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Pioneering academic recognised as a global leader in her field

29th October 2014

A Northumbria academic has been named the winner of an internationally-renowned award for her outstanding contribution to records and information management.

Professor Julie McLeod, from Northumbria’s iSchool in the Department of Mathematics and Information Sciences, received the 2014 Emmett Leahy Award at the ICA Conference in Girona, Spain, earlier this month.

Established in 1967, The Emmett Leahy Award honors a pioneer in the field of records and information management whose contributions and outstanding accomplishments have had a major impact on the discipline. It was named after Emmett Leahy, an icon in managing records and information.

The Leahy Award Committee said Julie was chosen for her accomplishments in ‘raising the calibre and status of the records management profession by the creation of undergraduate and graduate programmes as well as by her leadership of the internationally respected, peer-reviewed Records Management Journal’.

The Committee also commended her work in ‘improving the knowledge base of records and information management through creative, empirically-based research and publications’ and in ‘educating and training records and information management professionals in the UK and internationally’.

Julie, who is Professor of Records Management, was presented with the award by former recipient, Dr Anne Thurston, Director of the International Records Management Trust.

She said: “Receiving this award is a great honour and an enormous privilege. It’s also very humbling given that past winners are some of the most distinguished leaders, both practitioners and scholars, in my field.

“I’m especially delighted that the award recognised my contributions to education, research and professional activities, which are all part of Northumbria’s vision.

“It was also wonderful to be able to share the occasion with colleagues from across the world and to be told by one of my peers that it was excellent news for our field in the UK because it exemplifies the contributions we make to the discipline.”

Dr Kenneth Thibodeau, Chair of the Leahy Award Committee, said: “The Emmett Leahy Award Committee believes that Professor McLeod’s leadership in records and information management has and will continue to have a major impact on how private and public organisations around the world manage their information assets.”

Prof McLeod joined Northumbria in 1994 after a career in industry delivering and managing information, library and records management services for research and development scientists in the electronics, coatings and pharmaceutical sectors.

Professor Glen McHale, Executive Dean for Engineering and Environment, said: “I am delighted for Julie. This is a major achievement and well deserved. It is extremely gratifying to see her recognised as a world-leader in the field of records and information management with this prestigious award. It further demonstrates how our students learn from the very best in their chosen fields.”

The Emmett Leahy Award selection is made by the Emmett Leahy Award Committee. The Committee consists of Leahy Award winners and makes its decisions independently. It is not formally affiliated with any organisation or professional association. 

Previous winners include Dr Galina Datkovsky, Dr David Giaretta, Jason R. Baron and Dr Luciana Duranti. Northumbria is one of only five universities in the UK, 18 in Europe and 59 worldwide to have been awarded the globally recognised status of iSchool.

The iSchools organisation is a collection of internationally-renowned Information Schools dedicated to excellence in advancing the information field.

For more information about the Emmett Leahy Award go to: and for more on the iSchools Organisation visit:

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