Joe Biden receives the 2018 Excellence in Public Service Award


Former Vice President Joe Biden received the John Glenn College of Public Affairs' 2018 Excellence in Public Service Award for his commitment to citizenship and public leadership at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., this summer.

Vice President Biden's career exemplifies unparalleled life-long leadership by an elected official. This dedication to public service has continued after his term in office through a number of initiatives, including the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware where he continues to influence, shape and work to solve the most pressing domestic policy issues facing America today.

When introducing Biden, Sen. Sherrod Brown said "It's not a historic act of heroism but a thousand little things that build character, treating everyone with dignity and respect. That's Joe Biden, that's why he has earned this award... the respect he shows everyone is why Joe Biden is the model for public service."

In accepting the award Biden quoted Sen. John Glenn, "happiness is born out of a sense of purpose," he told the more than 300 people attending the ceremony. "That is everything John Glenn stood for... John Glenn is America, everything he stood for is what made us who we are."

Before the presentation, Biden spent time with the 36 Ohio State students in the Glenn College's Washington Academic Internship Program discussing public service. In his remarks, Biden called upon the students to think about running for office saying "duty, honor, country, we use these phrases so often they come off as trite, there is nothing trite about them, this school [Glenn College] matters... you are the reason why I am hopeful."

The Excellence in Public Service Award is the John Glenn College of Public Affairs' most prestigious celebration of public service. For 30 years the award has been presented each summer during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. and honors individuals who have a distinguished history of public service that led to more effective public administration. Drawing on the vision and achievements of Sen. John Glenn, honorees reflect the ideals of our mission and inspire others to serve.

Click here to see photographs from the event.

Past Recipients

  • 2017 James Mattis, U.S. Secretary of Defense
  • 2016 Tom Wheeler, Chairman; Federal Communications Commission
  • 2015 Pat Tiberi, Member, U.S. House of Representatives
  • 2014 Richard Cordray , Director; Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • 2013 Erskin Bowles and Alan Simpson, Co-Chairs; National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform
  • 2012 Charles F. Bolton, Jr., Administrator; National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • 2011 John Boehner, Speaker; U.S House of Representatives
  • 2010 Michelle Rhee, Chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools
  • 2009 Tom Carper, Member; U.S. Senate
  • 2008 Rob Portman, Member; U.S. Senate
  • 2007 Sherrod Brown, Member; U.S. Senate
  • 2006 Leonard L. Haynes, III, Director; Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education
  • 2005 Thomas E. Mann, W. Averell Harriman Chair; The Brookings Institution
  • 2002 George V. Voinovich, Member, U.S. Senate
  • 2001 Dan L. Crippen, Director, U.S. Congressional Budget Office
  • 1998 Mike Dewine , Member, U.S. Senate
  • 1997 Thomas D. Lambros, Former Chief Justice; U.S District Court, Northern of Ohio
  • 1996 Donna Shalala, Secretary; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • 1995 John R. Kasich , Member; U.S. House of Representatives
  • 1994 John Glenn, Member; U.S. Senate
  • 1992 Howard Metzenbaum, Member; U.S. Senate
  • 1991 Constance Berry Newman, Director; U.S. Office of Personnel Management
  • 1990 Charles A. Bowsher, Comptroller General of the United States
  • 1989 Robert D. Reischauer, Director; U.S. Congressional Budget Office
  • 1988 L. Bruce Laingen, Executive Director; National Commission on the Public Service



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