Emerging Leader Award

Purpose and Criteria for Selection:

Created in 2011, this award celebrates and encourages early-career archivists who have completed archival work of broad merit, demonstrated significant promise of leadership, and/or performed commendable service to the archives profession. 

Nominees will have more than two years and less than ten years of professional archives experience. Nominees must be SAA members and must meet as many of the following criteria as possible:

  • Work of merit that has made a substantive contribution to an area (or areas) of the archives profession beyond the nominee’s local institution and that holds promise for future contributions.
  • Demonstrated leadership through collaborative work or exemplary service to local, regional, and/or national archival and cultural associations.
  • Formal archival education through a graduate degree program in history, library science, information science, or a related field; through participation in an archival or preservation institute; and/or through certification by the Academy of Certified Archivists.
  • Involvement in successful outreach and advocacy efforts on behalf of the nominee’s institution and the archives profession.


An individual archivist who has completed between two and ten years of experience. The award is given based on the total experience of the awardee, including knowledge, leadership, participation, and/or achievements in the profession.

Nomination Requirements:

In addition to a completed nomination form, each nomination must include the nominee's résumé and three letters of support from colleagues who are familiar with the nominee’s work and professional activities. 

Sponsor and Funding:

The Society of American Archivists Foundation.


A certificate. 

First Awarded:


Selection Committee:

The Emerging Leader Award Subcommittee of the SAA Awards Committee consists of three members of the Society of American Archivists and one of the co-chairs of the SAA Awards Committee (ex officio). One member of the subcommittee shall be appointed each year by the SAA President-elect to serve a three-year term. The senior member of the subcommittee in years of service shall serve as its chair and shall present the award during the Awards Ceremony at the SAA Annual Meeting.

Submission Deadline and Nomination Form:

All nominations shall be submitted to SAA by February 28 of each year.  CLICK HERE to download the nomination form.


 Emerging Leader Award Recipients:

2012: Mark Matienzo

2013: Tanya Marshall

2014: Beth Shields, Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives

2015: Cheryl Oestreicher, Boise State University

2016: Matt Gorzalski, Southern Illinois University Carbondale 

2017: Natalie Baur, El Colegio de México