Announcing the call for nominations for the 2020 GEO Individual Excellence Awards

Blog / June 15, 2020

We are looking for the brightest stars in the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) constellation for the 2020 GEO Individual Excellence Awards.

Launched last year by the GEO Programme Board, this annual award is presented to individuals in the GEO community who have demonstrated exceptional personal commitment to the GEO mission and vision. We are searching for remarkable individuals whose work is making an impact to improve our planet through Earth observations (EO).

Some examples of outstanding accomplishments could include: being instrumental in generating energy within a community that has led to significant progress or achievements; using creative and innovative approaches to achieve collaboration; overcoming administrative, political, institutional or structural barriers to advance the goals of a community; engaging or mentoring youth; advancing a diverse and inclusive GEO.

GEO is calling on the community to put forth nominations and to help us shine a light on the individuals that inspire you. The deadline to submit nominations is August 31, 2020.

Last year, the inaugural GEO Individual Excellence Awards were presented during the GEO Week 2019 Gala Dinner in Canberra, Australia to three outstanding individuals from across the global GEO community. Learn more about the past winners and their achievements here.

Selection Criteria:

The accomplishments for the recognition must have occurred in the period since 2015. Up to three Individual Excellence Awards will be awarded in 2020.

The Award Committee will use the following criteria to select finalists:

  1. Accomplishment demonstrated by a concrete and measurable impact in the past five (5) years, such as: a new sustained community organized; social and economic benefits to citizens and countries; impact on policies through EO-related discussions; specific EO language taken up and sustained in new fora; efforts that have resulted in increased involvement in EO-related initiatives with specific attention to diverse representation including youth,  gender and geographic inclusion; progress by a community/Flagship/Initiative to develop new products, procedures or policy relevant research.
  2. Innovation in style or approach to tackling challenges.
  3. Nominee’s efforts are consistent with GEO’s core values and principles.
  4. Regional and gender balance among awardees will be considered.

Nomination guidelines:

  • Nominations will be made using a nomination form accessed here.
  • The main element of the nomination is a maximum 2-page write-up detailing why the candidate deserves this recognition, the importance of the nominee’s effort described in terms of impact observed, and a brief CV of the nominated person. The nomination should address as many selection criteria as possible, as substantively as possible.
  • The primary sponsor of the nomination will secure support from at least two additional co-sponsors. These sponsors may be contacted by the Awards Committee during the review process to seek clarification and other necessary auxiliary information related to the nomination.
  • Nominations for GEO awards are not automatically renewed for the subsequent year. Nominees who do not get selected can be re-nominated in the next year.
  • To increase diversity in the group of GEO awardees, we encourage sponsors to consider gender, geographical and generational representation when nominating candidates for the Individual Excellence Awards.
  • Nominations must be submitted electronically to awards@geosec.org and must include two documents: 1. Completed Nomination Form and 2. Full CV of the nominee.

Who can nominate?

Anyone in the GEO community can nominate individuals for the awards.

Who cannot nominate?

To avoid conflict of interest, members of the Award Committee cannot submit nominations or act as co-sponsors.

Who can be nominated?

Individuals involved in the GEO Work Programme activity currently, or past contributors who do not have any other conflict of interest may be nominated.

Who cannot be nominated?

  • Awards Committee
  • GEO Secretariat
  • GEO Executive Committee members
  • Programme Board members

Frequency of awards

People can only win an award in a given category once every 3 years.


  • Call for nominations will be published on GEO website on June 15, 2020
  • Nominations Submission Deadline – August 31, 2020
  • Finalists selected and notified – October 2020
  • Award Ceremony – (TBD depending on COVID-19 restrictions it may be held virtually)

Nature of the award:

  • Recognition during annual GEO Week
  • Certificate of Recognition
  • Featured Profile on GEO website and social media channels



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