About Us

OUR MISSION: To power others to have maximum impact on the things they care about most.

WHAT WE DO: Through celebration, we inspire action. Our programs and partnerships drive Americans to change their communities and the world.

OUR HISTORY: The Jefferson Awards Foundation was founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Senator Robert Taft Jr., and Sam Beard.

Our Staff

Think Big Team

These extraordinary young Americans hail from our three youth programs and serve as our youth advisory board.

Our Board of Governors

Our Board of Governors serve as our Board of Directors, governing our mission, strategy, and programs.

Our Board of Selectors

Our Board of Selectors chooses the annual Jefferson Awards National Ceremony winners. Comprised of leaders ranging from business to arts and education to entertainment, sports and government, the Board includes notable public figures such as Teresa Heinz Kerry, Lesley Stahl, Ronnie Lott, Michael Douglas, Neil Simon and Whoopi Goldberg.

  • Paul Andrepont
  • Alex Beard
  • Hon. Peter G. Bourne
  • Cynthia Clay Briggs
  • Ellen Burstyn
  • Andrei Cherny
  • Cris Collinsworth
  • Hon. Chris Coons
  • Tatiana B. Copeland
  • Joyce Cowin
  • Michael Douglas
  • Kirk Douglas
  • Arne Duncan
  • Mark Ein
  • Hon. Harold E. Ford, Jr.
  • Patrick J. Geraghty
  • Whoopi Goldberg
  • Paula M. Grigsby
  • Teresa Heinz
  • Roger Horchow
  • Pamela Jacobs-Vogt
  • Thomas B. King
  • Dr. Mary King
  • Peter Klein
  • Pat LaFontaine
  • Rita Benson LeBlanc
  • Hon. Trent Lott
  • Ronnie Lott
  • Hon. Richard Lugar
  • Paul Maslansky
  • Peter Max
  • Hon. Mitch McConnell
  • Bill Milliken
  • Alex López Negrete
  • Kathleen Neville
  • Norah O'Donnell
  • Jorge Plasencia
  • Robert C. Provost
  • Hon. Harry Reid
  • Hon. Joseph P. Riley, Jr.
  • Elliott Roosevelt, III
  • Billy Shore
  • Lesley Stahl
  • José Antonio Tijerino
  • Hon. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
  • Cynthia Ekberg Tsai
  • R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.
  • Cicely Tyson
  • Troy D. Vincent, Sr.
  • Chris Wallace
  • Hon. Harris Wofford
  • Jeffrey P. Yarbro

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