About AIS

AIS LEO Awards

About the Award

Established in 1999, this award, which is named for the world's first business application of computing (The Lyons Electronic Office), recognizes truly outstanding individuals in the field of information systems. All recipients of the LEO Award are outstanding scholars who have made a global impact on the field of information systems

Established in 1999 by the AIS Council and the ICIS Executive Committee, the LEO Award is a singular honor to recognize seminal work by the award recipient.

As the title of the award implies, the contributions of award recipients will have been sustained throughout their careers. They will be truly outstanding scholars who have made exceptional global contributions in the field of information systems. In addition, they will be regarded as a preeminent representative of their national or regional information systems community.

LEO Award recipients are expected to be a role model and an inspiration to colleagues and students within the information systems field. In addition, they should be capable of garnering the respect of individuals from outside the field, because their contributions will have had an impact in fields other than information systems. LEO Award recipients are highly esteemed for their exemplary professional and personal integrity.

Learn More about the LEO Winners!

  • Ritu Agarwal

Ritu Agarwal is Distinguished University Professor, Interim Dean, and the Robert H. Smith Dean’s Chair of Information Systems at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park.  She is also the Founding Director of the Center for Health Information and Decision Systems (CHIDS) at the Smith School.  Dr. Agarwal has published over 100 articles in journals such as Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, Management Science, Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Health Affairs.  Her research is focused on the digital transformation of healthcare, health analytics, and artificial intelligence 
applications in health. 

Professor Agarwal currently serves on the Federal Advisory Council established by the US Department of Health and Human Services for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the NIH.  She has testified before the National Committee on Health and Vital Statistics and the US Department of Health.  Her research has been sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Society for Information Management, US Department of Labor, NSF, and DARPA, and a number of private corporations.  Dr. Agarwal’s research has been featured in major media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, National Public Radio, and elsewhere. In 2010 Professor Agarwal launched the Annual Conference on Health IT and Analytics (CHITA).  This conference, now in its 10th year, is a leading research forum at the intersection of technology, analytics, and health. Professor Agarwal served a 6-year term as the Editor-in-Chief of Information Systems Research.  She has held elected office in the leading professional organizations, including serving on the board for the Institute of Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) and a Vice President in the Association for Information Systems (AIS). 

She was the NSF ADVANCE Professor for 2012-2013 for the Smith School.  In 2011 she became a Fellow of the Association for Information Systems, and also received the University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Award.  In 2013 she received the title of Distinguished Fellow from the Information Systems Society of INFORMS.  In 2017 she was appointed as Distinguished University Professor; the highest academic title at the University of Maryland.  

  • Michael D. Myers

Michael D. Myers is Professor of Information Systems at the  University of Auckland Business School, Auckland, New Zealand. His research interests are in the areas of qualitative research methods in information systems, digital transformation, knowledge management, and the social and organizational aspects of information technology.

Michael has published more than 25 journal articles in the AIS basket of eight. He won the Best Paper award (with Heinz Klein) for the most outstanding paper published in MIS Quarterly in 1999. This paper has been cited over 6000 times and is one of the top ten most cited papers in MISQ. He is listed on the MISQ website as one of the most prolific authors in MIS Quarterly. He wrote Qualitative Research in Business & Management published by Sage Publications in 2019 (3rd edition). The structure of the book follows his AIS website on Qualitative Research on Information Systems, the first version of which he developed back 1997.

Michael served as President of AIS in 2006-2007. One of his contributions was to facilitate a strategic planning process for AIS Council, enabling the future development of AIS.  He was Chair of the International Federation of Information Processing (IFIP) Working Group 8.2 from 2006-2008 and was subsequently awarded the IFIP Silver Core. He also served as a Senior Editor of MIS Quarterly from 2001-2005 and as a Senior Editor of Information Systems Research from 2008-2010.

