Presentation of the 2010 Leahy Award to Adrian Cunningham

Introductory Remarks

Peter Smith

1996 Winner, Emmett Leahy Award

The Emmett Leahy Award is the highest level of recognition given to an individual for outstanding accomplishments in the records and information management profession. It honors Emmett Leahy, an icon in the development of the lifecycle approach to managing records and information. Emmett Leahy, who began his career as an archivist in the United States National Archives in 1935, chaired the historic Hoover Commission on Paperwork Records Management Task Force. The recommendations of this task force resulted in the establishment of a federal government-wide records management program and subsequently in comparable programs in business and industry throughout the world. Emmett Leahy personified of innovation, dedication and excellence through his work in records and information management.

Leahy died in 1964 but beginning in 1967 his dedication in excellence in records and information management has been perpetuated in the prestigious award that bears his name. The Huron Consulting Group supports the Emmett Leahy Award as part of its promotion and celebration of excellence in records management throughout the world.  The Emmett Leahy Award Committee, which consists of the previous ten recipients of the award, annually selects an individual whose contributions have had a significant impact on the Records and Information Management Profession. The selection criteria include:

  • Program Development and Management

  • Innovation

  • Education

  • Professional and Organizational Leadership

I received the Emmett Leahy Award in 1996 and I believe that this was a groundbreaking event in the history of the award as I became the first person outside of North America to receive the Award. Tonight is a special night for Australia because this year's recipient is a fellow Australian and it marks  the first time the award presentation has been made outside of North America.


Introduction of the 2010 Emmett Leahy Award Winner

RMAA Annual Conference, Queensland, Australia

September 6, 2010

Dr. Mariella Guercio, 2009 Leahy Award Winner


The 2010 Emmett Leahy Award winner has held a variety of positions throughout a thirty-year career in Recordkeeping in organizations at the local and national levels. Our winner’s leadership efforts, collaboration and innovation have resulted in the development of world leading strategies, frameworks, standards, tools and guidelines for electronic records and information management. These initiatives have resulted in improved integration with and value to business systems and processes.

The guidelines and practices have been adapted, adopted in many organizations globally and internationally recognized for the value which they bring to record keeping practice in both the public and private sectors.

Our winner’s leadership and initiative led to the development of the ICA’s Principles and Functional Requirements for Records in Electronic Environments – ICA-Req. The basic requirements are being further expanded for use through guidance and training materials which are being developed through a joint initiative of the ICA Section on Archival Education and Training, the International Records Management Trust and 9 participating ICA-member countries.

As a result of this initiative, good recordkeeping has been cited as a regional priority. Funded by AusAID, eleven records management guidelines have been developed together with introductory and promotional materials. While focused on PARBICA, these works will be transferrable into other geographic areas.

Recognized for his work in all aspects of recordkeeping, our winner has participated on international standards development committees, university advisory board and most recently management the development of PARBICA’s Recordkeeping for Good Governance Toolkit. In addition to his full-time work, and participation on various international committees, our winner has found the time to write numerous articles which have been translated and published internationally.

He has presented seminars in over 17 countries for both English and non-English speaking audiences, further sharing his knowledge and expertise. By now you will probably have determined that the 2010Emmett Leahy award Winner is Adrian Cunningham. Adrian, it gives me great pleasure to present you with the 2010 Emmett Leahy award.

Please join me in congratulating Adrian.