Awards & Recognition Program

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2016 National Awards & Recognition Program


The 2015 award cycle has ended.  If you are interested in participating in the National Awards and Recognition Program for 2016, the information listed below should provide some guidance for your preparation.  Please stay tuned to this page for the announcement of the 2016 award cycle.  



The Marks of Excellence Award is bestowed upon an African American Public Administrator who has achieved extraordinary success in the field of public management while demonstrating an unselfish commitment to the community.  This prestigious award is NFBPA’s highest honor and is presented annually at the Marks of Excellence Gala during the FORUM.


Eligible candidates include non-elected administrators at all levels of public service in local, state or federal governments, non-profit institutions, community-based organizations, academic institutions or related professional groups.  Recipients must be NFBPA members.

Criteria for Selection

  • The recipient of the award will be an individual engaged in public administration who has performed several act(s) of public service, which has been conspicuous in its benefit to the greater community, and who has exhibited exemplary leadership qualities that have inspired those associated with him/her to strive for excellence in performance and service.
  • In addition, the recipient has demonstrated by his/her personal efforts that service to the public goes beyond the descriptions of the job assignment and has consistently striven to persevere, create and invent more efficient and responsive systems that benefit all segments of the population.
  • The recipient is recognized as one whose perpetual quest for higher standards enriches the science of public management, raises the quality of services to the community, and sets him/her apart as a consensus candidate for national recognition.  Through his/her example, others can learn new and better ways of doing things—whether they result from technical innovations or management techniques.


In April 1991, the NFBPA Board of Directors established the “Hall of Fame” Award to “recognize and honor African Americans in public services whose accomplishments are noteworthy of emulation and who serve as a source of inspiration and encouragement to others in public management.”  The Hall of Fame was created to pay tribute to African Americans who have achieved unprecedented “firsts” in public service.  The individuals must be worthy of national/international recognition for his/her life’s work and accomplishments, particular in the face of obstacles. 

Inaugural inductees (1992) were then Governor L. Douglas Wilder, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Thurgood Marshall and Cabinet Secretary Robert Weaver.  Recipients since then have included Tom Bradley; Barbara Jordan; Maynard Jackson; Quentin R. Lawson; John Stroger; Coleman Young, Nelson Mandela; Ronald Brown; Maxine Waters; Colin Powell; NFBPA Founders; William H. Gray, III; C. Delores Tucker; Oliver W. Hill, Sr.; Phillip Rutledge; Yvonne Braithwaite Burke; Eleanor Holmes Norton, Shirley Franklin; Henry L. Marsh, III, Harold Washington and Ulysses G. Ford, III.  Most recently, in consideration of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, three individuals were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014:  Coretta Scott King, Bayard Ruskin, and Attorney General Eric Holder.

Criteria for Selection

The nominee’s achievements must have distinguished him/her apart from others and include the design or use of innovative programs which have benefited the public beyond a single community.  The nominee must hold or have held in the past, a high-ranking appointed or elected leadership position in local, state or federal government or a public institution of higher education, not previously held by an African American. The person should be of national prominence.


(Formerly Known As the Young Public Administrator Award)

NFBPA is committed to recognizing excellence in scholastic and professional achievement.  In an effort to further the goal of “grooming and preparing younger, aspiring, public administrators for senior-level management positions’, NFBPA offers the Steven D. Ford Memorial Award.  Only one award is given each year which is presented during the ELI/Mentor Program graduation at FORUM.


Eligible candidates include non-elected administrators at all levels of public service in local, state or federal government, non-profit institutions and community-based organizations, academic institutions or related professionalism and leadership achievement.  Candidate must be a member of NFBPA (non-student) and active in an NFBPA local chapter.

Criteria for Selection

This nationally competitive award seeks to recognize a young administrator, under age 36, who has demonstrated above average commitment and success in his/her profession, in the community and contributed to the overall good of public service. 


Nomination Procedures for All Awards


Persons nominating candidates for an award are required to submit the following documents as a comprehensive Nomination package. 

  • Include a cover sheet which contains the name, address, title, organization and daytime telephone number of: (1.) the Nominee; (2.) the Nominator; and (3.) two other persons in addition to the Nominator who can substantiate the outstanding qualities of the Nominee and agree to serve as references (For the Steven D. Ford Memorial Award – one reference must represent the nominee’s local chapter).
  • Submit a three to five page narrative, doubled-space, explaining the basis for the nomination. Provide specific examples to demonstrate and substantiate the nominee’s integrity, work ethic, achievements and leadership capabilities.
  • Enclose a biographical sketch of the nominee that includes pertinent information such as positions held, volunteer work, honors, awards, and other relevant personal data.
  • Submit the entire packet by mail or email to:  NFBPA Awards, 777 North Capitol Street, NE, Suite 807, Washington, DC 20002.  Electronic submissions should be sent to:

Please indicate the award for which you are offering a nomination:  Attn:  Marks of Excellence; Hall of Fame, or Steven D. Ford.  NFBPA reserves the right to determine compliance with the eligibility requirements and selection criteria.  NFBPA, at its sole discretion, may decide whether an award will be given in each Award category.