State Policy Network

Thomas A. Roe Award

The Roe Award was established in 1992 and fittingly named after the late Thomas A. Roe, Jr., founder of State Policy Network. Roe was a loyal supporter of the state-based think tanks, providing support through his South Carolina-based Roe Foundation. In addition to being SPN’s founding chairman, Roe was a successful businessman, generous philanthropist, and a man who consistently rolled up his sleeves to get a job done. After years of success in building free-market think tanks at the national level, Tom led the charge to help the states develop their own engines of liberty — an aspiration that President Reagan himself encouraged Tom to pursue.

The Roe Award pays tribute to those in the state public policy movement whose achievements have greatly advanced free-market philosophy and policy solutions. It recognizes leadership, innovation, and accomplishment in public policy. The award is an eagle, a symbol of liberty and the courage and conviction necessary for its preservation.

Thomas A. Roe Award Recipients

2023 (Chicago, IL)

Charles Mitchell and Matthew Brouillette, Commonwealth Foundation

2022 (Atlanta, GA)

Randy Hicks, Georgia Center for Opportunity

2021 (Orlando, FL)

Justin Owen, Beacon Center of Tennessee

2019 (Colorado Springs, CO)

Kim Dennis, Searle Freedom Trust

2018 (Salt Lake City, UT)

John Kramer, Institute for Justice

2016 (Nashville, TN)

Clint Bolick

2015 (Grand Rapids, MI)

Whitney Ball, founder of DonorsTrust

2014 (Denver, CO)

Jeff Coors, President & CEO of Golden Technologies Company Inc.

2013 (Oklahoma City, OK)

Joe Lehman, Mackinac Center for Public Policy

2012 (Amelia Island, FL)

Dr. David Brown, Board Member of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs & The Heritage Foundation

2011 (Seattle, WA)

John Tillman, Illinois Policy Institute

2010 (Cleveland, OH)

Tarren Bragdon, The Maine Heritage Policy Center

2009 (Asheville, NC)

Art Pope, John William Pope Foundation

2008 (Scottsdale, AZ)

Brooke Rollins, Texas Public Policy institute

2007 (Portland, ME)

Kevin Gentry, Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation

2006 (Milwaukee, WI)

Darcy Olsen, Goldwater Institute

2005 (Charleston, SC)

Jon Caldara, Independence Institute

2004 (Austin, TX)

Sally Pipes, Pacific Research Institute

2003 (Seattle, WA)

Gisèle Huff, Jaquelin Hume Foundation

2002 (Indianapolis, IN)

Jo Kwong, Atlas Economic Research Foundation

Gary Palmer, Alabama Policy Institute

2001 (Boulder, CO)

Steve Buckstein, Cascade Policy Institute

Bridgett G. Wagner, The Heritage Foundation

2000 (St. Louis, MO)

J. Stanley Marshall, James Madison Institute

William H. “Chip” Mellor, Institute for Justice

Lovett “Pete” Peters, Pioneer Institute

1999 (Dallas, TX)

Grover N. Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform

Robert W. Poole, Jr., Reason Foundation

1998 (Atlanta, GA)

C.C. Guy, South Carolina Policy Council

Edward T. McMullen, Jr., South Carolina Policy Council

John M. Hood, John Locke Foundation

Joseph P. Overton, Mackinac Center for Public Policy

1997 (Tempe, AZ)

Carl Helstrom, The JM Foundation

Bob Williams, Evergreen Freedom Foundation

1996 (Minneapolis, MN)

William Eggers, The Reason Foundation

John H. Fund, The Wall Street Journal

Lawrence W. Reed, Mackinac Center for Public Policy

1994 (Tampa, FL)

John Andrews, Texas Public Policy Foundation

Joseph Bast, The Heartland Institute

1993 (Traverse City, MI)

Joseph Dolan, The JM Foundation

Thomas A. Roe, The Roe Foundation

J. Patrick Rooney, Golden Rule Insurance Company