Former Colombian President Santos to receive Dole Leadership Prize; institute also announces Dole fellow and other fall programming

photo by: File

Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos listens to a question from a media member during a news conference on Monday, Sept. 24, 2012 at the Lied Center pavilion at Kansas University in Lawrence, Kan. Santos, a 1973 graduate of KU, visited the university before a meeting with the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Nick Krug/Journal-World Photo

Former president of Colombia and KU alumnus Juan Manuel Santos has been selected to receive the 2022 Dole Leadership Prize.

Santos, the 2016 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, will receive the Dole prize at a public program Sept. 20 at the Dole Institute of Politics, according to a news release Tuesday from the institute.

The Dole Leadership Prize is a bipartisan award presented annually to an individual who demonstrates the importance of involvement in political and civic affairs. Santos was identified for recognition by the late U.S. Sen. Bob Dole in honor of his successful efforts to bring peace to Colombia.

Santos graduated from the University of Kansas with degrees in business and economics and completed post-graduate studies at the London School of Economics and Harvard University.

He served two terms as president of Colombia from 2010 to 2018, with one of the cornerstones of his administration being his work on a peace process with FARC, the Colombian guerrilla organization.

Santos is only the third foreign recipient of the Dole Leadership Prize, joining Lech Walesa, Poland’s former president, and Viktor Yushchenko, former president of Ukraine. Other winners include former presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, civil rights icon John Lewis and former Secretary of State James Baker. The prize carries a $25,000 award, to be directed by Santos to the charity of his choice.

The Dole Institute on Tuesday, celebrating its 20th year of programming, also announced other key events.

• Gerald Seib, a veteran journalist and a KU graduate, will serve as the Fall Dole Fellow, with his discussion group series focusing on the 2022 midterm elections. Seib worked for The Wall Street Journal for almost 45 years. He served as the journal’s executive Washington editor and wrote the weekly “Capital Journal” column for 29 years. He also reported from the Middle East for the publication in the mid-1980s, covered the White House, moderated three presidential debates and interviewed every president since Ronald Reagan.

Seib’s series on the 2022 midterm election will feature national pollsters as well as prominent politicos and journalists. Each session takes place at 4 p.m. on the following Wednesdays: Sept. 14, 21, 28; Oct. 19 and 26; and Nov. 2, 9 and 16. These events will also be livestreamed via the Dole Institute’s website. Seib will be in-residence this fall, and in addition to discussion groups, he will work closely with members of the Dole Institute Student Advisory Board. His residency is sponsored by the Dolph Simons Family Fund.

Seib’s wife, Barbara Rosewicz, also a KU graduate, will be a Hearst Visiting Professional in Residence this fall at KU’s journalism school. She is a former reporter for The Wall Street Journal and most recently was project director for The Pew Charitable Trusts. She also chairs the William Allen White Foundation.

• Sherrie Rollins Westin, president of Sesame Workshop, will deliver the fifth Elizabeth Dole Women in Leadership Lecture on Oct. 5. The annual lecture features women who break barriers, make significant contributions to their fields and reach positions of leadership.

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind “Sesame Street.” Rollins Westin leads the organization’s efforts to serve vulnerable children through mass media and targeted initiatives in the United States and around the world. Rollins Westin also served in U.S. government roles as assistant to the president for public liaison and intergovernmental affairs for then-president George H.W. Bush and assistant secretary for public affairs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

• In December, Bill Lacy, director emeritus, will return to the Dole Institute as guest moderator for his signature Post-Election Conference. On Dec. 7 and 8, the comprehensive biennial conference, which follows each national election, will feature political experts, including state and national strategists, pollsters, journalists and campaign officials who analyze how and why elections were won and lost, and what that will mean for the next two years.


Welcome to the new Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.