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!

Soon Ang

Soon Ang is a Distinguished University Professor at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. She received her PhD from the University of Minnesota. Soon Ang publishes extensively and has won multiple Best Paper and Editorial awards. Her Google Scholar citation count is over 36,000. She publishes in high-impact journals, including Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, Management Science, Organization Science, Academy of Management Journal, & Journal of Applied Psychology.

Soon, Ang served as senior editor of Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, and the Journal of the Association of Information Systems. Also, she has served as a founding associate editor of the Academy of Management Discoveries (AMD) – a top Big Tent journal within the Academy of Management. Soon Ang actively encouraged IS scientists to publish abductive discoveries in AMD. An IS paper eventually won the inaugural AMD Best Paper runner-up award.

Soon Ang is best known for her work on IS outsourcing and its spin-off to cultural intelligence (CQ). CQ has impacted research and doctoral theses in 24 academic disciplines – including decision sciences, management, social sciences, economics and finance, arts and humanities, engineering, and medicine.   

Recently, Soon Ang was profiled as one of 12 top global scientists in the Oxford University Press book “A Journey Toward Influential Scholarship: Insights from Leading Management Scholars” (edited by Xiao-Ping Chen and H. Kevin Steensma). As Ang (2022) recalls, the idea of CQ struck her towards the end of the 20th Century when she got involved with aviation, finance, and other industries on IS outsourcing to solve the “Y2K” problem. She observed that the powerful, yet invisible role of culture emerged as a grave challenge to outsourcing success. This began her quest to understand how normology creates seemingly irreconcilable conflicts. 

Soon Ang has received other research honors. She is the INFORMS ISS Distinguished Fellow; a Fellow of the Association of Information Systems Research; and holds the inaugural AIS Sandra Slaughter Service Award. Beyond IS, her honors include the Distinguished Leadership Award for International Alumni (University of Minnesota); and Distinguished Walter F Ulmer, Jr Award (Center for Creative Leadership) for excellence in global leadership research. 

Chrisanthi Avgerou

Chrisanthi Avgerou is a Professor of Information Systems at London School of Economics (LSE). She holds a PhD from LSE and an honorary doctorate from Athens University of Economics and Business.

In her research, Avgerou has sought to explain the socio-economic impact of IT in different contexts and has studied the use of IT and concomitant organizational change in several countries. From in-depth interpretive case studies, she formed a contextual perspective of IT innovation and highlighted alternative rationalities and ideologies involved in the shaping of IT innovation and its diverse impact. Publications that exemplify her argumentation and research findings include Information Systems and Global Diversity, Oxford University Press (2002); “Power, rationality, and the art of living through socio-technical change” MIS Quarterly (2007) (with K. McGrath); “Information technology and government corruption in developing countries: Evidence from Ghana customs” MIS Quarterly (2021) (with Atta Addo).

She has taught mostly postgraduate reach-led courses on IT and organizational change, conceptual foundations of information systems and digital innovation, IT and socio-economic development and IT in the management of humanitarian emergencies. She has supervised to successful completion 15 PhD students on research topics concerning IT and organizational change and IT and socio-economic development.

In 1995-97 Avgerou served at the Council of the newly formed Association for Information Systems (AIS) as representative of the region of Europe, Middle East, and North Africa. In 1999 she received the AIS Fellow Award. She was chair for the Mediterranean Conference of Information Systems (MCIS) in 2009 and co-chair for ECIS in 2014. She chaired the AIS consortium at ECIS in 1997 and in 2004 and co-chaired the ICIS PhD consortium in 2013.

Avgerou has also served as Chair of the Working Group on IT in developing countries (1996-2003) and Chair of the Technical Committee on ICT and Society (2004-2010) of the International Federation of Information Processing (IFIP) and received the IFIP Silver Core award. In 2012 she co-chaired the programme of IFIP’s World IT Forum (WITFOR) in New Delhi, India.

