the next step in advancing change. This may include a description of how the leader is positioned within his or her field, experience working with policymakers or the public, and/or experience guiding replication or expansion of his or her work. Within the section, you may also describe the nominee’s most notable leadership skills.
You may also download and print a copy of the narrative questions.
Once the nominator has submitted the nomination, the nominator will receive an email confirmation.