Since its establishment in 2006, the Foundation’s annual Lincoln Leadership Prize has honored exceptional individuals for their service in the Lincoln tradition. Past honorees include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, astronaut James A. Lovell Jr., journalist Tim Russert, Polish President Lech Wałęsa, U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, film director Steven Spielberg, the Little Rock Nine civil rights movement icons, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, scientist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, philanthropist David Rubenstein, and actor Gary Sinise.


The Foundation is pleased to honor Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO and President of Ariel Investments, with its prestigious Lincoln Leadership Prize for 2022. Through her extensive community and civic involvement, as well as her leadership in seeking increased opportunities for underserved and underrepresented Americans, she has demonstrated a lifetime of service in the spirit of President Abraham Lincoln. 

This year’s Lincoln Leadership Prize was presented by internationally acclaimed musician, composer, bandleader, educator, and ambassador of American culture Wynton Marsalis.

The event took place on April 28, 2022 at the Hilton Chicago.  The 2023 Lincoln Leadership Prize event is still to be determined.

For sponsorship opportunities or more information, contact Phyllis Evans at (217) 557-5610 or