The selection criteria for the national and local Jefferson Awards winners are parallel.
There are two basic considerations:
First, the selectors review acts of courage, vision, dedication, and tenacity. Is there anything outstanding, unique, heroic about the nominee and his or her character?
Second, they review the impact on the community. Public service is about serving people and communities. As the nominee addresses important issues facing local communities or the country, has the nominee had a measurable impact?
Jefferson Awards highlight the "Unsung Heroes." Eligibility includes volunteers as well as paid professionals who go well above and beyond their expected service. "Unsung" means not normally in the media.