Advocate of the Year Nominations are not yet open for 2021 Advocate of the Year

The Advocate of the Year Award is an annual award presented at NAFSA Advocacy Day to recognize an international education advocate who has excelled in grassroots advocacy. The Advocate of the Year inspires others to make a difference by engaging their elected officials in discussions and promoting policies that create a more welcoming and globally engaged United States.

Meet our 2020 Advocate of the Year: Shannon Bedo

Selection Criteria

A seasoned advocate who:

  1. Is a member of NAFSA
  2. Is registered for Connecting Our World
  3. Has participated in a NAFSA advocacy event (Advocacy Day, advocacy training session, etc)
  4. Has participated in a NAFSA letter-writing campaign in the past year

Nominees have made documented contributions in the following areas:

  1. Has proven and successful advocacy outcomes with national and/or state-level advocacy initiatives
  2. Has a relationship with their member of Congress and/or their staff (either new, developing, or established)
  3. Has taken action to advance NAFSA's public policy priorities
  4. Has encouraged/supported/motivated their colleagues to participate in NAFSA's advocacy work

Selection Process

A committee, selected by the vice president of public policy and practice, includes the vice president, two NAFSA staff members, and a previous Advocate of the Year Award recipient. The committee reviews and evaluates all nominations before naming the Advocate of the Year, which is typically announced at NAFSA Advocacy Day.