Administrator of the Year

This award is given annually to an outstanding man or woman who has achieved distinction after many years in management in the public or nonprofit sector. This individual has personal and professional qualities which are recognized and honored by peers and which we expect for our MPA graduates. We honor the administrator’s dedication to exemplary ethical and moral commitments as well as his or her years of untiring public service.

2024Jonathan T.M. ReckfordChief Executive Officer – Habitat for Humanity InternationalText
2023Debby TuckerPresident, Board of Directors – National Center on Domestic and Sexual ViolenceText
2022Gene DodaroU.S. Comptroller General and Head of the Government Accountability OfficeText
2021Not awarded due to COVID-19
2020Not awarded due to COVID-19
2019Kathy CalvinPresident and CEO, United Nations FoundationText
2018Sheryl ScullyCity Manager of San Antonio, TexasText
2017David WilliamsPresident and CEO, Make-A-Wish FoundationText
2016Robert J. O’NeillInternational City/County Management Association Executive DirectorText
2015Gail J. McGovernPresident and CEO, American Red CrossText
2014Not Awarded  
2013Robert F. BennettFormer Senator, State of UtahVideo
2012Sheila BairFormer Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance CorporationText
2011John W. Keys, IIIFormer Commissioner, United States Bureau of Reclamation (posthumous)Text
2010Rulon StaceyPresident and CEO, Poudre Valley Health SystemVideo
2009Bill ThomsonDeputy Auditor General, State of ArizonaText
2008Carolyn Grow DaileyPresident/CEO of ASCEND; A Humanitarian AllianceText
2007Thomas R. HardyCity Manager, Bountiful, UtahText 
2006David M. WalkerU.S. Comptroller GeneralText
2005Olene S. WalkerFormer Governor, State of UtahText
2004Charles JohnsonCFO, Environmental Protection AgencyText
2003Edward T. AlterTreasurer, State of UtahText
2002William H. HansellExecutive Director, ICMAText
2001Alexander B. MorrisonDeputy Minister, Canadian National Health and WelfareText
2000Rebecca Buchanan SaltiFounding Director, Save the Children in Jordan, 1984–94 
1999Byron D. JorgensonChief Administrative Officer, Sandy, Utah 
1998Carolyn B. LewisPresident, CBL Group and Chair-Elect, American Hospital AssociationText
1997Edward D. ThatcherCity Manager, Greenville, Texas 
1996George W. RomneyGovernor, State of Michigan (posthumous)Text
1995Lea DunnCity Manager, Bellaire, TexasText
1994Manuel F. AcostaSenior Foreign Service, U.S. Department of State 
1993W. Rolfe KerrCommissioner of Higher Education, State of UtahText
1992L. Ralph MechamDirector of the Administrative Office of the U.S. CourtsText
1991Donald E. StokesDean, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University 
1990Grant BrimhallCity Manager, Thousand Oaks, California 
1989Roger PorterAdvisor for Domestic Policy to the President of the USA 
1988Paul YostCommandant,  U.S. Coast Guard 
1987Arlo WooleryExecutive Director, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy 
1986Albert HainesChief Administrative Officer, Salt Lake City, Utah 
1985Patricia KeyesRegional Director, U.S. Department of Transportation 
1984W. Lynn DredgeCity Manager, Tulare, CaliforniaText
1983Scott MathesonGovernor, State of Utah 
1982Elmer B. StaatsRetired Comptroller General, United States 
1981Elliot RichardsonAmbassador of the Sea at Large, Former U.S. Attorney General 
1980James O. MasonDirector of the Center for Disease Control 
1979Robert ChristophersonCity Manager, Salina, California 
1978Dwight InkPresident of the American Society of Public Administration 
1977Richard LarsenCity Manager, Ogden, Utah 
1976Robert TerryAssistant Commissioner, Internal Revenue Service 
1975Mark CannonAdministrative Assistant to the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court 
1974Gale WilsonCity Manager, Fairfield, California 
1973Neal A. MaxwellCommissioner of Church Education and Former Chairman of Utah’s Constitutional Revision Commission 
1972Calvin RamptonGovernor, State of Utah