Announcing the GEO 2020 Individual Excellence Awards

Blog / November 4, 2020

The GEO Secretariat is pleased to announce the winners of the annual GEO Excellence Awards launched in 2019 by the GEO Programme Board and presented to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional personal commitment to the GEO mission and vision. The 2020 winners are: Nancy Searby, Chu Ishida and Toshio Koike.

You can learn more about the selection and nomination criteria here. The following statements regarding the award winners are taken from the nominations received:

Nancy Searby

Dr. Searby truly embodies GEO’s core values and principles and has demonstrated extraordinary leadership to advance the GEO mission and community. Dr. Searby has worked tirelessly to raise awareness about GEO’s work, underscoring the importance of strengthening GEO and forging productive partnerships to amplify its reach  and impact. In particular, she has continually made professional and personal contributions to advance GEO’s capacity development objectives. She blends the skills of connection building, diplomacy, leadership and achievement combined with a deep sense of caring and humility to the benefit of GEO. Her commitment and dedication are exemplary, and she is highly deserving of recognition throughout the GEO community.


Chu Ishida

Mr. Ishida has fulfilled the role of co-lead of GEO's initiative EO4SDG as representative of Japan. He has substantially advanced the EO4SDG activities since its foundation. Of particular note is his achievement of connecting the Earth observation community with the national statistics community. His deep knowledge and passion for Earth observation and belief in the potential power of Earth observation to underpin sound decision making, sustained for more than 30 years, is apparent in the trust afforded to him by his GEO  colleagues.


Toisho Koike

Professor Emeritus Dr. Toshio Koike has contributed considerably to establish and expand GEO since its establishment. He has made significant contributions in the last five years. This has been  to further develop coordinated and cooperative platforms of Earth observations and user communities. Done through integrating water-related observation data from satellite and in-situ for water resource management, disaster risk reduction, food security, and public health. He also helped convene regional communities in Asia and Oceania by establishing AOGEO. Having led all these activities based on co-design and co-production, his sustainable approach and inclusive leadership have embodied the GEO vision and mission.


Gilberto Camara, GEO Secretariat Director states:

“We are delighted and honoured to award such high-profile members of the GEO community for their longstanding efforts and commitment to Earth observations to sustain our planet. These award winners are truly role models for anyone working in the global EO community.”



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