Grants and Initiatives

The Lady Bird Johnson Environmental AwardKen Burns

The Lady Bird Johnson Environmental Award honors outstanding achievements in the preservation, restoration, or improvement of the natural world that embrace Mrs. Johnson's style, energy, and commitment to her work. It salutes the efforts of Americans who are making a positive impact on the environment by successfully collaborating with communities and engaging others in their mission by reaching out to diverse sectors.

The award was created by the Board of Trustees of the LBJ Foundation to honor the former First Lady on her 80th birthday and to underscore her devotion to conservation and the environment. Former recipients include Senator John Chafee, Laurance Rockefeller, Patrick Noonan, Michael Dombeck, and Ted Turner.

On April 27, 2017, Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Ken Burns was awarded the Lady Bird Johnson Environmental Award. After the award presentation, which included President and Lady Bird Johnson's daughters, Luci and Lynda, Burns sat in conversation with former LBJ Library Director Mark K. Updegrove.

Burns was honored with the award for his The National Parks: America's Best Idea documentary which captured an idea as uniquely American as the Declaration of Independence and just as radical: that the most special places in the nation should be preserved, not for royalty or the rich, but for everyone.

Watch a video of the award presentation.

On April 24, 2018, the foundation will honor former Vice President Al Gore. Individual tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available. Learn more.

Harry Middleton Lectureship

Michael Beschloss

The foundation established the Harry Middleton Lectureship in 1994 to honor the career, loyalty, and legacy of Mr. Middleton, who served in the Johnson administration and as director of the LBJ Library for 30 years. 

The lectureship was designed to attract and enrich the learning experiences of students at The University of Texas at Austin and the local community. Former speakers include former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, Presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Tom Brokaw, and playwright and film director David Mamet. The 2017 featured speaker was presidential historian Michael Beschloss.

Robert GatesTom Johnson Lectureship

The Tom Johnson Lectureship was established in 2010 in recognition of and appreciation for Mr. Johnson’s 30 years of distinguished service as chairman of the LBJ Foundation Board of Trustees. Mr. Johnson served as executive assistant to President Johnson and, later, as president and chairman of CNN.

These lectures are free and open to the public. Veteran journalist Bill Moyers delivered the first Tom Johnson Lectureship in November 2011. In 2015, the Tom Johnson Lecturer was baseball legend Hank Aaron. Our 2016 lecturer was former Secretary of Defense Dr. Robert Gates on Thursday, Jan. 28.

Moody Research Grants and Harry Middleton Fellowships

The LBJ Foundation awards Moody Research Grants, underwritten by the Moody Foundation of Galveston, to graduate students, teachers, writers, and others to conduct research at the LBJ Library. The Harry Middleton Fellowships in Presidential Studies support scholars researching presidential policy. The LBJ Foundation appropriates $60,000 for Moody grants and $10,000-$12,000 for Middleton fellowships annually.

2018 Middleton Fellow
The foundation congratulates our newest Middleton fellow, Lindsay Drane.

Middleton Fellow Lindsay Drane

Drane is a Ph.D. candidate in her second year at the University of Houston. Her dissertation, Too Poor to Eat: A Socio-Political History of Food Stamps in the United States, 1964-1996, focuses on the interplay between policymakers and community activist organizations to better understand how food rights and food access framed ideas about citizenship in America.

D. B. Hardeman Prize

The D.B. Hardeman Prize is awarded for the best book on the U.S. Congress, from the fields of biography, history, journalism, and political science. Mr. Hardeman, a dedicated student of and avid collector of books about the Congress, was a long-time assistant to legendary Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn of Texas. Submissions are judged on the basis of five criteria: (1) contribution to scholarship, (2) contribution to the public's understanding of Congress, (3) literary craftsmanship, (4) originality, and (5) depth of research.

The members of the national selection committee include: Senator Tom Daschle; Lee Hamilton, director of The Center on Congress; Thomas Mann of The Brookings Institution; Leslie Sanchez of Impacto Group; Clay Smith of Kirkus Media; Jeremi Suri of The University of Texas at Austin; and Jason Casellas and Nancy Beck Young of The University of Houston. Previous winners include Robert Caro, David Oshinsky, and Frances Lee. View a complete list of winners here.

Rebecca ThorpeThe recipient of the 28th D.B. Hardeman Prize is The American Warfare State: The Domestic Politics of Military Spending, by Dr. Rebecca U. Thorpe. The LBJ Foundation presented the $10,000 prize to Dr. Thorpe, on April 28, 2016, at the LBJ Presidential Library.

For more information, contact Samantha Stone, deputy director, at [email protected] or (512) 721-0263.

LBJ Liberty & Justice for All Award

The LBJ Liberty & Justice for All Award honors the vision of Lyndon Baines Johnson's presidency and the transformative laws that gave it life: a belief that every citizen should share in the benefits and blessings of the privileges and protections that lie at the heart of the American dream. President Johnson envisioned and devoted his life to creating a nation of justice and liberty, where everyone had the opportunity to rise, and those in need would not fail. His legislative achievements shaped the next half century of our national history, and his legacy endures to benefit future generations of Americans – the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Fair Housing Act of 1968, Head Start, Medicare, Medicaid, Job Corps, the Clean Air Act, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Humanities, and many more. President Johnson saw his mission as "at once the oldest and most basic in this country: to right wrong, to do justice, to serve man."

The LBJ Foundation created the Award to recognize and honor individuals who, in their own unique way, have expanded the opportunities for all of our citizens and carried forward the legacy of President Johnson.

David M. Rubenstein

The 2017 recipient was David M. Rubenstein. Learn more.

Contact Us

Mark K. Updegrove
President and CEO
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Samantha Stone
Chief Operating Officer
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Sally Allen
Director of Development
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Courtney R. Hughes
Social Secretary & Event Coordinator
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Rebecca Szeto
Executive Assistant
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See full staff list