RELEASE: The Garden State Initiative Caps their Annual Policy Forum by Announcing Establishment of “The Governor Thomas H. Kean Economic Leadership Award” - Garden State Initiative


RELEASE: The Garden State Initiative Caps their Annual Policy Forum by Announcing Establishment of “The Governor Thomas H. Kean Economic Leadership Award”

May 2, 2024


Governor Kean was the featured Special Guest at GSI’s annual forum in New Brunswick and delivered remarks to the crowd of 100+

For Immediate Release
Contact: Audrey Lane

New Brunswick, May 2, 2024 – The capstone on yesterday’s successful GSI Annual Policy Forum in New Brunswick – which attracted over 100 academics, elected officials, business leaders, and policy stakeholders – GSI’s Chair of the Board, Regina Egea, announced the establishment of The Governor Thomas H. Kean Economic Leadership Award as a tribute for his pro-growth, pro-taxpayer record, and his contributions to our state for over six decades.

The annual award will recognize one or more public officials who had the greatest positive impact on New Jersey’s prosperity in that calendar year.  Nominations are open and can be made by anyone and must be received by February 1st 2025 with an expected announcement of the Honoree in the Spring of 2025.

“Governor Kean has been a friend and mentor to so many of us over the years, and no one in our state’s modern history has contributed more to elevate our state’s stature and improve the prosperity of our state’s economy more than our 48th Governor, the Honorable Thomas Kean,” said Chairman Egea.  “In recognition of his lifetime of public service, GSI is honored that the governor permits us to name this award after him and pay tribute to his legacy in such a special and lasting way.”

From 1982 to 1990, Governor Kean oversaw an economic transformation where New Jersey’s unemployment rate was cut almost in half.  New Jersey then accelerated to rank third in per capita income and was sixth in high-tech industry growth.

Governor Kean has been rated among America’s most effective state leaders by Newsweek magazine and other sources. His Administration created 750,000 new jobs through tax cuts, instituted landmark environmental policies, led more than thirty education reforms, and built a federally replicated welfare reform program.

Governor Tom Kean has been a leader throughout his lifetime.  Starting with his time in the New Jersey Legislature, then his guidance of Drew University, and his uncommon sensitivity leading the 9/11 Commission, it is only fitting that this annual GSI recognition, honoring extraordinary leadership and positive impact on New Jersey’s economy, will be the Governor Thomas H. Kean Economic Leadership Award.

“It’s truly an honor to have this award named after me,” said Governor Kean.  “I am proud to be associated with the Garden State Initiative and all the fine work they do each year promoting common sense, pro-growth policies aimed at once again making New Jersey the economic envy of our neighbors and a state where families can prosper and businesses can grow.”