Recognizing public officials who champion the work of nonprofits

The Phyllis Campbell Newsome Public Policy Leadership Award was named in honor of the Center for Nonprofit Advancement’s former director of advocacy and community relations after her untimely passing in 2003. The award was created to highlight the work of elected and non-elected officials who have gone above and beyond in partnership with the nonprofit sector to ensure more vibrant communities.

Each year, the Center honors four public officials with this award. One official is recognized from each of the jurisdictions the Center supports including, the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

The 2021 Application is now open

To nominate a public official for this award, please fill out this form. The award winners will be announced at our Annual Celebration on November 16th.

Congratulations to our 2020 winners!


District of Columbia: Laura Zeilinger

Laura Green Zeilinger has served as the Director of the Department of Human Services (DHS) since January 2015. Zeilinger has focused on implementing solutions to end homelessness, enhancing the system of support offered through TANF, improving outcomes for youth who show signs of risk and modernizing the Department’s customer service delivery model.


Prince George’s County: Rodney Streeter

Council Member Rodney C. Streeter was nominated for his close attention to the needs of HOA’s and neighborhood associations within his district. Last year (his first as a council member), he obtained over $1 million to build an extensive new park in the area, which
is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.


Montgomery County: Lily Qi

As a proud Chinese immigrant, Delegate Lily Qi has been a champion of inclusion for all communities of color, the LGBTQ community, and others that experience cultural and economic barriers. As the first Chinese-speaking legislator in the Maryland General Assembly and the Greater Washington Region, her election made national and international news.


Virginia: Justin Wilson

Elected Mayor of the City of Alexandria in November of 2018, Justin Wilson is committed to ensuring every child’s opportunity at success, protecting Alexandria’s long-term fiscal health, and investing in the infrastructure that improves quality of life. Under his leadership, the City of Alexandria has partnered with local nonprofits on multiple fronts to rapidly respond to the needs of our most vulnerable residents.



About the Phyllis Campbell Newsome Public Policy Leadership Award

For the 2021 award, please fill out this form to complete a nomination.

Each year, the call for Newsome Public Policy Leadership Award nominees opens in August. Members of the nonprofit sector are invited to nominate public officials who have shown great leadership on behalf of the nonprofits in our region, by completing a brief nomination form that includes up to 250 words about why the nominee deserves the award.

After the deadline, nominations are tallied and the winners of each jurisdiction are notified. They receive their award and recognition at the Center’s Annual Celebration.

Meet the winners of the past three years:

District of Columbia

  • Robert White, City Council, At-Large (2019)
  • Najla Husseini, Deputy Chief, School Partnerships, DC Public Schools (2018)
  • The Honorable Brandon Todd, Council Member, Ward 4 (2017)

Montgomery County, Maryland

  • Andrew Friedson, County Council, District 1 (2019)
  • Isiah “Ike” Leggett, County Executive (2018)
  • The Honorable Cheryl Kagan, State Senator (2017)

Prince George's County, Maryland

  • Calvin Hawkins, County Council, At-Large (2019)
  • Derrick Leon Davis, County Council Member, District 6 (2018)
  • PFC LoQune Brown, Police Department (2017)


  • Jennifer McClellan, State Senator, District 9 (2019)
  • Helen McIlvaine, Director, Alexandria Office on Housing (2018)
  • Martin Nohe, Coles District Supervisor, Prince William County, Board of Supervisors (2017)