L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs



2019 EVGA Nominations Now Open

November 15, 2018

The Wilder School is pleased to announce the 13th Excellence in Virginia Government Awards (EVGA) on April 11, 2019, at the downtown Richmond Marriott. 

“EVGA celebrates people and organizations in the public and private sectors who have made significant contributions to the practice of government and the well-being of our communities and citizens,” said Susan T. Gooden, Ph.D., interim dean of the Wilder School.  “As a Top 50 Best Graduate Public Affairs program, the Wilder School looks forward to selecting the honorees and celebrating their successes while also raising money for important student scholarships.”


The nominations deadline for the 2019  awards has been extended to Thursday, December 20. You can submit your nominations several ways:

Here are the award categories:

Community Enhancement Award

  • An individual, group or government entity may be nominated for this award.
  • This award recognizes outstanding commitment to improving the quality of community life in Virginia. The recipient of this award has established a reputation for exceptional community service.
  • Through actions and words, the recipient must have made a discernible, sustainable positive impact on the quality of community life in Virginia that is applicable to other public service areas and communities.
  • For this award, community may be defined broadly and may recognize initiatives that benefit citizens of the entire commonwealth, or one county, town or city. Community is also defined as a population that is served regionally.

Hill-Robinson Expansion of Freedom Award

  • An individual may be nominated for this award.
  • This award recognizes a sustained commitment to securing equal rights and justice for all people by empowering citizens.
  • The recipient is widely recognized by his or her peers as possessing exceptional honor and integrity and as having made meritorious contributions to the security and well-being of others. Special consideration will be given to those nominees who have made a substantial contribution to advancing the freedoms protected under the Virginia Bill of Rights. 

Innovation in Government Award

  • An individual, organization or government entity may be nominated for this award.
  • This award recognizes the recipient’s innovative work has resulted in increased efficiency, effectiveness, or other improvements that affect how a government entity performs, in support of, or in delivery of service to, its constituents.
  • The reforms introduce a unique and fundamental change in governance, policy, problem-solving, technology or other operational element within the scope of the recipient’s mission or responsibilities.
  • The reforms must address an important public need and produce meaningful change within an organization or for constituents within a community.

Public-Private Partnership Award

  • An individual, business, local or state government agency or other entity may be nominated.
  • This award recognizes the recipient’s inventive creation or maintenance of a successful public-private partnership which has delivered a measurable improvement in public service resulting in lower cost, improved quality, or greater efficiency for citizens.
  • The partnership can involve a new way of offering existing services, but must either be the first example in Virginia of a public-private partnership offering its particular service, or must be able to demonstrate unsurpassed efficiency and ingenuity within the nominee’s practice or service area.
  • The partnership program receiving this award must have been fully operational for at least one year.
  • The successful nominee must be committed to fiscal responsibility and sustainability in an effort to maintain its own operation, and must be able to provide tangible evidence of constituent satisfaction.

Unsung Heroes Award

  • The Unsung Heroes Award recognizes an individual Virginian who has provided distinguished and exceptional service as a career government employee in the commonwealth, with local or state government.
  • The recipient must have significant longevity of public service to the commonwealth.
  • The recipient must be a resident of Virginia.

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • An individual may be nominated for this award.
  • This award recognizes an individual Virginian whose career represents the highest values of public service and citizenship and who has made a substantial contrition to the good of the commonwealth.
  • The recipient must be an individual who’s personal or professional contributions span a minimum of 20 years. The recipient must also be a resident of Virginia.
  • Potential areas of influence may include: elected office, lobbying, policy implementation, technology, education, law enforcement, urban/regional planning, public administration or government service. 

Award Categories and Past Recipients


Who may be nominated for an award?

All individuals and institutions in Virginia, who through extraordinary service, meet the qualifications specified for the appropriate award category are eligible for nomination. Please see specific criteria for each of the awards.

What are the nomination requirements and process?

Consideration for each of the EVGA awards includes an open nomination process. To nominate an individual or organization, please complete the nomination form. Individuals and organizations are welcome to self-nominate. All nominations will be reviewed by the EVGA Awards Committee. By formally nominating an individual or organization, you must acknowledge that the nominee is aware of your submission. All award recipients must be present at the awards ceremony.

For questions regarding the public nominations process, contact Paula Otto, the Wilder School’s senior director of special projects, at piotto@vcu.edu or (804) 828-1146.