Leadership Award

2022 Leadership Award Recipient Dr. John H. Falk (center)

WMA Leadership Award

The WMA Leadership Award recognizes and acknowledges exceptional individuals who have made a significant impact in their institution or community in the last ten (10) years. This award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to serving diverse communities, promoting social justice, and/or challenging institutional structures. The Leadership Awardee will be honored at the WMA Annual Meeting and will address attendees during the Opening General Session at the Annual Meeting.

WMA 2023 Leadership Award Applications are now closed

The application deadline was Friday, July 14, 2023


Eligibility Requirements

Any individual affiliated with a museum, library, historical society, or other cultural organization is eligible to apply, regardless of their profession. Nominations may be submitted by any museum professional, museum peer, or community member, or may be self-nominated. Applicants do not need to be a current WMA member. Past Leadership Award nominees are welcome to apply, however, previous Leadership awardees are not eligible. While current WMA board members are not eligible, prior board members are.

All nominees must meet the following criteria:

  1. Have more than ten (10) years of experience in the museum field or a museum-related field and be a currently active professional
  2. Demonstrates significant contributions to museums or museum-related fields, with a focus on serving and empowering underrepresented communities
  3. Promotes the value and importance of museums within their communities through their work and leadership in the museum field, or through related initiatives
  4. Must be available to attend the Annual Meeting in Pasadena, California on October 5-8 to receive the award

** Nominations can be submitted by a museum professional at any level.

** Individuals can self-nominate.


How to Apply

  1. Review the eligibility requirements
  2. Download and fill out the application form
  3. Submit the appliaction to proposals@westmuse.org

Applicants will receive a confirmation upon receipt of the application, and will be notified of the final award results.

Applications are now closed. The deadline was Friday, July 14, 2023.


Previous Leadership Award Recipients

The following is a list of WMA's past Leadership Award Recipients, from the inaugural award given in 1991.

2022: John H. Falk
2019: Janet Gallimore
2018: Marjorie Schwarzer
2017: Robert R. Janes
2016: Robert Breunig
2015: Julie K. Stein
2014: James Tharp
2013: Sarah George
2012: Katherine Hough
2011: Not awarded
2010: Bruce Eldredge
2009: Wanda Chin/Terry Dickey
2008: Sarah Kennington
2007: Steve Olsen
2006: Ellen Ferguson
2005: Nora Wagner
2004: Ron Chew
2003: Steven High
2002: Alyce Sadongei
2001: Ted Greenberg
2000: Michael Ames
1999: L. Thomas Frye
1998: Michael Hammond
1997: Gail Anderson
1996: Don Hague
1995: Ruth Tamura
1994: Barnes Riznik
1992: Bonnie Pitman
1991: Michael J. Fox

WMA 2023 Leadership Award Applications are now closed.

The application deadline was Friday, July 14, 2023


If you have questions, please email wma@westmuse.org

or call WMA at (707) 433-4701