Gardner Award Nomination Process

Anyone may nominate an individual for the Award. Nominations should be made without the candidate's knowledge and must include items 1, 2, and 3:

Step 1 of 5: Contact Information (Required)

  • Begin the nomination process by submitting contact information for both yourself and your nominee, as well as the names of the individuals who will be submitting letters of support.
  • Begin the process here.

Step 2 of 5: Nominating Letter (Required)

  • Should be no more than three (3) pages in length and should clearly identify the submission as the nominating (rather than a supporting) letter.
  • Should describe:
    1. Why the nominee deserves consideration for the Award (i.e. how this leader has been a builder, mobilizer, and unifier of people, institutions, or causes);
    2. The candidate's leadership record;
    3. The candidate's past affiliations and achievements;
    4. Why the candidate should be viewed as a transformational leader: and
    5. Other insights that would help describe the nominee's impact.

Step 3 of 5: Letters of Support (Required)

  • When transmitted, such letters should be noted as one of the three mandatory letters.
  • Letters should be submitted by individuals representing organizations other than that of the nominee.
  • Letters submitted to the award committee are most informative when submitted by peers, partners, and/or beneficiaries of the nominee’s leadership, who can attest to their impact and influence.
  • Supporting letter writers should be familiar with the nominee’s work and offer unique insights that can inform the committee’s decision-making process.
  • Letters from individuals who have direct experience with and can convey the transformative impact and leadership of the nominee are particularly informative. Such individuals may be affiliated with partner organizations or have benefitted from the nominee’s efforts.
  • Letters should be no more than three (3) pages in length.

Step 4 of 5: Additional Letters of Support (Optional)

  • Additional letters of support may be submitted, but should be so labeled;
  • There is a limit of three (3) optional letters of support that may be submitted in addition to the three (3) mandatory letters described above. Letters should be no more than three (3) pages in length.

Step 5 of 5: Supplemental Information (Optional)

  • Nominators may include supplemental information including biographical information, news stories, brief writings, reports, etc., if they believe this information will be useful to the Committee.
  • We ask that you submit no more than 10 pages of supplemental materials in PDF, JPEG or Microsoft Word format.

Submissions are due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday, February 11, 2016. For more information, visit the frequently asked questions page.

Please email supplemental information to or call 202-467-6172 if you have any additional questions.

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