Did you ever stand back in awe of someone who at great risk stands up for what is right and good? Did you admire their courage? The Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance Matusak Courageous Leadership Award was initiated to recognize individuals who have displayed a passion for the common good, and a commitment to principles greater than just themselves. The kind of courage that once exhibited galvanizes others to action.

Dr. Matusak introduced this award to recognize and reward those individuals who courageously take a risk to stand up for what is right and just; who work for the common good; who are willing to take an unpopular stand even if doing so may jeopardize their jobs, cast them in an unpopular light or even cause them to lose friends. They have the courage to act authentically and speak up when silence would mean colluding with the problem, and they boldly take actions that tangibly improve the human condition. In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “You must look fear in the face and do the thing you think you cannot do.”

The Award

Matusak Courageous Leadership Award recipients are given a cash award of $3,000 to be used to further their work. Nominations are open to the KFLA global network of fellows.

The 2016 Award will be presented to the award recipient on October 8, 2016, at the Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance Forum, to be held at the Westin Denver International Airport, in Denver, Colorado.

Nominate a Courageous Leader

Deadline: Aug 1, 2016


Larraine Matusak

Dr. Larraine R. Matusak

As a former Leadership Scholar at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Director of the Kellogg National Fellowship Program, Dr. Larraine Matusak is an experienced scholar and practitioner of leadership in a wide variety of organizational and community roles. Recently she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for Scholarship and Leadership by the International Leadership Association in Barcelona, Spain.


Past Winners

gail small

Gail Small

Gail Small, founder of Native Action, one of the first non-profits on a reservation, has devoted her life to the betterment of Indian People and is widely acclaimed for groundbreaking work on the intersection of culture, resource management, and environment—within the context of climate change and indigenous people’s sovereign rights.

Pablo Alvarado

Pablo Alvarado

Pablo Alvarado, an immigrant from El Salvador, is the national coordinator/founder of the national Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON). He received the 2014 Matusak Courageous Leadership Award for his work with local governments to help establish worker centers providing day laborers who are seeking jobs honest places of safety and employment.

Susan Sygall

Susan Sygall

Susan Sygall, executive director of Mobility International USA, recieved the 2011 Matusak Courageous Leadership Award for her leading role as an advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities.