The Irving Kristol Award is the highest honor conferred by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research.
The award is given for "notable intellectual or practical contributions to improved public policy and social welfare" and named in honor of Irving Kristol. It replaced the Francis Boyer Award in 2003. The award was named for Kristol as a tribute to his influence on public issues and as an intellectual mentor to several generations of conservatives. According to Christopher DeMuth, "In our sixty years of labors, no one has had a more profound influence on the work of the American Enterprise Institute, or on American political discourse, than Irving Kristol. Combining philosophical depth with intense practicality and constant good cheer, [Kristol] has, as President Bush has put it, 'transformed political debate on every subject he approached, from economics to religion, from social welfare to foreign policy.'"
The Kristol Award is presented at AEI's Annual Dinner, a gala dinner in Washington, D.C., that is well-attended by conservative leaders and is a major event on the Washington social scene. President George W. Bush spoke at the first Kristol Award presentation in 2003. Bush's speech, only days before the commencement of the Iraq War, laid out his promise to launch military action even if the United Nations Security Council did not authorize it. Former vice president Dick Cheney and former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar have also presented the award.
Kristol Award recipients occasionally make news with their speeches. John Howard, who had a few months before been defeated in the Australian elections, criticized his successor as prime minister, Kevin Rudd, over industrial relations and the Iraq War.
All recipients are given a token of esteem engraved with a citation for their achievements.
List of recipients
|2003||Allan H. Meltzer||American||
"To Allan H. Meltzer
|"Leadership and Progress"|
"To Charles Krauthammer
|2005||Mario Vargas Llosa||Peruvian||
"To Mario Vargas Llosa
|"Confessions of a Liberal"|
|2006||David Hackett Fischer||American||
"To David Hackett Fischer
|2007||Bernard Lewis|| British
"To Bernard Lewis
|"Europe and Islam"|
"To John Winston Howard
|"Keeping Faith with Our Common Values"|
"To Charles Murray
|"The Happiness of the People"|
|2012||Leon Kass||American||"The other war on poverty: Finding meaning in America"|
|2013||Paul Ryan||American||"Conservatism and Community"|
|2014||Eugene Fama||American||Eugene F. Fama presentation|
|2015||Benjamin Netanyahu||Israeli||A conversation with Benjamin Netanyahu|
|2016||Robert P. George||American||A conversation with Irving Kristol honoree Robby George|
|2017||Jonathan Sacks||British||2017 Annual Dinner speech|
|2018||Boris Johnson||British||2018 Annual Dinner speech|
|2019||Nikki Haley||American||2019 Annual Dinner speech|
|2020||Nicholas Eberstadt||American||America after COVID-19: Which future?|
- DeMuth, Christopher (March 4, 2003). "Leadership and Progress (Introductory Remarks)". AEI Annual Dinner. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
- Graff, Garrett (March 8, 2007). "A Night Out: AEI's Gala". The Washingtonian.
- Mullins, Anne Schroeder (March 12, 2009). "The AEI Dinner last night". Politico.
- Bush, George W. (March 4, 2003). "President George W. Bush Speaks at AEI's Annual Dinner". Retrieved July 9, 2009.
- Cheney, Richard B. (February 10, 2004). "Introduction of Charles Krauthammer by Vice President Cheney". AEI Annual Dinner. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
- Aznar, Jose Maria (March 2, 2005). "Irving Kristol Award and Lecture for 2005 (Introductory Remarks)". AEI Annual Dinner. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
- Nason, David (March 6, 2008). "John Howard wins American Enterprise Institute award". The Australian.
- AAP (March 6, 2008). "Howard defends legacy". Sydney Morning Herald.