The Ned R. McWherter Leadership Award annually recognizes an individual who exemplifies outstanding leadership in the pursuit of performance excellence and has furthered performance improvement beyond the boundaries of his or her organization. Winners are committed to the core values of the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence and the Baldrige Excellence Framework. The award's namesake is former Tennessee Governor Ned. R. McWherter. Governor McWherter was integral to the formation of TNCPE in 1993.
Nominations for the Ned R. McWherter Leadership Award are solicited from TNCPE Members. The award recipient is selected by the executive committee and confirmed by the full Board of Directors.