WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 2016 – On Dec. 6, The Heritage Foundation honored U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) with its first “The Distinguished Intern Alumni Award.” The award was presented at Heritage’s annual President’s Club Meeting in Washington, D.C.
Cotton is the first person to receive the award, but one of thousands of former Heritage interns who have gone on to successful careers in government, academia, public policy, and the private sector. The Heritage Foundation’s intern program, established in 1979, teaches young conservatives about America’s political heritage and her founding principles, and how these principles apply to the issues of today.
Few Members of Congress have so consistently applied these founding principles as Sen. Cotton. During his time in office, he has stood against government waste, and stood up for priorities such as restoring federalism in education, reforming immigration laws without falling back on amnesty, and rebuilding America’s military.
Cotton is a graduate of Harvard College, where he wrote for the Harvard Crimson and served as an intern for the policy news website Townhall.com, then owned by The Heritage Foundation. He went on to Harvard Law School, and worked as a law clerk and in private law practice.
Cotton then joined the U.S. Army as Infantry Officer where he served nearly five years on active duty. He served in Iraq with the 101st Airborne and later in Afghanistan with a Provincial Reconstruction Team. Between his two combat tours, Cotton served with The Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery. His military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, and Ranger Tab.
Between the Army and the Senate, Cotton worked for McKinsey & Co. and served one term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Cotton was elected to the House in November 2012. Soon after, Politico identified him as the “most likely to succeed” of all the freshman members. In 2014, he was elected to the U.S. Senate. Today, at age 39, he remains the youngest serving U.S. Senator.
Heritage is honored to recognize Cotton as a public servant who is actively working to create an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish.
“By serving his country in the armed forces and defending conservative principles in Congress, Tom is shining example to all future Heritage interns of a true American patriot,” Heritage President Jim DeMint said.
With its Distinguished Intern Alumni Award, Heritage wishes not only to recognize an exceptional young conservative, but also to encourage all of its former interns to use what they learn during their time at Heritage to reclaim America.