Each year, the Robert M. Ball award is presented to an individual whose recent work has made a significant impact on the U.S. social insurance system. Selection Criteria:
- Innovation in changing, educating about or otherwise furthering public understanding and informed policy-making in a specific area of social insurance
- Effectiveness in deepening public understanding, fostering collaboration, informing policy, implementing policy, or teaching others about social insurance
The award honors Robert M. Ball, who served as Commissioner of Social Security from 1962 to 1973, and was an important participant in every Social Security development of the past 60 years. As the Founding Chair of the National Academy of Social Insurance (the Academy), he continued to serve as an unofficial advisor to many policymakers while also writing and advising on Social Security, Medicare, national health insurance, and welfare.
The Award was created in June 2003 at the celebration of Bob Ball’s 90th birthday. The award is presented at a gala reception at the National Press Club in June of each year.
To date, winners include:
- William Spriggs (2016), Chief Economist to the AFL-CIO and Professor of Economics at Howard University. The 2016 award was presented at a dinner banquet on June 21, 2016.
- Karen Davis (2015), Eugene and Mildred Lipitz Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management and Director of the Roger C. Lipitz Center for Integrated Health Care, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University. View a video of her acceptance speech.
- Marilyn Moon (2014), Institute Fellow and Director, Center on Aging, American Institutes for Research (AIR). Download a PDF of her acceptance speech.
- Alice M Rivlin (2013), Senior Fellow and Director, Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform, The Brookings Institution
- Robert D. Reischauer (2012), President Emeritus, The Urban Institute
- John C. Rother (2010), Executive Vice President of Policy and Strategy, AARP
- Alicia H. Munnell (2009), Director, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
- Peter A. Diamond (2008), Institute Professor and Professor of Economics, MIT
- Henry Aaron (2007), Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution
- Monroe Berkowitz (2006), Professor of Economics, Rutgers University
- Bruce C. Vladeck (2005), Principal (former), Ernst & Young
- Stephen C. Goss (2004), Chief Actuary, Social Security Administration