CPPHE Excellence in Public Policy Higher Education Award

About the Award

This award recognizes excellence in work at the nexus of academic scholarship and policy practice. In particular, this award focuses on research and/or practice in the policy field that advances the public policy discourse in higher education and/or evidenced-based public policies and equity-focused public policy. Both individuals and organizations are eligible for this award.

Nomination Evaluation Criteria

Individuals being considered for the award must demonstrate Scholarly or Practitioner excellence at the nexus of academic scholarship and policy practice (an individual does not need to demonstrate excellence in both categories). Occasionally an individual may demonstrate excellence in both categories in which case nominations should describe how the individual’s scholarly and practitioner efforts work together to advance public policy. The following criteria will be used to evaluate individuals for this award:
  1. Criteria used to determine scholarly excellence.
    • Research that advances evidenced-based public policies and equity-focused public policy.
    • High-impact publication(s), widely read and discussed in academic, policy, and/or public discourse 
    • Authorship of scholarly book(s) focused on public policy.
    • Keynote addresses and presentations at scholarly conferences and convenings.
    • Efforts to translate research into policy recommendations.
    • Collaboration with students on research.
  2. Criteria used to determine practitioner excellence.
    • Commitment to building collaborative relationships with organizations and/or other practitioners. 
    • Mentorship of emerging policy scholars and practitioners. 
    • Public scholarship in the form of legislative testimonies, policy briefs, white papers, data visualizations, fact sheets, opinion pieces, social media engagement, and other efforts to encourage evidenced-based public policy.
      Invited keynote and public speaking addresses.

‚ÄčOrganizations being considered for the award must hold nonprofit status. University/college research centers, foundations, think tanks, and other organizations are eligible for this award. The following selection criteria will be used to evaluate organizations for this award.

  • Leadership in federal and/or state policy design and implementation. 

  • Boundary-spanning collaboration that brings diverse stakeholders including academic researchers, policymakers, and nonprofit organizations together to advance evidence-based public policy.
  • Research or writing that identifies evidenced-based recommendations for public policy. 
  • Diverse organizational staff that includes diversity of cultural, religious, ability, gender, immigrant, and racial identities and statuses.
  • Evidence of cultivation of emerging policy leaders, especially those holding diverse identities. 
  • Evidence of equity-focused policy leadership.


  • Nominations will be open from May 3, 2021-July 1, 2021 at Noon Pacific. Due to the number of submissions and the review process, no late submissions are accepted; as such, nominators are encouraged to submit their nominations well in advance of this deadline.
  • Nominators and nominees will be informed of decisions in mid-September.
  • An announcement of recipients will be sent to the ASHE membership in late September.
  • The award will be conferred during the annual CPPHE membership meeting, at the upcoming ASHE Annual Conference. The recipient(s) will also be recognized during the ASHE Awards Ceremony during the Annual Conference.

To Submit A Nomination:

You'll need:

  • Nominator name, title, position, institution/organization, email, and phone number 
  • Nominations for individuals should include the individual’s title, position, institution/organization, email address, phone number, Twitter handle (if applicable), personal website (if applicable) 
  • Nominations for organizations should include the organization’s name, location, email address, phone number, website, Twitter handle (if applicable)
  • A nomination letter (500 word maximum) articulating how the individual or organization meets the selection criteria. Citations of relevant articles, publications, media stories, invited lectures, etc., should be included at the end of the nomination and will not count towards the word maximum. 
Due to the increased number of nominations received in recent years, each nominee will be limited to one nomination. In the event multiple nominations are submitted, the committee chair will notify the coordinating nominators requesting they consolidate their nominations.

Questions about the 2021 award process can be sent to office@ashe.ws.

Awards Committee

Each year, the Council Chair appoints an awards committee, in close consultation with the Executive Committee, to solicit and accept nominations. ASHE awards committee members are not eligible to be nominated during the year in which they serve on the committee.

2021 CPPHE Awards Committee:
  • Sosanya Jones, Howard University (Chair)
  • Raquel Muñiz, Boston College
  • Deshawn Preston, United Negro College Fund

2020 Excellence in Public Policy Higher Education:
Liliana Garces & Barmak Nassirian


2020 CPPHE Award Winners
Liliana M. Garces
Barmak Nassirian

2019 CPPHE Award Winner
Paul Lingenfelter, State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

2018 CPPHE Award Winners
Nicholas Hillman
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)

2017 CPPHE Award Winner
Laura W. Perna

2016 CPPHE Award Winner
Education Policy Center at the University of Alabama