Yolande Chan

Dr. Yolande E. Chan joined McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management as Dean and James McGill Professor in August 2021.

Prior to joining Desautels, Dean Chan served as Associate Dean of Research, PhD and MSc Programs, and the E. Marie Shantz Chair of Digital Technology at Smith School of Business at Queen’s University. A gifted educator, Dean Chan received the Commerce Teaching Excellence Award and the Commerce Professor Student Life Award given to the professor who has contributed most to the student life of the graduating class. Dean Chan has also received the Queen’s University Distinguished Service Award, the Queen’s University Award for Excellence in Graduate Supervision, and a Smith School Researcher Achievement Award. She has previously served as Queen’s University’s Associate Vice-Principal (Research). Before joining academia, she worked with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture).

Dean Chan holds a PhD in Business Administration from Ivey Business School at Western University, an MPhil in Management Studies from Oxford University (as a Rhodes Scholar), and SM and SB degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on innovation, knowledge strategy, digital strategy, and business-IT alignment. Her work has been published in all 11 journals in the Association for Information Systems (AIS) Senior Scholars’ List of Premier Journals (Decision Support Systems, European Journal of Information Systems, Information & Management, Information and Organization, Information Systems Journal, Information Systems Research, Journal of the AIS, Journal of Information Technology, Journal of MIS, Journal of Strategic Information Systems, and MIS Quarterly).

Dean Chan is a Fellow and Distinguished Cum Laude member of the Association for Information Systems. She is entered in the Canadian Who’s Who, the Who’s Who of Canadian Women, and the Who’s Who in Canadian Business Directories.

F. Warren McFarlan

Professor McFarlan earned his AB from Harvard University in 1959 and MBA and DBA from the Harvard Business School in 1961 and 1965 respectively. In January 1962, he was hired by Professor John Dearden as the Research Assistant for Harvard Business School‘s first course on Management Information Systems. This work involved preparing field-based case materials and technical notes. This work appeared in 1966 in “Management Information Systems: Text and Cases” published by Richard D. Irwin and co-authored by Dearden and McFarlan. He joined the HBS faculty in 1964 where he is currently Albert H. Gordon Professor Emeritus, having retired from teaching in 2018. Professor McFarlan wrote or supervised over 300 cases as he played a significant role in introducing materials on Management Information Systems to all major programs at Harvard Business School. His publications focused on contingency management approaches to MIS, MIS as a strategic competitive weapon, and MIS governance issues among other topics. In addition to numerous Harvard Business Review and Sloan Management articles, his work appeared in eighteen mostly co-authored books, including “Corporate Information Systems Management: Text and Cases” published by McGraw Hill, which went through eight editions over a period of two decades.

In 1984, he organized a symposium held at Harvard Business School of invited papers which became the materials for “The Information Systems Research Challenge” edited by McFarlan ~ the first publication of the newly-formed HBS Press. McFarlan also served as the third Editor-in-Chief of the Management Information Systems Quarterly from 1984-1986 where he worked to make its contents more accessible to practitioners while maintaining and growing its academic quality. Throughout his career, Professor McFarlan particularly focused on teaching managers. They ranged from General Managers/ CEOs to Information Systems Managers.

A particular focus in the later part of his career was Information Technology (IT) applications in China. From 2008-2013, he served as Guest Professor and Co-Director of Case Development at the School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, where over one hundred pieces of material on Chinese organizations were prepared in both English and Chinese. He also held a variety of Senior Associate Dean positions at Harvard Business School, including at various times, responsibility for Research, Development, Executive Education, and the Required MBA curriculum. He also served on a number of corporate and non-profit boards.

Suzanne Rivard

Suzanne Rivard is a Professor of Information Technology at HEC Montreal and is the HEC Montreal Endowed Chair in Strategic Management of Information Technology. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Fellow of the Association for Information Systems. She received her Ph.D. from the Ivey School of Business, the University of Western Ontario. She holds an honorary doctorate from Aix-Marseille Université.