He currently serves as Senior Editor of European Journal of Information Systems and Information &  Organization. Michael has been a supporter of the Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems for more than two decades. He has been Co-Chair of PACIS three times (New Zealand, Vietnam and Japan), Program Co-Chair, Track Chair, and a regular faculty advisor at the PACIS Doctoral Consortium. He was Co-Chair of the International Conference on Information Systems in Auckland in 2014. Michael is a Fellow of AIS.

  • Arun Rai

Arun Rai is Regents’ Professor of the University Systems of Georgia, holds the Robinson Chair, and is Director of the Center for Digital Innovation at the Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University. He has held visiting appointments at universities in Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, and Slovenia. He is a  Fellow of the Association for Information Systems and a  Distinguished Fellow of the INFORMS Information Systems Society. 

Arun’s research for over 30 years has focused on the development and deployment of information systems to drive innovation and create value. His research has contributed to understanding the digital transformation of organizations and supply chains; governance of IT investments and platform ecosystems; and deployment of digital innovations at scale to empower individuals and address thorny societal problems including poverty, health disparities, infant mortality, and digital inequality. 

His research has involved close engagement with organizations across sectors (e.g., Apollo Hospitals, China Mobile, Daimler-Chrysler, Emory Healthcare, Gartner, Georgia-Pacific, Grady Hospital, IBM, Intel, SAP, SunTrust, UPS), and has been sponsored by  government agencies, corporations and thought leadership forums. His work has been published extensively in premier journals in IS and other disciplines, has received several best paper awards, and has been extensively cited across disciplines. Arun has played leadership roles in developing research programs and curricula related to digital innovation, supply chain management, analytics, and artificial intelligence.

He has chaired 30 Ph.D. dissertations and served on the committee for over another thirty. Several of his former Ph.D. students are chaired professors and hold leadership positions at their institutions and the profession. He is serving as Editor-in-Chief of the MIS Quarterly, and has served as Senior Editor for MIS Quarterly and Information Systems Research; Panelist for the National Science Foundation; Track Co-Chair for major conferences; keynote speaker for AIS conferences; and chair, mentor and keynote speaker for doctoral/junior faculty/mid-career faculty  consortia. He is also serving on the Board of Directors of Apollo Indraprastha Medical  Corporation and Apollo Health and Lifestyle Limited, and on the Developing and Deploying at Scale Disruptive Technologies Working Group of the US National Commission on  Innovation and Competitiveness Frontiers. 


  • David Avison, ESSEC Business School

David Avison is Distinguished Emeritus Professor of IS at ESSEC Business School, near Paris,  having retired in September 2018. He was previously Professor of IS at Southampton University and visiting professor at Brunel University, London. He is Past-President of the AIS (2008-9), Past-President of the UKAIS, and was Co-Program Chair (with Dennis Galletta) of ICIS 2005, Las Vegas. 
With Guy Fitzgerald he was founding editor of the Information Systems Journal (1990) and they remained Editors-in-Chief until 2012. They also authored the well-adopted text on IS Development, now in its 4th edition. 

Avison’s text on IS project management (with Reza Torkzadeh) emphasizes the ‘people side’ of the process. He is noted for his use of qualitative research, in particular action research, and with Trevor Wood-Harper defined the Multiview framework for IS development (the subject of his PhD) using the knowledge gained from many action research projects from the early 1980s onwards. Multiview was a forerunner to agile systems development. 

More recently (Fall 2017) he edited a special issue of the Journal of MIS on action research (Ned Kock, Julien Malaurent). For three years he was Chair of IFIP Working Group 8.2 (focusing on the impact of IS on organizations and society). This group has made a great contribution to IS in legitimizing qualitative research. These contributions led to jointly edited books on qualitative research (Michael Myers) and supervising research (Jan Pries-Heje). 

He has particularly enjoyed his work supervising doctoral students and mentoring junior faculty, and he has also participated in several doctoral and junior faculty consortia. Kindly supervised by Frantz Rowe, Avison gained his “Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches”, a qualification for ‘supervising’ research (a PhD is about ‘doing’ research). 

