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The Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service

The Thomas S. Foley Award for Distinguished Public Service


The Thomas S. Foley Award for Distinguished Public Service is named after the long-serving member of Congress and former Speaker of the House who hailed from Washington state. It is awarded annually to an individual who has demonstrated integrity and courage in their commitment to public service and whose body of work has had a lasting impact. This award is open to any individual with a distinguished career in public service.

Foley being sworn in, 1989
Foley being sworn in 1989

Criteria considered in making the award are attributes long manifested by Speaker Foley:

  • Ethical leadership and integrity
  • A commitment to civic engagement, civil discourse, and cooperation
  • A belief in bipartisanship, finding the common good, and respecting the views of others
  • A commitment to democratic values

Letters of nomination, no more than two pages in length, are to be submitted to the Foley board chair (via email to by February 1 of the calendar year, with the awardee to be announced soon thereafter. An annual award dinner will be held in the fall.

A subcommittee of the board will review all nominations and advance a list of finalists to the full board for its review. Finalists will be submitted to the Director of the Thomas S. Foley Institute of Public Policy for the final decision on the award.

Questions should be addressed to the Foley Institute. Contact: Richard Elgar | 509-335-3477