Campus News

UGA’s Richard Watson receives LEO award from the Association for Information Systems

Richard T. Watson

Athens, Ga. – Richard T. Watson, the J. Rex Fuqua Distinguished Chair for Internet Strategy in the University of Georgia Terry College of Business, has received the LEO Award for “exceptional lifetime achievement in information systems” from the Association for Information Systems.

A UGA professor since 1989, Watson was presented the award at the 2011 International Conference on Information Systems, held Dec. 4-7 in Shanghai, China.

The LEO Award is the highest honor given by the AIS and is named after one of the world’s first commercial applications of computing, the Lyons Electronic Office. The award recognizes “truly outstanding individuals in the Information Systems community, both academics and practitioners, who have made exceptional contributions to research in and the practice of Information Systems.”

“Rick’s reputation is truly international in scope,” said Robert T. Sumichrast, dean of the Terry College. “He is a world-class scholar and has served the academy, the IS profession and the next generation of IS leaders through his teaching and mentoring. As a global citizen, Rick has used his boundless energy and creative talents to serve the developing world through the Global Text Project.”

Watson has published more than 150 journal articles and written books on electronic commerce, data management and energy informatics. His research has been accepted by leading academic and practitioner journals and has been translated into several languages. His most recent research focuses on information systems leadership and energy informatics. He has given invited presentations to practitioners and academics in more than 30 countries.

He is a past president of the Association for Information Systems and was co-conference chair for the 2004 meeting of the International Conference on Information Systems. While a senior editor for MIS Quarterly, he established its “Review” section. He played a foundational role in the establishment of the AIS World mailing list and piloted the shift from paper-based to electronic reviewing by MIS Quarterly.

Watson received his doctorate from the University of Minnesota, where he studied on a Fulbright award, and his MBA from Monash University in Australia. In addition, he holds a diploma in computation and a bachelor of science in mathematics from the University of Western Australia. He is a fellow of the Association for Information Systems and the Royal Society for the Arts.

He is a visiting researcher at the Viktoria Institute in Sweden, international coordinator for the Ph.D. program in information systems at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia and research director for the Advanced Practices Council of the Society of Information Management. He founded and co-leads the Global Text Project and is a consulting editor to John Wiley & Sons.

Watson’s influence as a world-renowned scholar was featured in the spring 2011 issue of Terry magazine (“Knowledge Herder”).

For more information on the management information systems department in the Terry College of Business, see


Note to editors: An image of Watson is available for download at