2021 Roosevelt Leadership Awards Presented to Rodney Davis, John Katko & Tom Rice

WASHINGTON, DC – At a dinner this past Thursday evening in Charlottesville, VA, The Ripon Society and Franklin Center for Global Policy Exchange honored three members of Congress with the 2021 Roosevelt Leadership Award, an honor that is given in the spirit of America’s 26th President and is intended to recognize leaders who today embody some of the same qualities that Theodore Roosevelt displayed throughout his life and career.

This year’s honorees include: Congressman Rodney Davis, who has represented the 13th District of Illinois since 2013 and serves as the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Administration; Congressman John Katko, who has represented the 24th District of New York since 2015 and serves as the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security; and, Congressman Tom Rice, who has represented the 7th District of South Carolina since 2013 and serves on the Ways and Means Committee.

“The award was established with one premise in mind,” stated Ripon & Franklin President & CEO Jim Conzelman in remarks to kick-off the evening. “Namely, there is a lot of good, thoughtful work being done on Capitol Hill and in Washington that people do not regularly hear about. With trust in government at an all-time low, we believe it is important that Americans not only learn about this work, but learn more about the individuals who are responsible for getting it done.”

To that end, Conzelman noted, the Roosevelt Leadership Award honors those leaders:

  • Who have a sense of duty and service driven by a love of country.
  • Who possess a desire to do what is in the best interest of the American people – regardless of party, and regardless of who gets the credit; and,
  • Who embody the qualities that Theodore Roosevelt spoke of when he said: “The credit belongs to those who are actually in the arena, who strive valiantly; who know the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spend themselves in a worthy cause; who at best know the triumph of high achievement; and who, at worst, if they fail, fail while daring greatly, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

“The three leaders we honor tonight embody these qualities and more,” Conzelman stated.  “They have made their mark in many important ways, from their willingness to work across the aisle to their courage in taking tough stands.  On behalf of The Ripon Society and Franklin Center, it is an honor to recognize them for their leadership, their service, and their commitment to the principles that have made our party – and our nation – great.”

“They have made their mark in many important ways, from their willingness to work across the aisle to their courage in taking tough stands.”

According to Conzelman, this is the sixth year that the Society has presented the Roosevelt Leadership Award.  Conzelman further noted that, in keeping with tradition, this year’s awards celebration also featured visits to Presidential homes – in this case, Thomas Jefferson’s home at Monticello, and the home where James and Dolly Madison lived at Montpelier.  Past Roosevelt Leadership Award celebrations have included visits to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum in California (2015), the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Texas (2016), the historic estates and library of Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt in New York (2017), Richard Nixon’s Presidential Library in California (2018), and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Massachusetts (2019).

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.  

To view photos from the 2021 Roosevelt Leadership Awards celebration, please click here.