Caroline Kennedy with New Frontier Award recipients Rebecca Onie and Congressman Patrick Murphy, November 23, 2009. The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and the Institute of Politics annually present the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Awards® to two exceptional young Americans whose contributions in elective office, community service or advocacy serve as a model for modern public service in the spirit of John F. Kennedy. The two Awards are presented in a single ceremony each year.

Award Criteria

  • Both recipients of the New Frontier Award® should demonstrate the ideals and political values of John F. Kennedy and the qualities he most admired in public servants: civic-mindedness, vision, pragmatism and tenacity in identifying and addressing public challenges.
  • Emphasis will be placed on accomplishments that showcase the relevance of political engagement as a means to constructive change.
  • Award candidates must be living Americans under the age of age 40.
  • The recipient of the New Frontier Award® for elective public service, known as the Fenn Award in honor of the Kennedy Presidential Library's first director, should be a role model who demonstrates the impact of elective service as a way to address public challenges. Individuals who hold elective office at any level - local, state or Federal - are eligible for this award.
  • The recipient of the New Frontier Award® for non-elective service should be a role model who in the course of his or her work in a non-elective capacity has elevated the debate about a public issue or issues, or has endeavored to change the policy landscape with respect to a public issue or issues. Individuals who are working full-time in community service, advocacy, or grassroots activism are eligible for this award.