Rivard’s research has focused on software development, software project risk management, resistance to information systems implementation, and outsourcing of information systems services. Her work has been published in such journals as Communications of the ACM, DataBase, Information and Management, Journal of Information Technology, Journal of Management Information Systems, Journal of Strategic Information Systems, MIS Quarterly, Organization Science, and others.

She has been an active adviser to graduate students, having chaired 15 doctoral dissertations and supervised over 50 Masters’s theses. She received several research excellence awards, among which the 2012 Best Article Award from the Journal of Strategic Information Systems (co-authored with B. Aubert, J.F. Houde, and M. Patry) and the 2005 MIS Quarterly Paper of the Year Award for an article co-authored with L. Lapointe.

Rivard is currently a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Management Information Systems (JMIS) and a member of the Senior Advisory Board of Information and Organization. She has held numerous editorial positions: Senior Editor for the Journal of Strategic Information Systems (JSIS), Senior Editor for the MIS Quarterly Theory and Review Department, Senior Editor for the Journal of the Association for Information Systems, Associate Editor for Information Systems Research, and Associate Editor for the MIS Quarterly.

For the past three decades, Rivard has been a regular contributor to the AIS. She was a representative of region 1, ICIS doctoral consortium co-chair, chair of the AIS early career award committee, member of the AIS nominating committee, program co-chair for ICIS 2007 in Montreal, and multiple times track co-chair, associate editor, doctoral consortium advisor, and junior faculty consortium advisor for ICIS and AMCIS.

Rajiv Sabherwal

Rajiv Sabherwal is Distinguished Professor, Edwin & Karlee Bradberry Chair, and Department Chair (information systems) in the Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas. He has been department chair since July 2011, during which period the department has received gifts for over $200 million and launched a Blockchain Center of Excellence. Earlier, Rajiv was on the faculty of University of Missouri (St. Louis), Florida State University, and Florida International University, Fulbright-Research Chair at Queen’s University, and Visiting Professor at National University of Singapore. Rajiv has a Ph.D. in business from University of Pittsburgh, an MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, and a Bachelor of Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Bhopal.

Sabherwal investigates the processes for managing knowledge and information technologies and their impacts of on individuals and organizations. He has published in MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, Management Science, Organization Science, and other prestigious journals, and authored textbooks on business intelligence and knowledge management. He was named University of Arkansas Distinguished Research Professor (2019) and University of Missouri System Curators Professor (2003) for his research.

Sabherwal has served as the Editor-in-Chief for IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management; senior/department editor for MIS Quarterly, Journal of AIS, and Decision Sciences; and guest editor for Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly Executive, and Journal of Information Technology. He was conference co-chair for ICIS 2010 and Annual Conference on Information Systems and Technology 2002; program co-chair for AMCIS 2006; and doctoral consortium co-chair for AMCIS 2005. He serves on the selection committee for the AIS Senior Scholars Best Papers Awards.

Sabherwal is an enthusiastic mentor for doctoral students and junior faculty. He has chaired doctoral dissertation for 13 students, of whom one has received the AIS Doctoral Dissertation Award (2020) and two have received the AIS Early Career Award (2020, 2021). He has served on 18 other doctoral dissertation committees.

Sabherwal was selected as a Fellow of AIS in 2008 for outstanding contributions in research, teaching and service to the information systems discipline, and a Fellow of IEEE in 2018 for contributions to research on management of knowledge and information technologies.

Geoff Walsham

Geoff Walsham is an Emeritus Professor of Management Studies (Information Systems) at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.

In addition to Cambridge, he has held academic posts at the University of Lancaster in the UK, the University of Nairobi in Kenya, and Mindanao State University in the Philippines.

His research is focused on the question: are we making a better world with information and communication technologies (ICTs). He was one of the early pioneers of interpretive approaches to research on information systems, and his book Interpreting Information Systems in Organizations (Wiley 1993) is widely cited as a key text in this domain.

