COSSA Distinguished Service Award

The COSSA Distinguished Service Award recognizes leaders who have gone above and beyond to promote, protect, and advance the social and behavioral science research enterprise. Recipients are identified and selected by COSSA’s Board of Directors. The award is presented annually as part of COSSA’s Science Policy Conference and Social Science Advocacy Day.

2018: Representative Daniel Lipinski (D-IL) & Dr. William Riley

Representative Lipinski and Dr. Riley represent the type of leadership across the legislative and executive branches of government the social and behavioral sciences need to flourish and continue to produce the type of findings that have already improved the lives of countless Americans. Representative Lipinski is one of social science’s most stalwart champions in Congress and has long been a vocal advocate for the many benefits research in the social and behavioral sciences have generated. Dr. Riley’s leadership of OBSSR has helped ensure that the social and behavioral sciences are thriving at NIH and continue to generate vital insights into the ways that behavioral and social factors shape our health. (Press release)

Members of the COSSA Board of Directors, representatives from COSSA governing member associations, Representative Lipinski, and his office staff

2018 Distinguished Award Recipient Rep. Dan Lipinski (center right) with members of the COSSA Board of Directors, representatives of COSSA governing associations, and members of Rep. Lipinski’s staff.

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2018 Distinguished Award Recipient William Riley and COSSA Executive Director Wendy Naus.


2017: Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) & Gary Peters (D-MI)

Senators Gardner and Peters were recognized for their bipartisan work on the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (AICA), legislation that reauthorizes activities at the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), STEM education programs, and seeks to reduce the administrative burden associated with federal grants. Senators Gardner and Peters worked to ensure an inclusive and bipartisan process when writing the AICA, engaging the scientific research community along the way. The AICA was one of the last bills signed into law by President Obama in January. (Press release)

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2017 Distinguished Award Recipients Sen. Gary Peters (center) and Sen. Cory Gardner (second from left) with COSSA Executive Director Wendy Naus (right); Christina Ko, University of Michigan (second from right); and Myron Gutmann, University of Colorado, Boulder Institute of Behavioral Science (left).


2016: Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)

In recognition of her unwavering support for social and behavioral science research and steadfast leadership on behalf of the U.S. scientific enterprise.

2016 COSSA Distinguished Service Award Winner Eddie Bernice Johnson and COSSA Executive Director Wendy Naus

2016 COSSA Distinguished Service Award Recipient Eddie Bernice Johnson and COSSA Executive Director Wendy Naus


2015: Dr. Philip E. Rubin, (former) Assistant Director for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences, Office of Science and Technology Policy

In recognition of his career of service to the social and behavioral science community.

2015 COSSA Distinguished Service Award Recipient Philip E. Rubin (center) with COSSA Board Chair Felice Levine (left) and COSSA Executive Director Wendy Naus (right)