State Policy Network is pleased to announce Randy Hicks of the Georgia Center for Opportunity is the recipient of the 2022 Thomas A. Roe Award. Hicks was honored with this prestigious award at SPN’s 30th Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.
The award is named after SPN’s founding chairman, Thomas Roe, an important leader in the state policy world who played a key role in creating state-based think tanks across the country. It honors state and local leaders whose achievements have greatly advanced free-market philosophy and policy solutions—and recognizes leadership, innovation, and accomplishment in public policy.
Randy is the president and CEO of the Georgia Center for Opportunity (GCO), a nonpartisan organization just outside of Atlanta. GCO works to ensure that every person—no matter their race, past mistakes, or the circumstances of their birth—has access to a quality education, fulfilling work, and a healthy family life.
Randy has spent more than a decade leading this organization that is having a profound impact on communities across the Peach State.
Under his leadership, GCO has led successful statewide efforts to improve access to quality education for low-income children, promote stronger families, boost adoption safety, and increase employment opportunities for ex-offenders and the chronically underemployed.
But GCO’s influence isn’t limited to Georgia. Thanks to Randy’s vision and leadership, GCO’s model and programs are expanding to neighboring states where similar needs exist at the community level.
In 2022, the Georgia Center for Opportunity partnered with the Pelican Institute in Louisiana and Texas Public Policy Foundation to launch the Alliance for Opportunity. The goal of the initiative is to help vulnerable Americans move from dependency and unemployment into the workforce and self-sufficiency. If successful, the project will free a million people across Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas from poverty and dependency in the next decade.
Randy cares deeply about GCO and the team’s work to ensure all Americans have the tools and resources they need to flourish and lead a fulfilling life. He noted receiving the Roe Award is also about those colleagues:
“Winning the Roe Award is such an honor, not just for me, but for all my colleagues at the Georgia Center for Opportunity. In so many ways, this is about the excellent work that we do as a team.
From a personal perspective, I’ve always seen this as an award that is given in service to a larger cause, that cause being freedom and opportunity for all Americans. To be recognized as having contributed to that cause is both humbling and gratifying.”
Congratulations, Randy! Your work and dedication to transform American lives has inspired so many people across the Network.