In addition to his mainstream work on interpretivism, he has focussed extensively on the relationship between information and communication technologies and social development, particularly in developing countries.

He has conducted in-depth field research in a wide range of countries in Africa and Asia, including India, Malaysia and South Africa. A recent example of his work in this area is Digital Development: Stories of Hope from Health and Social Development (Practical Action 2022) written with three co-authors.

Walsham remains broadly optimistic about the potential for ICTs to make a better world, but he believes it is crucial to continue in-depth investigations in this rapidly changing field.

Joe Valacich

Joe Valacich is the Munsinger Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Professor of Management Information Systems, and Associate Professor of Systems and Industrial Engineering, the University of Arizona. He is also the Board Chairman, Co-founder, and Chief Science Officer (CSO), Neuro-ID, Inc.

His research focus is on human-computer interaction (HCI), cybersecurity, and e-business, with more than 110 academic journal publications. Google Scholar lists his citation counts at more than 30,000, with an h-index of 79. He has multiple issued and pending patents focused on analyzing fine-grained HCI data to infer user intent, confidence, bias, and emotional state.

In 2014, he co-founded Neuro-ID, a company that delivers real-time behavioral analytic solutions that combat online fraud, increase conversion rates, and improve customer experiences. Neuro-ID has obtained nearly US$50M in investment, from both individual and institutional investors, and helps ensure seamless digital customer experiences across a variety of industries and works with leading brands including TransUnion, FICO, VISA, Intuit, Plaid, Square, Affirm, Alloy among many others.

In addition to his scholarship and entrepreneurial activities, Valacich has also chaired and served on multiple AIS / ACM model curriculum and accreditation (ABET) boards and task forces for both undergraduate and graduate computing programs. He was conference Co-Chair for both the 2003 ICIS and 2012 AMCIS conferences, as well as the Honorary Chair for ICIS 2021.

He has played key leadership roles in the creation of online education programs at both Washington State University and the University of Arizona. Valacich is a Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors (2020), a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Montana (2012), an Outstanding Alumnus of the College of Business Administration at the University of Montana (2009), and a Fellow of the Association for Information Systems (2009). In 2021, he was awarded the Association for Information Systems (AIS) Impact Award, to recognize the influence of his research beyond academia.

In 2020, Tech Launch Arizona (TLA), the University of Arizona technology transfer and commercialization group, named Neuro-ID the I-Squared (Innovation and Impact) Startup of the Year (out of more than 100 startups in their ecosystem). In 2016, TLA named Dr. Valacich the I-Squared Inventor of the Year for Information Technology.

Alan Dennis

Alan R. Dennis is Professor of Information Systems and holds the John T. Chambers Chair of Internet Systems in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. He was named a Fellow of the Association for Information Systems in 2012. He has written more than 150 research papers, most of which have been co-authored with doctoral students. He has chaired 16 dissertations.

Alan’s research focuses on four main themes: team collaboration; fake news on social media; cybersecurity; and artificial intelligence. He has won numerous awards for his theoretical and applied research. He is ranked as the third most published Information Systems researcher over the last 30 years and a 2021 citation analysis placed him in the top 1% of the most influential researchers in the world, across all scientific disciplines. His research has been reported in the popular press almost 1000 times, including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, The Atlantic, CBS, Fox Business Network, PBS, Canada’s CBC and CTV, and the UK’s Telegraph and Daily Mail.

Alan has written four books, two on data communications and networking, and two on systems analysis and design. He received the AIS Award for Outstanding Contribution to IS Education in 2013, and the Distinguished IS Educator Award from Association of Information Technology Professionals in 2012.

Alan served as President of the Association for Information Systems during the COVID pandemic, and as Vice President for Conferences 2015-2018. He was the Founding Publisher of MIS Quarterly Executive 2000-2015.

