Franklin D. Roosevelt Distinguished Public Service Awards

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Distinguished Public Service Awards honor individuals whose careers exemplify President Roosevelt’s extraordinary dedication to public service and who seek to inspire a renewed national commitment to the principles for which FDR stood.

Change can take a lifetime, and these men and women have dedicated their lives to the public good, never limiting themselves to what seemed possible when they began. Each year, we celebrate their courage, commitment, and values. We hope you will join us in recognizing our 2018 honorees: Mary Kay Henry and Senator Chris Murphy.

June 27, 2018
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Washington, DC
6pm Cocktail Reception
7pm Awards Program

2018 Honorees

Mary Kay Henry (BIO)
President, Service Employees International Union

Mary Kay Henry is International President of the 2 million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and her leadership is rooted in a deep-seated belief that when individuals join together they can make the impossible possible. Under her leadership, SEIU has won major victories to improve working families’ lives by strengthening and uniting healthcare, property services, and public sector workers with other working people across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

In 2010, Mary Kay Henry became the first woman elected to lead SEIU, after more than 30 years of helping unite healthcare workers. By 2015, she was named one of the 100 most creative leaders by Fast Company magazine and was included in the top 50 visionaries reshaping American politics by Politico magazine for SEIU’s innovative leadership in propelling the fight for living wages embodied in the historic movement known as the “Fight for $15.”

Henry believes that to better fulfill the promise of a just society America has always aspired to be, we must fight for justice on all fronts including defending the gains accomplished for access to affordable healthcare for all families under the Affordable Care Act, comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship for all hardworking immigrant families, and safety and justice in all communities of color across the country.

Chris Murphy (BIO)
United States Senate

Chris Murphy, the junior United States Senator for Connecticut, has dedicated his career to public service as an advocate for Connecticut families. Senator Murphy has been a strong voice in the Senate fighting for job creation, affordable health care, education, sensible gun laws, and a forward-looking foreign policy.

As a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP) Senator Murphy has worked to make college more affordable and ensure that our public education system works to serve all students. Senator Murphy also led a bipartisan effort to reform our mental health system, working across the aisle to craft the first comprehensive mental health bill in the Senate in decades.

Senator Murphy has laid out a forward-thinking foreign policy vision for the United States. As a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, he has been an outspoken proponent of diplomacy, international human rights and the need for clear-eyed American leadership abroad.

Following the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in 2012, Senator Murphy became one of the leading proponents of commonsense reforms to reduce gun violence. He has championed a number of bipartisan bills aimed at expanding background checks and keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Murphy has fought to increase investments in Connecticut manufacturing and promote procurement of world-class national defense products made in the state. He has fought to expand American manufacturing and create jobs through his Buy American initiative, which urges the U.S. government to spend taxpayer dollars on American-made goods. Additionally, Senator Murphy has worked in partnership with local city and town leaders to rehabilitate former brownfields and factory sites so that they can be developed into new community spaces and businesses.

Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Murphy served Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District for three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. During his time in the House, Murphy worked to improve access to housing for homeless veterans, foster job creation, and advocate for affordable healthcare for all Americans. Murphy authored the Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act to revitalize housing programs for people with disabilities, which was signed into law by the president in 2010.


Past Distinguished Public Service Award Recipients


The Honorable Sherrod Brown

President of the American Federation of Teachers Randi Weingarten

Dr. Ernest Moniz


AFSCME President Lee Saunders

Congressman Keith Ellison

US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy


Senator Elizabeth Warren

Congressman Xavier Becerra

President Edwin D. Hill


Senator Tom Harkin

Congressman George Miller

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro


The Honorable Barney Frank

International Brotherhood of the Teamsters President James P. Hoffa

The Honorable Chris Dodd

US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson


Senator Jeff Bingaman

Senator Richard Durbin

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka


Congressman John Dingell

Senator Thomas Daschle