Home » News » 29th Annual TFAS Journalism Awards Dinner To Honor Courageous Leaders

29th Annual TFAS Journalism Awards Dinner To Honor Courageous Leaders


On November 15, 2022, The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) will host supporters, friends, and leaders in the journalism community for the 29th Annual TFAS Journalism Awards Dinner. The event, held at the Metropolitan Club in New York City, will celebrate the careers and accomplishments of outstanding journalists in TFAS’s Novak and Rago Fellowship Programs.

At the dinner, TFAS will award William “Bill” McGurn with the 2022 Thomas L. Phillips Career Achievement Award. McGurn is a leader in journalism and a dedicated advocate for reporting the truth. McGurn has held roles as an editor and writer for The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, National Review, American Spectator, and the Far Eastern Economic Review. McGurn spent more than a decade reporting overseas; both in Brussels with the Wall Street Journal’s Europe bureau, and in Hong Kong with both The Wall Street Journal’s Asia bureau and the Far Eastern Economic Review.

He is currently a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, as well as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. McGurn also served as a speechwriter in the George W. Bush administration in 2005 and 2006 and is a published author, with a book on Hong Kong and a monograph on terrorism. Regardless of his role, McGurn has remained committed to chronicling the truth and sharing his voice. American political commentator and author Dana Perino will present the award to William McGurn. Perino served as the White House press secretary when McGurn was the assistant to the president for speechwriting during the Bush Administration.

“Bill McGurn’s writing is emblematic of the type of courageous journalism and dedication to the truth that we strive to teach at TFAS. His work is a testament to what journalism should look like, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving to receive this year’s Thomas L. Phillips Career Achievement Award. I’m honored to be celebrating his lifetime of hard work,” said TFAS President Roger Ream.

Jimmy Lai

McGurn will be honored alongside Jimmy Lai, a pro-democracy activist from Hong Kong. Lai will be honored with the 2022 Kenneth Y. Tomlinson Award for Courageous Journalism. Jimmy Lai is a Hong Kong entrepreneur and activist who has been repeatedly harassed and threatened by the Chinese government for his pro-democracy efforts and opposition to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Lai has been arrested repeatedly since 2020 for a variety of alleged crimes against the CCP; currently, he is being detained for organizing illegal protests. Amongst Lai’s entrepreneurial pursuits are founding Next Digital, a Hong Kong media company, and Giordano, an Asian clothing retailer.

Despite numerous attempts by the CCP to censor Lai, he founded, published, and widely distributed a number of political publications aimed at sharing the truth and advocating for democracy, including Apple Daily, one of the top Hong Kong newspapers. Paul Gigot, American Pulitzer Prize–winning conservative political commentator and Vice President of The Wall Street Journal Editorial Pages, will present and accept the award on behalf of Jimmy Lai.

“Rather than leave Hong Kong and abandon the brave people there who have been fighting for democracy and a rule of law, Jimmy Lai chose to stay and face the consequences for speaking the truth. This commitment at great personal cost, is an example for us all,” said Roger Ream. “He embodies the courageous leadership that TFAS strives to instill in its students and Fellows, and while we regret that his unjust imprisonment keeps him from coming to New York to accept in person, we are proud to recognize his invaluable work.”

2022-23 Novak Fellows

In addition to honoring Bill McGurn and Jimmy Lai, TFAS will formally announce the seven participants in the 2022 Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship at the Journalism Awards Dinner. Billy Binion of Reason; Jack Butler of National Review; John Hirschauer of The American Conservative; Madeleine Kearns of National Review; Kate Bachelder Odell of The Wall Street Journal; Brad Polumbo of BASEDPolitics; and Joseph Simonson of The Washington Free Beacon will spend one year researching and providing in-depth reporting on a variety of topics pertaining to a free society. Themes to be covered by the 2022-23 cohort include the student debt crisis, the political shift of Hispanic voters, and law enforcement misconduct, among others.

“Having long looked with admiration at TFAS and the work of prior Novak Fellows, I find it an incredible honor to be placed among their ranks,” said Jack Butler, Novak Fellow 2022-23. “That this honor comes with the resources to pursue a project of great importance to me and of significant potential consequence for the advancement of the principles of TFAS elevates my gratitude not just beyond words but nearly beyond adequate communication.”

Carine Hajjar

The event will also honor Carine Hajjar, this year’s Joseph Rago Memorial Fellow for Excellence in Journalism. Named for Joseph Rago, a Wall Street Journal editorial board member who passed away in 2017, the Rago Fellowship awards a qualified aspiring journalist with a nine-month internship with The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page. Carine attended Harvard University, where she was a member of the Harvard Crimson’s editorial board and penned a column titled “Always at Odds” in which she shared her experience as a conservative student on Harvard’s campus. As the winner of Harvard’s Eliot House Finley Fellowship, Carine has recently spent a year traveling across Europe, studying faith and religion at historic convents and monasteries.

“In July, we commemorated five years since Joseph Rago’s life was cut short, reminding ourselves of the significance and profound impact of his work. During my time as the Rago Fellow, I hope to emulate the hard-hitting and witty writing style he so expertly used. I’m honored to be recognized alongside so many leaders in the journalism community, and I’m looking forward to learning from my colleagues on The Wall Street Journal’s editorial staff,” said Hajjar.

Accurate, insightful reporting is more critical now than ever before. TFAS is proud to be an organization that fosters leaders in journalism, many of whom carry on to be Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters, editors of national outlets, and authors of best-selling books, and TFAS is grateful for the opportunity to celebrate these inspirational future leaders. To join us in supporting the outstanding work of these individuals and TFAS journalism programs, please email Jane Mack at jmack@TFAS.org or visit TFAS.org/Jawards22.

TFAS is grateful to the generous organizations and individuals who will serve as dinner committee chairs and sponsors for the event. View a full list of the organizations and individuals who are sponsoring the dinner here.

Thank You to Our Dinner Committee:


Fred Barnes

Maria Bartiromo

Paul Gigot

Andrew Ferguson

Neal B. Freeman

Daniel Henninger

Geraldine W. Novak

Karl Rove

George F. Will


Lindsay Craig

John J. Lee

Paul and Nancy Rago

Catherine Barr Windels


Recent Posts


Economics Beyond the Classroom with Rosolino Candela

This week, another exceptional guest joins us on the Liberty + Leadership Podcast: Dr. Rosolino Candela, senior fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

Dr. Veronique de Rugy Speaks on Women and Economics at Annual Dobriansky Lecture

The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) hosted the annual Lev Dobriansky Lecture on Political Economy on Tuesday, June 4. Dr. Veronique de Rugy, the George Gibbs Chair in Political Economy and Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University…

Woodhouse Public Policy Fellows Discover Post-War Conservative Thought

The newly revamped Woodhouse Public Policy Fellowship closed on a high note for the class of 2023-24 at TFAS Headquarters in Washington, D.C., this May.