Alan is of Scottish descent and is the 20th Baron of Cowie. His son Alec is pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of Maryland, and they have co-authored two articles together.

Alok Gupta

Alok Gupta serves as Senior Associate Dean of Faculty, Research and Administration at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota. He holds Curtis L. Carlson Schoolwide Chair in Information Management. In this administrative role, he is responsible for school’s $120 MM budget, faculty hiring, review and evaluations, research infrastructure, IT infrastructure, facility and classroom management, and academic programs management and scheduling.

He is also serving in his second term as Editor-in-Chief for Information Systems Research. From 2006 to 2014, he served as the Department Chair of Information and Decision Sciences department at Carlson School. He started his academic career in 1996 as a visiting Assistant Professor at Dept. of OPIM, University of Connecticut. He received his Ph.D. in Management Science and Information from the University of Texas, Austin in 1996. He has published over 80 journal articles in various information systems, economics, and computer science journals. More than 50 of his articles are published in premier journals such as Management Science, ISR, MIS Quarterly, INFORMS Journal on Computing, Transportation Science, Production and Operations Management, etc.

He was awarded a prestigious NSF CAREER Award for his research on dynamic pricing mechanisms on the internet. From 1999-2001, he served as co-director of Treibick Electronic Commerce Initiative (TECI), an endowed research initiative at Dept. of OPIM, University of Connecticut. He served as an Associate Editor for Management Science and served as Senior Editor for ISR for 9 years until 2014. He has been serving as Publisher of MIS Quarterly since 2004. His service contributions to the field were recognized with INFORMS ISS President’s Service award in 2021. He has been an engaged scholar working closely with external stakeholders for both his research and for creating experiential learning environments for students. His research has been recognized for its impact and significance on practice through INFORMS Design Science Award twice, AIS Impact Award in 2020, and INFORMS ISS Practical Impacts Award in 2021. He was chosen as a INFORMS ISS Distinguished Fellow in 2014 and as an AIS Fellow in 2016.

Dorothy E. Leidner

Dorothy E. Leidner is the Ferguson Professor of Information Systems at Baylor University. She holds a BA, MBA, and PhD from the University of Texas at Austin.  In 2019, she was named a Distinguished Alumna of Highland Park High School in Dallas, Texas.  Dorothy holds an honorary doctorate from Lund University.  

Prior to her current appointment, Dorothy served as associate professor at INSEAD (Fontainebleau, France) and TCU (Ft Worth, TX).  She has held visiting appointments at the University of Mannheim (Germany), ETH-Zurich (Switzerland), SMU (Dallas, TX), ITSEM (Mexico), Lund University (Sweden), the University of Caen (France) and the University of Augsburg (Germany).   She is currently a Professional Research Fellow at Deakin University (Australia) and is a Fellow of the Association for Information Systems.    

In 2008, Dorothy founded a PhD program in Information Systems at Baylor University, the first PhD program offered by the Hankamer School of Business.  She has supervised many doctoral students and served on numerous committees.   

In the past 30 years, Dorothy’s research has focused on the impact of new information technologies on individuals, teams, organizations, and society.  Her work has been recognized with 11 best paper awards and over 44,000 citations (scholar google).  Her research covers an array of methods, with roughly equal attention to theory papers, empirical papers, and practitioner-oriented papers. 

Dorothy is currently the editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Association for Information Systems.  She has held numerous other important editorial roles: Editor-in-Chief of MIS Quarterly Executive (5 years), co-Editor-in-Chief of The Data Base for Advances in IS (5 years), senior editor for MIS Quarterly (6 years), senior editor for Information Systems Research (4 years), senior editor for the Journal of the Association for Information Systems (5 years), and senior editor for the Journal of Strategic Information Systems (3 years), as well as associate editor for MIS Quarterly (3 years) and Decision Sciences Journal (3 years).  

