January 2, 2020

Eminent Leadership Scholar Award

Sponsored this year by Elsevier and the University of Mississippi.

2021 Award Recipient

Dr. Leanne Atwater
C.T. Bauer Professor of Leadership and Management
University of Houston

Leanne Atwater is the C.T. Bauer Professor of Leadership and Management at the University of Houston.  She previously held positions at the U.S. Naval Academy, Binghamton University and Arizona State University West.  She held positions as department chair for 11 years and interim dean for two years.  He research primarily focuses on leadership, feedback processes and gender issues in the workplace.  She received her Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University and has published 70 refereed articles in leading journals, as well as numerous chapters, technical reports, and books. This work has been cited over 18,000 times and featured in popular radio, television and print media outlets such as the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, Psychology Today, Arizona Women, The Scientist, Nature, Forbes, CNN Business, CNBC as well as global outlets such as those in Germany, Australia, Canada, Austria, New Zealand and elsewhere.  Atwater was recognized as among the top 2% most-cited authors in popular (I-O) psychology textbooks and among the top 2% most cited in the world in her main subfield discipline (leadership and gender equity).  Atwater has received external research funding (with other team members) totaling more than $4 million including funding from the National Science Foundation.  She is a SIOP Fellow and a member of the Society of Organizational Behavior.  She serves on a number of editorial boards and was the senior editor of The Leadership Quarterly for six years.


We invite nominations for the 2022 Network of Leadership Scholars (NLS) Eminent Leadership Scholar Award, sponsored by Elsevier and the University of Mississippi. Nominations are due March 30, 2022.

Each year NLS, Elsevier, and the University of Mississippi honor a scholar with the Eminent Leadership Scholar Award. This award recognizes a senior scholar whose work best reflects the mission of NLS to advance interdisciplinary dialogue and discussion regarding the study and practice of leadership. This award includes a USD$500 honorarium.


  • The nominee must have completed his or her PhD (or finished his or her training/education) at least 20 years ago.
  • The nominee should have an outstanding body of work that has made a substantial and original contribution to the field of leadership studies  
  • The nominee should have contributed to the discipline in ways that complement his or her scholarship (e.g., editorial board service, service as an elected representative for the Academy or other professional organizations, mentoring of outstanding students in the field).
  • Eminent Leadership Scholar Award committee members and previous winners of this award are not eligible.

Application Process

  • Self-nominations are not accepted.
  • A 1 page single spaced letter describing the nominee’s career evolution providing a strong case for his/her contribution to the leadership field. This can include some of the following points:
    • Number of years since receiving the PhD (must be at least 20 years).
    • Important and novel research questions in the area of leadership addressed.
    • Integrated leadership-related career progression.
    • Leadership-related publications in top-tier journals.
    • Overall citations and other indices of research productivity.
    • Publications with students.
    • Service to the field
      (e.g., editorial board memberships, conference leadership positions).
    • Teaching accomplishments in the area of leadership.
    • Work addressing the research-practice gap.
  • The nominee’s curriculum vita.
  • Materials must be emailed to: Brett Neely – networkleadershipscholars@gmail.com

Committee Membership

The 2022 committee consists of five members: Peter Harms (Chair), Lei Huang, Dana Joseph, Michael Cole, and Phillipe Jacquart.

The NLS board, in conjunction with the Chair, invites committee members with the intent of ensuring a representative committee (in terms of seniority, interdisciplinarity, multiple nationalities, and sex). The role of the Chair is to guide the Committee through its decision and work with the incoming NLS Awards Coordinator (Brett Neely, networkleadershipscholars@gmail.com) in organizing the process.

Deadlines and Timeline

  • Materials due March 30th, 2022.
  • Award winner will be notified by June 1st, 2022.
  • Award will be conferred at the 2022 Academy of Management Annual Meeting.

Download the Call for Nominations here.

Previous Award Winners

2006Bernard M. Bass & Edwin A. Fleishman
2007Robert J. House
2008James G. (Jerry) Hunt
2009Robert G. Lord
2010Francis J. Yammarino
2011Gary Yukl
2012Boas Shamir
2013Bruce J. Avolio
2014Alice H. Eagly
2015Robert C. Liden
2016Michael D. Mumford
2017Edwin P. Hollander
2018Joanne B. Ciulla
2019Linda K. Treviño
2020David A. Waldman

This award is selected by an award committee (prior members listed below), which is independent of the NLS leadership team. Committee members are selected by the committee chair with support by the NLS liaison group. Committee members are selected with the intent of ensuring a representative committee in terms of seniority, interdisciplinarity, nationality, and sex. The award committee includes five scholars who serve for two-year, non-renewable, staggered terms. As members rotate off, the committee will comprise at least two existing members (one of whom is the chair) and at least two new members (one of whom is the incoming chair). The role of the chair is to guide the committee through its decision and work with the NLS liaison in organizing the process. The committee independently reviews the nominations and votes the candidates in rank order. The committee then discusses the top ranked candidate(s) and arrives at a decision.

We thank the following scholars who have graciously served on NLS Eminent Leadership Scholar Award committees.

  • John Antonakis
  • Michelle C. Bligh
  • Donna Chrobot-Mason
  • Joanne B. Ciulla
  • Barbara C. Crosby
  • David De Cremer
  • Olga Epitropaki
  • Berrin Erdogan
  • Dawn Eubanks
  • Jörg Felfe
  • Deanne N. den Hartog
  • Ronit Kark
  • Daan van Knippenberg
  • Robert G. Lord
  • Natalia M. Lorinkova
  • Kevin B. Lowe
  • Margaritta Mayo
  • Craig Pearce
  • Claudia Peus
  • Ronald F. Piccolo
  • Raj Pillai
  • Ronald E. Riggio
  • James Sarros
  • Birgit Schyns
  • Sim B. Sitkin
  • Barbara Wisse
  • Francis J. Yammarino
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