Celebrating exceptional leadership in public policy.

The Harris Dean’s Award is bestowed upon an exceptional leader for his or her lifetime contributions to public policy.

Exemplifying the mission of the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, recipients of the Harris Dean’s Award have championed analytically rigorous, evidence-based approaches to policy and serve as an inspiration to the next generation of policy leaders and scholars working to address the world’s most important challenges.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 2019 Harris Dean’s Award Recipient

Save the date: September 9

A special event will be held on Monday, September 9 to honor U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for receiving the 2019 Harris Dean's Award.

Join the waitlist to attend.

More details on the event will be available closer to the date.

Selected Accomplishments

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Photo credit: Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States)
  • Nominated by President Clinton as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and took her seat August 10, 1993
  • Appointed as a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1980
  • Served as the ACLU’s General Counsel from 1973-1980 and on the National Board of Directors from 1974-1980
  • Co-founded the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union in 1971
  • Taught as a Professor of Law at Rutgers University School of Law from 1963-1972 and Columbia Law School from 1972-1980

Ivo Daalder, 2017 Harris Dean's Award Recipient

Ivo Daalder, President of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, is a Chicago fixture when it comes to promoting global discourse and has made a great impact in Chicago becoming a more global city.

Selected Accomplishments

Ivo Daalder
Ivo Daalder
  • Elected as President of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs in July 2013
  • Appointed Ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization by President Obama for more than four years
  • Conducted research as a senior fellow in foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution, specializing in American foreign policy, European security and transatlantic relations, and national security affairs
  • Taught as an associate professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy and director of research at its Center for International and Security Studies
  • Served as director for European affairs on President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council Staff from 1995-1997

John McCarter, 2015 Harris Dean's Award Recipient

John McCarter
John McCarter

John McCarter is President Emeritus of the Field Museum of Chicago and Trustee Emeritus of the University of Chicago.

Selected Accomplishments

  • Serves as Trustee Emeritus of the University of Chicago
  • Selected as a White House Fellow from 1966-67 and worked with the Bureau of the Budget
  • Became President of the Field Museum of Natural History in October 1996 to expand public programs and the education aspect of the museum
  • Worked with former Illinois Governor Richard B. Ogilvie from 1969-1972 to model Illinois’ Budget Bureau after the federal Bureau
  • Elected vice president of the consulting firm Booz Allen & Hamilton where he worked on issues with public hospitals concerning Medicare and Medicaid

Karen Freeman-Wilson, 2014 Harris Dean's Award Recipient

Karen Freeman-Wilson is the Mayor of Gary, Indiana. Thanks to Mayor Freeman-Wilson and former Mayor Daley’s leadership and creativity, Harris Public Policy students and the City of Gary share in a partnership that benefits both the students and the City of Gary.

Selected Accomplishments

Karen Freeman-Wilson
Karen Freeman-Wilson
  • Elected Mayor of Gary, Indiana in 2012, and re-elected in 2016
  • Sponsored Harris Policy Labs with the City of Gary to create ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen, the multipurpose space in downtown Gary that is becoming a destination for food, culture, and art
  • Initiated the UChicago-Gary Urban Revitalization Project in collaboration with former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, distinguished senior fellow at Harris Public Policy, bringing together nearly 60 graduate students from across the university to participate in this project
  • Became CEO of the nonprofit National Association of Drug Court Professionals 
  • Appointed as Indiana Attorney General in 2000
  • Served as judge of the Gary City Court from 1995-2000

Mayor Freeman-Wilson was interviewed on Bloomberg's Follow the Data podcast. Listen to the episode, "The Innovative Mayor."