Mitch Daniels Leadership Foundation Honors Teresa Lubbers with Daniels Prize; Ascend’s Stephanie Bothun Named Driving Change Award Winner

INDIANAPOLIS – The Mitch Daniels Leadership Foundation will present Teresa Lubbers with the Daniels Prize Award on Thursday, October 19, 2023 at the MDLF Annual Event. The purpose of the Daniels Prize Award is to recognize Hoosiers whose life’s work has “lifted the State to a new plane of thought, aspiration, expectation and action,” in the spirit of Mitch Daniels’ own leadership.

Foundation Chair, Ron Stiver, stated about her selection: “Teresa is a true champion for Hoosiers. As a State Senator for 17 years and Commissioner for Indiana’s Commission for Higher Education, Teresa has devoted much of her life’s work to ensuring students have access to quality education as well as pathways to workforce and career success. She is a model citizen who cares deeply about seeking action-oriented and innovative solutions to key issues, which is a mindset we encourage our MDLF Fellows to embrace.”

Lubbers currently serves as President of Sagamore Institute, an action-oriented think tank that advances innovative solutions to the world’s biggest problems. In her current role, she is working to implement the Institute’s strategic plan and amplify its focus on building personal well-being, ensuring national security and encouraging citizen engagement.

"The leaders who have inspired me have displayed vision, knowledge and integrity in the way they lead. They bring out the best in others and build a culture that embraces high standards and values. Mitch Daniels combines these qualities better than anyone I know and has been a mentor, colleague and friend for more than four decades. I have aspired throughout my career to be that kind of leader and to find joy in purpose-driven work," said Lubbers.

She joins Tim Solso, Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cummins, Inc., James Morris, Vice Chairman of Pacers Sports & Entertainment, Scott Dorsey, Managing Partner of High Alpha and the late Bill Oesterle as recipients of the Daniels Prize.

In addition, MDLF named its Class V Outstanding Fellow, George Gemelas, who is Chief Operating Officer for the Climate Solutions Fund and also announced its inaugural Driving Change Award winner, Stephanie Bothun, who serves as Vice President and Co-Founder of Ascend Indiana. Bothun’s MDLF Fellowship Capstone focused on building the Modern Youth Apprenticeship program as a talent pipeline solution between Hoosier employers and educational institutions. All three award recipients will be recognized on October 19, 2023 at the MDLF Annual Event.

About the Mitch Daniels Leadership Foundation

The Mitch Daniels Leadership Foundation strives to enable leaders and drive change in Indiana, just as Mitch Daniels did as the state’s 49th Governor. The vision for MDLF is to develop a statewide network of change agents, actively working to make Indiana the best place to build a future. For more information about the Mitch Daniels Leadership Foundation, please visit or attend the MDLF Annual Event on October 19, 2023 in Indianapolis.