Leadership Award

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

The WMA Leadership Award recognizes and acknowledges outstanding lifetime achievement in museums and/or a museum-related field. The Award is presented at the WMA Annual Meeting to a museum professional with more than 20 years in the field whose career has had a sustained, considerable, and lasting impact on museum practices and/or the museum profession in the Western Region. The awardee will address the attendees during a General Session and will be featured in the Annual Meeting program and on the WMA website. (Prior to 2018, this award was known as the Director’s Chair Award.)


Please stay tuned for details about WMA 2023 applications


Eligibility Requirements

Any museum professional affiliated with a museum, library, historical society, or other cultural organization is eligible to apply. Applicants do not need to be a current WMA member. Additionally, past Leadership Award applicants are welcome to apply, but previous awardees are not eligible. Applicants must meet the following criteria.

  1. Nominee should have more than 20 years of experience in the museum field
  2. Nominee should be a currently active museum or museum-related professional
  3. Nominee is available to attend the Annual Meeting to receive the award


How to Apply

  1. Review the eligibility requirements
  2. Download and fill out the Application Form (link coming soon)
  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 no longer being accepted for WMA 2022. Please check back soon for details about WMA 2023.


Selection Criteria

The selection of the Leadership Award recipient is based on the following criteria:
  1. Demonstrates significant contributions to museums or museum-related profession at a local and/or national level
  2. Promotes the importance and value of museums to their community or the public through their work on behalf of the museum field or through museum-related work
  3. Advocates on behalf of WMA through past attendance at Annual Meeting(s), volunteer service with WMA, or other WMA-related activities

NOTE: Nominations can be submitted by a museum professional at any level or by a trustee if the nominee is an executive director. Individuals cannot self-nominate.


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

Please stay tuned for details about WMA 2023 applications

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

or call WMA at (707) 433-4701