1. What is the name of the award?
Officially, The Mitch Daniels Leadership Prize.
Shorthand,The Daniels Prize
  1. What is the purpose of the award?
The purpose of the award is to recognize leadership that refuses to accept the status quo as good enough, constantly aims higher, and executes courageously resulting in lifting the arc of progress in Indiana. 
By encouraging this leadership mindset, the Foundation hopes to promote excellence and support a Hoosier culture that is ambitious for progress.
  1. When will the award be presented?
The Daniels Prize will be awarded in the fall of odd numbered years.
  1. Who decides the winner of the Prize?
A Jury of eminently respected Hoosiers:
Retired Chief Justice Randy Shepard, Chairman; former Member of the U.S. House of Representatives Lee Hamilton; Notre Dame President Rev John Jenkins; former Indiana Pacer Clark Kellogg; former Governor JoeKernan; former CEO of Lumina Foundation  Martha Lamkin; former U.S. Senator Richard Lugar; and founder of Vera Bradley Pat Miller.
  1. What is the process for determining the Daniels Prize winner and making the presentation?
The Jury Chair will identify individuals to be considered for the award.  From those individuals, the Jury will determine who best exemplifies leadership that refuses to accept the status quo as good enough, constantly aims higher, and executes courageously resulting in lifting the arc of progress in Indiana.
For this inaugural prize, the Jury met twice, once in late July and once in early August, to deliberate and select the Prize winner.
The Prize winner will be announced shortly after the Jury has made a selection.  The prize will be officially awarded at an event in October honoring the Daniels Prize winner.
  1. Aside from the criteria for winning the Prize, are there any prerequisites or conditions for the individual who wins the Daniels Prize?
No.  There are no geographic (other than Indiana), political, social, cultural or other conditions.  The focus of the Daniels Prize is on the individual’s record of leadership and on the potential to inspire others to reject the status quo as satisfactory, aim higher, and achieve results that shift upward the arc of progress in Indiana.
  1. What is the process for determining who or what organization gets the monetary award?
The Prize winner will have the privilege of designating the recipient of a $50,000 cash award to an organization, initiative or individual(s) that the winner believes will emulate his/her own and Governor Daniels’ leadership mindset, with potential to lift the arc of progress in the State.

The recipient of the cash award will be announced at the event honoring the Prize winner.
  1. Where does the money for the prize and the cash award come from?
The Daniels Prize and its cash award are enabled by a still growing endowment fund made possible by contributions from individuals across Indiana.  The Mitch Daniels Leadership Foundation is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization.   Contributions are welcome.
  1. The Prize winner receives a commemorative sculpture; what will it look like?
The Daniels Prize itself is a modern bronze sculpture, with a unique upward aspect to its shape, signifying the aspirational focus and the upward trajectory of the individual’s results.
  1. Who designed and made sculpture?
John McCormick, a graduate student at the Herron School of Art and Design at Indiana University, created the sculpture. 
  1. What was the cost of producing the sculpture?
Approximately $21,000, for the design and production of the first 6 sculptures.
  1. What is the physical aspect of the award intended to signify?
The commission to the artist was to create a sculpture that represents the positive trajectory – the lifting effect on some aspect or all of Indiana – of the results produced by the winner in his or her area of endeavor, leading to a higher plane.
  1. Who came up with the idea for a Daniels Prize and a Leadership Foundation?
As his second term as Governor was ending, a conversation among some who had worked with and known Governor Daniels grew into the notion that an appropriate tribute to the Governor’s service should be established.  There was consensus that whatever was done should focus on continuing to “lift the arc of progress” in Indiana.  The group felt that Governor Daniels had rejected the idea of just keeping pace with other places, and instead had undertaken initiatives that had shifted upward the “arc of progress,” getting the State on a higher path than a linear extrapolation would imply. The group agreed that the nature of Daniels’ leadership was the driver behind these “arc lifting” results, and they characterized this leadership mindset as:
  • rejecting the status quo as good enough;
  • Aiming Higher … seeking to be the best, and choosing big and bold initiatives, not just marginal change; and
  • Courageous execution even in the face of opposition. 
After several months the group settled on a leadership prize because it was felt that leadership is the highest leverage activity that could be supported. 
Once this decision was made and a few initial fundraising calls substantiated support for the idea, Governor Daniels was informed of the effort, and agreed to let his name be used.
The application for tax exempt status was filed in February and approved in June.  Gina Dankert was retained as Executive Director in February.  Jurors were recruited throughout the Spring. 
  1. What does Mitch Daniels have to do with the Foundation?
Aside from lending his name to the Prize, former Governor Daniels has nothing to do with the Prize or the Foundation.  He was advised of the Jury’s selection after it was made.  He has no input into the decision-making process or the Jury deliberations. 
  1. To whom should further inquiries about the Daniels Prize be addressed?
Gina Dankert, Executive Director
Mitch Daniels Leadership Foundation, Inc.
13113 Franklin Hall Trail
Carmel, IN  46033
317-379-7899 (mobile)