Washington, March 24, 2009
--Dr. David R. Brown, an orthopedic surgeon whose vision
of a policy research organization for Oklahoma issues became
reality, last night received the highest award of The Heritage
Foundation, the leading Washington, D.C., think tank he helped
In presenting Brown with Heritage's Clare Boothe Luce Award at
an Oklahoma City dinner gathering, colleagues cited his
instrumental role in the 1993 founding of the Oklahoma Council of
Public Affairs (OCPA), an early example of a trend toward
conservative, state-level policy research shops.
"OCPA has become the leader among state-based think tanks, and
the organization's success is due in large part to the outstanding
vision and leadership of Dr. Brown," Heritage President Edwin J.
Feulner told the crowd at OCPA's Citizenship Award Dinner, held at
the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
One of Brown's models in creating Oklahoma City-based OCPA was
Heritage, which from its founding in 1973 rapidly rose to
prominence among conservative research organizations -- and think
tanks in general. Brown, an unsung hero of the conservative
movement, has been a key part of the Heritage brain trust since
1978, for the past 17 years serving as chairman of the Board of
For 15 years, OCPA has researched and analyzed issues of concern
to state residents from the perspective of limited government,
individual liberty and a free-market economy. The organization is
proud to have become regarded as "the flagship of the conservative
movement in Oklahoma."
Heritage's Clare Boothe Luce Award recognizes outstanding
leadership in the conservative movement. Past recipients include
the late writer and editor William F. Buckley Jr., former President
Ronald Reagan and former British Prime Minister Margaret
"You personify the Jeffersonian spirit that made America a great
nation and a good nation," the Heritage board said in a resolution
bestowing the award on Brown. "Thanks to your wise counsel and
generosity as trustee and chairman of The Heritage Foundation, our
institution has grown into a permanent rampart for the defense of
The resolution concluded: "You have set a lifelong example of
what it means to be a man, a citizen and a patriotic American."
Feulner read a portion of a congratulatory letter from Sen.
James Inhofe (R-Okla.) thanking Brown for "leadership and service
in the medical field as well as ... effectiveness in the
conservative movement." Tom Saunders of New York, a Heritage
board member who oversees the think tank's "Leadership for America"
campaign, joined Feulner to present the award.
A graduate of the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine,
Brown served as president of the Oklahoma State Orthopedic
Association and chairman of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at
Saint Anthony Hospital.
He is a former board member of the Baptist Medical Center of
Oklahoma Foundation and a retired professor of orthopedic surgery
at the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine. He currently
serves as a trustee of the Noble Foundation and chairman of the
Executive Committee of the Oklahoma Medical Research