The 2009 recipient of the Emmett Leahy Award is an individual who has always regarded the information and records management function as a civic, legal and moral responsibility of everyone, from the politician to the auditor, from the legislator to the administrator, from the employee to the user. To be a records professional involves first and foremost reminding the citizenry at large and those who govern and control us that accountability and transparency, democracy and justice depend on good records, and ensuring that they recognize the need for a highly educated community of trusted professionals managing such records throughout their life cycle. This professional has developed records systems for organizations in the public and private sectors, from banks to utilities companies, and from regional and city administrations to insurances; has been state archivist and archival superintendent, government appointed member of the highest bodies having oversight on public assets, and university professor, vice-president technology, and Provost. In addition, this person has exercised a strong influence on the International Council on Archives, the DLM Forum, the European Union Cultural Activities Committee and the Forum for Information Society; has been co-principal investigator in international research on digital preservation projects, such as ERPANET, DELOS and CASPAR, head of a national team in InterPARES, member of the boards of Digital Preservation Europe and DigCultCurriculum; member of ISO standards committees, and of the Moreq 1 and 2 editorial boards; editor of several professional journals, a prolific writer, with 3 books and so many articles that I have stopped counting after one hundred, and an indefatigable contributor to continuing professional education, with hundreds of seminars, workshops and public lectures delivered all over the world. With every position occupied and every role played, this person has left a recognizable mark. I will only mention the most significant contributions.