Dorothy is track co-chair for the Organizational Systems and Technology track of HICSS.  She has held other notable conference roles, including co-chair for ICIS 2015 in Ft Worth, program co-chair for ECIS 2018, and program co-chair for AMCIS 2010.     


Cynthia Beath

Before embarking on her academic career, Cynthia worked in private industry in several information systems development and consulting positions. 

Currently she is conducting research on how organizations design themselves for the digital era and how they get value from artificial intelligence, in conjunction with colleagues at the Center for Information Systems Research (CISR) at MIT’s Sloan School. In 2019, she published Designed for Digital: How to Architect Your Business for Sustained Success, with Jeanne Ross and Martin Mocker. 

Recently she has been working to improve the diversity of the editorial boards of the field’s top journals and to find ways to mitigate the effects of Covid-19 lockdown on researchers with mushrooming householder responsibilities. 

Her research has been published in leading information systems research journals, and she has served as senior editor for Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly and MISQ Executive. An active advocate for her professional community, she organized the Women’s Breakfast at ICIS several times, created the field’s first junior faculty consortium, and helped found MISQ Executive. 

She has served two terms on the AIS Council, as VP of Publications and as VP of Conferences. She is a founding member of the AIS Women’s Network and serves on its advisory board. She is an AIS Fellow.

Varun Grover

Varun Grover is the Glass Endowed Chair and Distinguished Professor at the Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas.  Prior to this he was the Lee (Duke Energy) Distinguished Professor of IS at Clemson University.   He has also been affiliated through courses, workshops, panels, and talks with universities in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, India, Denmark, China, and Australia and has given many keynote addresses at various forums around the world.

Grover’s research over the past 31 years has largely examined how information systems foster value by impacting individuals, transforming processes, and changing competitive dynamics. His current work focuses on the tenets of digitalization and its profound effect on individuals, organizations, and society. He has over 250 publications in major refereed journals, with over 60 in MISQ, ISR, JMIS and JAIS. At least ten articles have ranked him among the top four researchers globally based on publications in top IS journals, as well as citation impact. Varun has an h-index of 93 and around 41,000 citations in Google Scholar (as of 2020). Thompson Reuters recognized him as one of 100 Highly Cited Scholars globally in all Business disciplines.

Grover has held major editorial positions in all the top IS journals, including Senior Editor for MIS Quarterly (2-terms) and the Journal of the AIS (2-terms).  He currently serves as Senior Editor for MISQ Executive, Editor of JAIS Section on Path Breaking Research.  He has edited 6 special issues of MISQ, JMIS, MISQE and Database, and 3 books on IT and process change.  He has also been involved in numerous AIS leadership positions including ICIS and AMCIS roles like Conference Co-Chair (proposed), Program Co-Chair, Track Chair, Doctoral Consortium Chair, Junior Faculty Camp Co-Chair, as well as organizer of numerous workshops.  Grover has had the privilege of being extensively engaged with PhD students through building doctoral programs at USC and Clemson, chairing/co-chairing over 45 dissertations, participating in numerous doctoral consortia as keynote speaker or faculty mentor and co-chairing the doctoral consortium multiple times. He has written over 20 advice columns promoting PhD student success. In 2011, he was recognized for lifelong service to AIS.  

Grover’s research, teaching and service have resulted in numerous awards, including the top University-wide awards from USC, Clemson, University of Arkansas, and best paper awards from AIS, Academy of Management, DSI, the OR Society, Anbar, PriceWaterhouse.  In 2010, he was designated as a Fellow of AIS.  

Elena Karahanna

Elena Karahanna is Distinguished Research Professor and the C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry Distinguished Chair in Business Administration in the MIS Department, Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia. She was named a Fellow of the Association for Information Systems for outstanding contributions in research, teaching and service to the Information Systems discipline. She received the AIS Sandra Slaughter Service Award for her service contributions to the profession and was named a University of Georgia Distinguished Research Professor for her research achievements. 

