The Cato Institute today announced the international committee to select the fifth recipient of the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty, a $500,000 biennial award presented to an individual for achievement in promoting freedom and individual liberty. The Friedman Prize award is made possible through contributions specifically for that purpose. Since the Prize's inception in 2002, $2 million has been awarded. The Cato Institute has also announced that nominations for the 2010 prize are now being accepted. Members of the public are able make nominations online here.
Committee members this year are: 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; Samuel Brittan, economic commentator for the Financial Times; noted commentator Mary Anastasia O'Grady of the Wall Street Journal; Gurcharan Das, former CEO of Proctor & Gamble, India, and author of the acclaimed book India Unbound; Edward H. Crane, president and founder 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 the promotion of 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 in 2006.
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; the former Estonian prime minister Mart Laar in 2006; and Yon Goicoechea, leader of the pro-democracy student movement in Venezuela, in 2008.
The selection committee members for the 2010 prize are:
Edward H. Crane
President and Founder
Former CEO of Procter & Gamble India
Author of India Unbound
Charles G. Koch
Chairman and CEO
Koch Industries Inc
Director, Berlin Office
Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft
Mary Anastasia O'Grady
Member, Editorial Board
The Wall Street Journal
The prizewinner will be announced in April and the award will be presented at the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty Biennial Dinner on May 13, 2010 at the Washington Hilton, Washington, D.C.