The Whittaker Chambers Award was established by NRI’s Board of Trustees to honor a “profile in courage” at each biennial Ideas Summit. The award is named for the former National Review writer and author of the seminal memoir Witness who was a profound influence on the modern conservative movement in its founding era. The Chambers Award was created to recognize conservatives and friends of liberty who, like Chambers, show great courage and diligence in the face of undue and coordinated public enmity and criticism. This conduct may occur in a single defined episode or over the course of a career. The award will also recognize those who distinguish themselves by seeking justice while being opposed by hostile institutions.
The Whittaker Chambers Award bust was sculpted by world-renowned artist Nick Marra and cast in bronze. The design and production was generously sponsored by the Robert F. Agostinelli Foundation.
The 2017 Whittaker Chambers Award recipient was our good friend Daniel Hannan, British MEP, who was honored for his bravery and leadership in spearheading the Brexit movement.
The 2019 Whittaker Chambers Award recipient was Mark Janus, in recognition of his remarkable demonstration of courage while challenging powerful public employee unions all the way to the Supreme Court, resulting in a landmark victory that restored First Amendment rights to five million public employees.