The Cato Institute today announced the international committee to select the fourth recipient of the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty, a $500,000 biennial award presented to an individual for achievement in promoting human freedom and individual liberty.
Committee members this year are: economist Rose Friedman; Charles Koch, CEO of the largest privately held company in the world, Koch Industries of Wichita, Kansas; Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International and an ABC News commentator; Francisco Gil Diaz, the former Mexican finance minister; noted commentator Mary Anastasia O'Grady of the Wall Street Journal; Ugandan journalist Andrew Mwenda, a campaigner in Africa against mutlinational graft and foreign-aid related corruption; Edward H. Crane, the president of the Cato Institute; and Karen Horn, director of the Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft and one of the leading voices of classical liberalism in Germany.
The late Nobel laureate Milton Friedman agreed in 2001 to lend his name to the prize, which has become the leading international award for acknowledging contributions to promoting individual liberty. In a statement at the time he said: "Those of us who were fortunate enough to live and be raised in a reasonably free society tend to underestimate the importance of freedom. We tend to take it for granted. It has made us in the West more complacent, so having a prize emphasizing liberty is extremely important." Dr. Friedman died last year.
The first recipient of the Friedman Prize was the late British economist Peter Bauer, who received the prize in 2002. He was followed by the Peruvian scholar and author Hernando de Soto in 2004 and the former Estonian prime minister Mart Laar in 2006.
The selection committee members for the 2008 prize are:
Head of the Chancellery
Edward H. Crane
Francisco Gil Díaz
Former Minister of Finance
Rose D. Friedman
Milton and Rose D. Friedman
Foundation for School Choice
Director, Berlin Office
Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft
Charles G. Koch
Chairman and CEO
Koch Industries Inc
Advocates Coalition for Development
Mary Anastasia O'Grady
Member, Editorial Board
The Wall Street Journal
The prizewinner will be announced in April next year and the award will be presented at the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty Biennial Dinner on May 15, 2008 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City.