Former Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is the 2023 recipient of the Savas Award for Privatization, which honors visionary leaders who are harnessing the power of the private sector, saving taxpayers money, improving service delivery, and enabling innovation. The Savas Award was presented to Ducey by Reason Editor in Chief Katherine Mangu-Ward in Washington, DC.
During his tenure, Arizona passed groundbreaking public pension reforms that put the state’s public safety pension system on a path to financial solvency. Through other efforts to make government more efficient and reduce taxpayers’ costs, Arizona employed 5,000 fewer state workers when Gov. Ducey left office in January 2023 than when he took office. The private sector added over 500,000 jobs in Arizona during his two terms.
As a longtime advocate of school choice, Ducey also expanded vouchers, enabling families to choose the best public or private school for each child’s needs. Other school choice leaders—including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and columnist George Will—hailed Arizona’s plan as the gold standard in school choice programs.
Reason Foundation’s Savas Award for Privatization is named in honor of privatization pioneer Dr. E. S. “Steve” Savas, who worked with government, businesses, and academics to advance his idea of engaging the private sector to improve the provision and quality of public services.
Previous Savas Award recipients include Purdue University President Mitch Daniels, Success Academy co-founder Eva Moskowitz, Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools co-founder Frank Baxter, X Prize winner Burt Rutan, former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, and Task Force Pineapple founder Lt. Col. Scott Mann.
Kelvey Vander Hart
Reason Foundation, Reason magazine