December 12, 2018 Press Releases

The Late U.S. Senator John McCain and U.S. Senator Jack Reed Honored with 2018 Javits Prize for Bipartisan Leadership

Prize Recognizes Leaders Who Follow in the Footsteps of the Late Senator Jacob K. Javits by Advancing Bipartisan Legislation

Washington, DC – At an event on Capitol Hill today, the late U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) were honored with the 2018 Jacob K. Javits Prize for Bipartisan Leadership, which celebrates elected leaders whose achievements advance the public interest without regard to political affiliation.

“The Javits Prize is given to individuals who have taken on an issue of major importance and forged agreement across partisan lines,” said Josh Javits, the son of the late U.S. Senator Jacob Javits (R-NY) and a member of the Board of Directors of The Marian B. and Jacob K. Javits Foundation. “We are especially thrilled to celebrate the 2018 Prize winners, the late Senator John McCain and Senator Jack Reed, for their longstanding bipartisan work on defense and national security.”

“I was honored to share the Javits Prize for Bipartisan Leadership with my friend, Senator John McCain,” Senator Reed said. “It is humbling to be mentioned with patriots and public servants like Senator Javits and Senator McCain. They remind us that principled leadership, courage and passion can bring people together and uplift us all.”

Photos of the event are available here and the video of the event is available below:

At the event, the 2018 Javits Prize recipients were recognized by their Senate colleagues, including tributes by U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ). Senator McCain’s son-in-law, Ben Domenech, accepted the prize on behalf of the McCain family, and Senator Reed spoke about his partnership with Senator McCain on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The prize ceremony was followed by a panel discussion with Senators Reed, Kyl and Shaheen on “The Legacy of Senator McCain and the Future of Bipartisanship in the United States Congress,” moderated by Results for America Senior Fellow Kevin Madden.

The event also featured remarks from Ambassador Kurt Volker, Executive Director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University; Carla and Joy Javits, members of the Board of Directors of The Marian B. and Jacob K. Javits Foundation; and Michele Jolin, CEO and Co-Founder of Results for America.


The Jacob K. Javits Prize for Bipartisan Leadership, established by The Marian B. and Jacob K. Javits Foundation, honors the public servants who do the most to overcome the debilitating partisan gridlock undermining Congress’ ability to function on behalf of the American people. Launched in 2016 with Opportunity Nation, the inaugural Prize was presented to Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) for her lifetime achievements and U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Tim Scott (R-SC) for their emerging partnership. Recipients of the 2017 Javits Prize included U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), former Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Representative Fred Upton (R-MI), and U.S. Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO).

The Foundation Board invited a wide group of outstanding individuals and institutions to nominate honorees for the Prize. A Selection Committee, composed of distinguished individuals from the private and public sectors whose myriad contributions to our nation have exhibited a spirit of bipartisanship in the service of country, was convened by the Foundation to select the awardees.


Senator Javits was a man of the Congress, serving for more than thirty years in the U.S. House and Senate and as New York State Attorney General. The legislation he conceived and crafted had the hallmarks of addressing structural national problems and deep inequities in practical and ingenious ways, balancing government and private sector concerns and competencies. Unthinking partisanship and party absolutism were anathema to him. He frequently forged coalitions and agreements across partisan lines.

Senator Javits was a man of action. He served the public by getting things done to improve the life of the nation and its people. He was one of the most prominent Republicans to consistently seek out this kind of compromise across the aisle, and he was widely respected by both political parties for his ability to do so, while holding to important principles, and advancing policies that benefited the country.


The Late U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ)

Senator McCain exemplified bipartisan leadership during a remarkable life of public service characterized by courage, decency, a strong maverick streak, and a dedication to putting the country’s interests over narrow partisan interests.

He helped lead many bipartisan crusades over nearly four decades in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, including efforts to fix the nation’s broken immigration system and reduce the influence of special interest money in politics. A war hero, he partnered with fellow Vietnam veteran, Senator John Kerry (D-MA), on bipartisan efforts to resolve POW/MIA issues, and worked with President Bill Clinton to normalize diplomatic relations with Vietnam.

As Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, he worked closely with Democrats on the Committee to resolve disputes and pass an annual defense authorization bill, which supports U.S. troops and sets budget and policy priorities for the nation’s defense. He worked with colleagues of both parties to defend the freedom, dignity, and human rights of people around the world. Known for his humor and candor, he relished engaging in feisty debates, but also made a point of defending the patriotism of his political opponents.

In July 2017, after his diagnosis of brain cancer, he returned to the Senate to make an impassioned plea for bipartisan compromise. “We’ve been spinning our wheels on too many important issues because we keep trying to find a way to win without help from across the aisle,” he said on the Senate floor. “What have we to lose by trying to work together to find those solutions?”

About Senator McCain

John McCain was born on August 29, 1936, at Coco Solo Naval Air Station in the Panama Canal Zone. The son and grandson of Navy admirals, he began his service in the Navy in 1958 after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy. He served as a Navy fighter pilot during the Vietnam War, and was captured after his plane was shot down over Hanoi. Despite the torture he endured over five and a half years, McCain refused the opportunity for early release ahead of his fellow U.S. prisoners of war. For his heroism, he received 17 military awards and decorations, including the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and the Navy Commendation Medal. In 1982, McCain was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving two terms. He was was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, and was reelected five times. He was the Republican Party’s Presidential nominee in 2008.


U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)

A West Point graduate and former Army Ranger, Jack Reed has demonstrated an ability throughout his career to bridge partisan divides, bring people together, and get results.

His bipartisan Childhood Cancer STAR Act, signed into law this year by President Trump, has been called “the most comprehensive childhood cancer legislation ever introduced into Congress,” and will help find new treatments and improve outcomes for patients battling pediatric cancer.

As Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development, Reed has successfully worked alongside Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) on a bipartisan basis to boost federal investments in housing, transportation, and community development initiatives.

As the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, he worked closely with Chairman John McCain to support our troops and enhance the military’s ability to respond to new and emerging threats.  Under their leadership, the committee continued a bipartisan tradition of working together, and for the 57th consecutive year, advanced a bipartisan defense policy bill.

“Even though we found ourselves on opposite ends of many debates, I always admired Senator McCain for his courage, candor, and commitment to serving the public, not just narrow interests,” Reed said after McCain’s passing. “He understood the importance of working together – and that by moving forward together we can achieve lasting progress.”

About Senator Reed

Jack Reed was born on November 12, 1949 in Cranston, Rhode Island. His father, Joe, was a World War II veteran and janitor who worked his way up to become custodial supervisor of the city’s school system. His mother, Mary, was a homemaker who was unable to go to college herself, but made sure her three children studied hard and had the opportunity to pursue a higher education. Reed graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point near the top of his class, and earned a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a law degree from Harvard Law School. He served in the 82nd Airborne Division as an Infantry Platoon Leader, a Company Commander, and a Battalion Staff Officer, and later joined the faculty at West Point. After practicing law, Reed served three terms in the Rhode Island State Senate, and three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1996, he was elected to succeed Claiborne Pell as Rhode Island’s 46th U.S. Senator, and has been re-elected three times. Jack Reed and his wife, Julia Hart Reed, have a daughter, Emily.

The Marian B. and Jacob K. Javits Board of Directors

Carla I. Javits, President
Joshua Javits
Joy Javits
Emma Javits
Jeffrey Keil
Patsy Perlman

Javits Bipartisanship Prize Selectors

Senator Richard Lugar
Senator Alan Simpson
Mr. Erskine Bowles
Mr. Kenneth Duberstein
Mr. Joshua Javits
Ms. Michele Jolin
Professor Beth Noveck
Professor David Oshinsky
Ms. Monique Rizer
Mr. David Robinson

The Javits Prize Bipartisanship Leadership Nominating Organizations

Civic Enterprises
Hamilton Place Strategies
Results for America
University of Texas, Austin: LBJ School of Public Affairs

Results for America, a partner in the 2018 Javits Prize for Bipartisan Leadership awards, is helping decision-makers at all levels of government harness the power of evidence and data to solve the world’s greatest challenges.


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