Named for the late investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton, the Templeton Freedom Award annually honors his legacy by identifying and recognizing the most exceptional and innovative contributions to the understanding of free enterprise, and the public policies that encourage prosperity, innovation and human fulfillment via free competition. Awarded since 2004, the Templeton Freedom Award beginning in 2013 is generously supported by Templeton Religion Trust.

The Templeton Freedom Award is the most prestigious award within Atlas Network's Templeton Freedom Awards Prize program, which includes the Africa Liberty Award, Asia Liberty Award, Europe Liberty Award, Latin America Liberty Award, North America Liberty Award, and Middle East & North Africa Liberty Award. All applicants to the Templeton Freedom Award are also considered for the Regional Liberty Award associated with their region. Due to the generosity of the Templeton Religion Trust, the Templeton Freedom Awards Prize Program now awards $270,000 in prizes each year.

Finalists for the Templeton Freedom Award must have:

  • Achieved strategic impact (in areas of policy impact, social impact, academic impact, media impact, or student impact, etc.)
  • Made innovative contributions to the field of free enterprise education or policy research
  • Laid the groundwork for future progress in improving countries’ scores in rankings of economic freedom (e.g., The Index of Economic Freedom or the Economic Freedom of the World report)

The winner of the 2019 Templeton Freedom Award will receive $100,000 and will be honored at Atlas Network's Freedom Dinner on November 7, 2019, in New York City. Five additional finalists will receive $20,000 prizes and travel support to attend Freedom Dinner.

For press-related questions about the Templeton Freedom Award, contact Melissa Mann, director of communications, at 703-717-6488. For other questions about the Templeton Freedom Award, contact Casey Pifer, director of institute relations, at: or 202-449-8455.

The 2019 Templeton Freedom Award Finalists are:

Centre for Development and Enterprises (Burundi)

Birashoboka!, a Kirundi word that means “It’s Possible,” is the rallying cry of Centre for Development and Enterprises-Great Lakes’ campaign to drive a national conversation on the power of free enterprise in solving the country’s endemic poverty. The campaign is also promoting a favorable environment for doing business in Burundi, a country named in many rankings as the poorest country in the world. With their help, entrepreneurs are moving into the formal economy, growing their customer bases, and providing meaningful employment to countless job seekers.

Foundation for Economic Freedom (Philippines)

For decades, agricultural patent holders in the Philippines were prohibited from selling their land or using it as collateral because of Commonwealth-era legal restrictions that ignored the developing needs of the country’s economy. Thanks to the work of the Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF), a new law has removed these antiquated legal constraints, opening up a free market for patent holders to use their land as a source of capital.

Lebanese Institute for Market Studies (Lebanon)

Rolling blackouts and billions spent on subsidies to a failing state-owned electricity company have been facts of life in Lebanon the last several years. Government losses from managing the problem account for forty-five percent of Lebanon’s total debt, putting the country on the brink of a Greek-style bankruptcy. In 2016, the Lebanese Institute for Market Studies (LIMS) was the first to identify that opening up the electricity sector to private competition could save billions for taxpayers—and in 2019, the government approved a plan developed by the LIMS team.

Pacific Legal Foundation (United States)

The modern administrative state has allowed regulatory agencies to undermine the separation of powers by combining all three branches—legislative, executive, and judicial—within their walls. This unconstitutional, tyrannical “fourth branch” of government poses a threat to individual liberty in America and around the world, and Pacific Legal Foundation’s Center for the Separation of Powers is reversing this trend. In more than forty years defending freedom, PLF has directly represented clients in 14 U.S. Supreme Court cases and has won 12. Five of these victories have constrained the power of regulatory agencies.

Platte Institute (United States)

Nebraska is one of many states that have made it difficult to earn a living with burdensome licensure laws that protect entrenched special interests at the expense of both consumers and aspiring entrepreneurs. The Platte Institute in Omaha is playing a central role in reducing these laws and setting precedents that can be used as a regulatory reform model across the United States.

Reason Foundation (United States)

State and local governments have amassed up to six trillion dollars in unfunded pension liabilities across the United States. Reason Foundation established the Pension Integrity Project to provide customized, expert assistance with pension reform. Reason’s experts have facilitated the passage and implementation of more than forty bills in Arizona, Michigan, and Colorado, working with local policymakers to help facilitate bipartisan coalitions and develop policy solutions that are expected to save billions of dollars over the long term.