DEI Leadership Award

About the Award

The DEI Leadership Award acknowledges and celebrates exemplary leadership in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the community with clear positive impacts in areas as a result of these efforts. This award is our highest recognition for achievement related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).

Awards will be made at the discretion of the Recognition Committee which may choose to grant one award, no award, or multiple awards in any one year. In general, EDUCAUSE awards are not intended to be given posthumously.

Individuals and teams are eligible for this award. The relative ability of individuals vs. teams to contribute and make an impact will be taken into account during judging.

Nomination Requirements

Anyone may submit a nomination for the DEI Leadership Award with the candidate's permission. Self-nominations are accepted. Nominations must clearly document why the candidate or team should be considered, above all others, for this distinguished award. 

Nominations must contain sufficient information to inform the selection process without additional research. Complete nominations must include the nominee's (or team members’) curriculum vitae or resume(s). While a CV or resume provides the committee with a more comprehensive overview of the nominee's (or team members’) accomplishments and experiences, it is not a substitute for any of the required information listed below. After reviewing the initial nomination submissions, the committee may request reference letters to assist in the evaluation of the nominees under consideration.

Each nominee or team will be judged against the following required criteria:

  • Leadership of DEI-related initiatives in the institution or institutions where they have been or are employed

  • Leadership of DEI-related initiatives in EDUCAUSE

  • Leadership of DEI-related initiatives in the profession

In addition, the committee will also look for evidence of tangible results in areas such as those called out in the EDUCAUSE CIO DEI Commitment:

  • Raising awareness about challenges and opportunities related to DEI in the technology field, and working to raise awareness departmentally and institutionally

  • Working to increase opportunities for women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, and individuals with disabilities to be information technology professionals and leaders

  • Working with EDUCAUSE and other professional organizations to encourage efforts to make transparent and publish technology workforce demographic data

  • Raising awareness of institutional and/or regional demographic trends and work toward creating an institutional and/or regional technology workforce that keeps up with demographic trends

  • Partnering with institutional colleagues to create and advance programs that aim to expand opportunities and eliminate barriers for students from underrepresented populations who are interested in computer science, data sciences, and other technology-related fields, in undergraduate education and post-graduation programs

  • Advocating for DEI practices, helping to develop appropriate DEI practices, resources, and tools, and mentoring colleagues seeking to contribute to DEI efforts

Guidelines and Eligibility

  • An EDUCAUSE award is intended to be a rare recognition. No individual awards (vs. team awards) will be given more than once to the same individual. Preference for the Leadership Award and the Community Leadership Award will be given to candidates who have not received either of these awards previously. Preference for awards in general is given to those who have not recently received an EDUCAUSE award.

  • Candidates must be or have been contributing members of our professional community, directly associated with managing information technology and resources in higher education, and individuals who have made significant and demonstrable contributions to the field. 

  • Candidates may not be currently serving on the EDUCAUSE Board, staff, or Recognition Committee.

  • Anyone within or outside of higher education may submit nominations for the award.

  • Individuals or teams are eligible for this award.

  • If an individual selected to receive an award will not be employed at an EDUCAUSE member institution at the time of the annual conference, the committee will re-evaluate and has the option to select another candidate.

Unsure if the candidate you would like to nominate qualifies? Please reach out to us at [email protected] and we will be happy to answer questions about the nominations process, guidelines, or eligibility.


Individual award recipients are recognized at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference and receive complimentary registration, travel, and housing for the conference. Recipients are also given a session at the annual conference and a $3,000 honorarium toward another EDUCAUSE event or the option of donating the amount to the EDUCAUSE scholarship fund. Highlights of their accomplishments are also added to the award gallery on the EDUCAUSE website.

For teams of two or more who receive the award, EDUCAUSE staff will determine an awards package to be provided to the designee of the team for registration, travel, and/or honoraria. Team recipients will be given an annual conference session to be done by the team or a selected subset of the team. EDUCAUSE has the option of providing additional support on a case-by-case basis.

Recipients will also earn an EDUCAUSE microcredential as a way to digitally document and display their achievement.


See previous DEI Leadership Award recipients.