May 07, 2021

Nominations open for first Simon-Edgar Statesmanship Award

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Nominations are open for the inaugural Paul Simon-Jim Edgar Statesmanship Award, which will honor an Illinois elected official who has displayed a pattern of public service characterized by vision, courage, compassion, effectiveness, civility and bipartisanship.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute partnered with former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar this past November to launch the award, which is named for the late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon, a Democrat, and Edgar, a Republican.

Media availability 

Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Director John Shaw is available for interviews about the award and to discuss the central qualities of statesmanship, and why this is a crucial moment to honor these values in Illinois politics. Please email to set up an interview. For more information about eligibility and the nomination process, visit

The Paul Simon Institute is seeking nominations from the public. Nominees must hold or have previously held an elected position in Illinois at the state or local level. To nominate, write a brief letter explaining how the candidate has demonstrated statesmanship in their public service career. 

The nomination deadline is June 15. 

Letters may be submitted online at; by email to, or by mail to:

Paul Simon Public Policy Institute
Southern Illinois University
Attn: Simon-Edgar Award
Mail Code 4429
1231 Lincoln Drive
Carbondale, Illinois 62901-4304. 

“We are not seeking the perfect public servant, but a leader who has consistently endeavored to serve the public good and prepare his or her constituents for future challenges and opportunities,” Edgar and Paul Simon Institute Director John Shaw wrote recently in a joint guest column. 

The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute is a think tank at SIU Carbondale promoting better politics and smarter government and preparing students for careers in public service.