Karahanna’s research for over 25 years has focused on the impact of information systems on how individuals work, interact, communicate, coordinate, and decide. She has published in leading scholarly journals, including Information Systems Research, Management Science, MIS Quarterly, Academy of Management Review, and Organization Science and is highly cited with over 30,000 citations as per Google Scholar. 

Karahanna has served as senior editor at the MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, and the Journal of the Association for Information Systems (a cumulative total of 11 years as senior editor across the three journals), and serves or has served as associate editor at Information Systems Research, Management Science, MIS Quarterly, and Journal of the Association for Information Systems, among others. 

Over the years, she has served in many conference leadership roles, including twice as Program Co-chair for the International Conference on Information Systems, as Doctoral Consortium Co-chair for the Americas Conference on Information Systems, twice as Conference Co-chair for the Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems, as keynote speaker for conferences, and as mentor and keynote speaker for doctoral/junior faculty/mid-career faculty consortia, among others. Additionally, she co-founded the Senior Scholars Consortium, the Doctoral Student Corner, and SIGLead. 

Karahanna has received several teaching excellence awards and has been an active mentor to doctoral students, chairing 15 dissertations and serving as committee member on another 28.

Prior to joining the University of Georgia, she served on the faculty of the University of Cyprus and Florida State University. She has also held visiting appointments at universities in Australia, Italy, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Jae Kyu Lee

Jae Kyu Lee, Ph.D. is the Distinguished Professor of School of Management at Xi’an Jiaotong University and Professor Emeritus of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). His research mainly focused on the creation of Bright Internet for preventive cybersecurity, improving relevance of research from Axiomatic Theories, and development of AI for electronic commerce and managerial decision support.

He has been professor and HHI Chair Professor at KAIST from 1985 to 2016 since he received his Ph.D. in Information and Operations Management from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He served as the Dean of College of Business and supervised around 30 doctoral students, who are now professors in major universities in South Korea.

He is a fellow and was the President (2015-6) of the Association for Information Systems, and co-chaired the International Conference on Information Systems in 2017. He was the founder of Principles for the Bright Internet and established the Bright Internet Research Center at KAIST and Xi’an Jiaotong University. He also established the Bright Internet Global Summit since ICIS 2017 in Seoul, and organized the Bright Internet Project Consortium in 2019 as a combined effort of academia-industry partnership (

He was a charter member of the Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems (PACIS), and served as conference chair. He was the founding editor-in-chief of the journal, Electronic Commerce Research and Applications (Elsevier), and was the founding chair of the International Conference on Electronic Commerce. In Korea, he served as president of academic societies – Korea Society of Management Information Systems (KSMIS) and Korea Society of Intelligent Information Systems. 

He received best paper awards ten times from major conferences, and received a national decoration from the Korean government for his contributions to the development of the IT industry. He published many papers in journals such as MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, Journal of the Association for Information Systems, Management Science, Decision Support Systems, Communications of ACM, Expert System with Applications, and many others. He presented many keynote speeches and proceeding papers at major international conferences such as ICIS, PACIS, and ICEC.  

  • 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. 

LEO Award Committee

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

  • Patrick Chau, AIS Past -Past President (term ends August 31, 2024)
  • Suprateek Sarker, University of Virginia, (term ends August 31, 2024)
  • Nancy Pouloudi, Athens University of Economics & Business, (term ends August 31, 2024 )
  • Suzanne Rivard, HEC Montreal
  • Matti Rossi, Aalto University School of Business
  • Atreyi Kanknahalli, National University of Singapore

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

2018: David AvisonJane Fedorowicz
2017: Sirkka L. Jarvenpaa,  Vallabh Sambamurthy 
2016: Richard BaskervilleJames Marsden
2015: Dennis GallettaAllen 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 RoodeM. Lynne MarkusRobert 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 ChurchmanJ. Daniel CougerBörje LangeforsEnid Mumford