History

"Once again, this nation has said there are no dreams too large, no innovation unimaginable, and no frontiers beyond our reach." - John S. Herrington, former Secretary of Energy

The Innovations in American Government Awards program is a significant force in recognizing and promoting excellence and creativity in the public sector. Through its awards competition, the program provides concrete evidence that government can work to improve the quality of life for citizens and that it deserves greater public trust.

Many award-winning programs have been replicated across jurisdictions and policy areas, and some have served as harbingers of today's reform strategies or as forerunners to state and federal legislation. By highlighting exemplary models of government's innovative performance, the Innovations Award program serves as a catalyst for continued progress in addressing the nation's most pressing public concerns.

Innovations Award winners receive national press attention, serve as examples of model programs worthy of replication, and spark research and teaching cases at Harvard University and other schools across the country.

In the spring of 2001, the Ford Foundation presented Harvard Kennedy School with a grant that endows Innovations in American Government Awards in perpetuity and houses it within the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.

In January 2010, the Innovations Program launched the Bright Ideas initiative.

Please visit the following links to read information on the Innovations awards cycle, eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and review tips and sample applications from previous winners of the Innovations Awards, as well as information on our Bright Ideas initiative.

To learn more about past winners of the award, please visit our Government Innovators Network.