Announcing the call for nominations for the GEO Individual Excellence Awards 2021

Blog / August 24, 2021

We are looking for the brightest stars in the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) constellation for the 2021 GEO Individual Excellence Awards.

Launched in 2019 by the GEO Programme Board, this award is presented annually to individuals in the GEO community who have demonstrated remarkable personal commitment to the GEO mission and vision. With this award, we want to celebrate those individuals whose work is making a positive impact in improving our planet through Earth observations (EO).

Examples of accomplishments we are looking for include: being instrumental in generating momentum 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 (both self-nominations and nominations through sponsors) and to help us shine a light on those individuals whose contribution we should celebrate. The deadline to submit nominations has been extended to 15 October 2021.

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 2021.

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-related discussions or 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; or
    • persistently working on day-to-day tasks to enable progress by a GEO Flagship, Initiative, Community Activity, or Foundational Task.
  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 must be submitted using the nomination form accessed here.
  • The main element of the nomination is a maximum 2-page description of why the nominee’s work deserves recognition and how it addresses the award criteria.
  • Acurriculum vitae (CV) of the nominee must accompany the nomination form.
  • Nominations may be prepared by the proposed nominee themselves (self-nomination) or by another person. For self-nominations, two references are required who may attest to the information provided in the nomination form. For nominations by a person who is not the nominee, only one reference is required. 
  • 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 for GEO awards are not automatically renewed for the subsequent year. Nominees who are not selected may be re-nominated in the next year.
  • Nominations must be submitted electronically to awards@geosec.org and must include two documents: 1. Completed nomination form and 2. 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 references.

Who can be nominated?

Any individual who has been involved in the GEO Work Programme or other official activity of GEO.

Who cannot be nominated?

Currently serving members of the following GEO bodies are not eligible to be nominated:

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

Frequency of awards

An individual may only receive an award in a given category once every 3 years.


  • Call for nominations will be published on GEO website on 19 August 2021
  • Nominations Submission Deadline (extended) – 15 October 2021
  • Finalists selected and notified – October 2021
  • Award Ceremony – GEO 17 Plenary, 26 November 2021

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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