November 20, 2019 Press Releases

U.S. Representatives Hakeem Jeffries, Doug Collins Honored with 2019 Javits Prize for Bipartisan Leadership

Late U.S. Senator Richard Lugar Honored With Lifetime Achievement Award for Decades of Bipartisan Work in the U.S. Senate

Washington, DC – At an event on Capitol Hill today, U.S. Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and U.S. Representative Doug Collins (R-GA) were honored with the 2019 Jacob K. Javits Prize for Bipartisan Leadership for their legislative partnership that led to the passage of the criminal justice reform bill, the FIRST STEP Act. The late U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his decades of bipartisan work in the U.S. Senate.

Named for the late U.S. Senator Jacob Javits (R-NY) – who was well known for forging coalitions and agreements across party lines – the prize serves as a beacon, encouraging other public servants to work across partisan boundaries to craft solutions to the nation’s most pressing problems.

“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 Senator Javits and a member of the Board of Directors of The Marian B. and Jacob K. Javits Foundation. “We are especially thrilled to celebrate three winners in 2019 —  the late Senator Richard Lugar for his lifetime of bipartisan legislative work and Representatives Hakeem Jeffries and Doug Collins for their bipartisan legislative partnership on the FIRST STEP Act.”

The Javits Foundation also released a new video – “First Step Forward: A Bipartisan Victory” – highlighting the bipartisan partnership of Representatives Jeffries and Collins on the FIRST STEP Act.

At the event, Senator Todd Young (R-IN) and John Lugar, Senator Lugar’s son and the Executive Director of the Lugar Center, praised Senator Lugar for his commitment to working across party lines to advance solutions that made the country stronger and the world more secure.

The event also featured a panel discussion with Representatives Jeffries and Collins on “The Future of Bipartisanship and Criminal Justice Reform in Congress,” moderated by Stuart Rothenberg, Senior Editor at Inside Elections and a columnist at Roll Call.


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 U.S. 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. Other recipients of the Javits Prize include: former Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), the late U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), 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 submit nominations 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.


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