He has never been afraid of challenging conventional wisdom, evidenced most recently by the controversy regarding his papers with Julien Malaurent on the ‘fetish’ of theory in IS and that advocating reflexivity as an essential third “R” (along with rigor and relevance) for interpretive research papers. 

Avison was previously awarded the IFIP Silver Core and is an AIS Fellow.

  • Jane Fedorowicz, Bentley University

Jane Fedorowicz, the Chester B. Slade Professor of Accounting and Information Systems, holds a joint appointment in the Accountancy and the Information and Process Management Departments at Bentley University, Waltham, Massachusetts, USA. During her nearly forty years as an academic, she has been active in research, teaching and service to her universities and the IS profession. 

Fedorowicz’s contributions to AIS set records in many respects. She was the second woman to be elected as President, and served more terms (five) on Council than anyone else to date.  She was past President and founding member of SIGASYS, a founding officer of the New England Chapter and an advisory board member of AIS’ Women’s Network. She was also Coordinator for the College of Senior Scholars and General Co-Chair of both AMCIS 2001 (Boston) and ICIS 2019 (Munich). She has chaired or served on innumerable AIS committees, conference committees, editorial boards and task forces. She is proud to hold the record for most years of attendance at AMCIS over its history.

In addition to AIS, Fedorowicz supports efforts to increase the number and visibility of women and minorities in the field, and was honored to represent AIS on the Leadership Team of the National Center for Women in Information Technology. She has also held high-level offices in two other disciplinary fields’ professional societies, INFORMS (as a TIMS Board member before it merged with ORSA) and the American Accounting Association (including both of their IS-related SIGs). She was also Chair of the TIMS College on IS, leading their process to found Information Systems Research. 
An interdisciplinary researcher, she has published extensively in IS and related disciplines. Her current research focuses on topics in the area of e-government, including public safety networks and police use of social media. 

Fedorowicz’s research and service contributions have resulted in several awards and recognitions. She is an AIS Fellow, Senior Scholar and recipient of the Sandra Slaughter Service Award. Bentley University designated her as Scholar of the Year and a Mee Family Prize winner, the University’s highest award recognizing a lifetime of scholarly achievement.



LEO Award Committee

The LEO Award committee is comprised of AIS members as established in the Bylaws. Current committee members include:    

  • Sue Newell, Warwick Business School (term ends June 30, 2021)
  • Alan Hevner, University of South Florida (term ends June 30, 2021)
  • Choon Ling Sia, City University of Hong Kong (term ends June 30, 2021)
  • Richard Baskerville, Georgia State University, Region 1
  • Cathy Urquhart, Manchester Metropolitan University, Region 2
  • Wai Fong Boh, Nanyang Technological University, Region 3

The Selection Process

A description of the selection process can be found in Council Policy. If you would like to submit a nomination for this award, please use the online nomination form.

Previous Leo Award Recipients

2017: Sirkka L. Jarvenpaa, Vallabh Sambamurthy 
2016: Richard Baskerville, James Marsden
2015: Dennis Galletta, Allen Lee, Kwok Kee Wei, and Dov Te'eni
2014: Gary Dickson, Joey George and Ting-Ping (T.P.) Liang
2013: Rudy Hirschheim and Kalle Lyytinen
2012: Bob Galliers and Detmar Straub
2011: Richard (Rick) Watson and Ron Weber
2010: Blake Ives and Carol Saunders
2009: Daniel Robey and E. Burton Swanson
2008: Dewald Roode, M. Lynne Markus, Robert W. Zmud and Kenneth L. Kraemer
2007: Izak Benbasat and Ephraim McLean
2006: Niels Bjørn-Andersen and Phillip Ein-Dor
2005: Andrew B. Whinston
2004: William R. King and Rob Kling
2003: Frank Land and John F. Rockart
2002: Jay F. Nunamaker and Paul Gray
2001: Richard O. Mason
2000: Gordon B. Davis
1999: C. West Churchman, J. Daniel Couger, Börje Langefors, Enid Mumford

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