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Broad Faculty Honored with Global Leadership Award

By Grace Beck, student writer

samba and award
Samba’s 28 years of innovation and leadership in information systems earned him the global Leo Award.

Vallabh Sambamurthy knows a thing or two about leadership. In his 15-year career in Eli Broad College of Business’ Department of Accounting and Information Systems, Sambamurthy (Samba) has served in nearly every capacity – from professor to department chair, to his current role: associate dean for outreach and engagement. Samba’s contributions and leadership earned him accolades at Michigan State University, but most recently he was honored at a global level, earning the Leo Award from the Association for Information Systems.

The Leo Award recognizes outstanding global scholars or practitioners who have made exceptional global contributions in the field of information systems.

Samba played an integral role in launching Broad’s MS in Business Analytics at the Broad College, which today is a top 10 program in the country. Beyond his role in the Department of AIS, Samba is involved in Broad’s Executive Education programs, contributing to topics relating to innovation, transformation, and digital business. Samba teaches courses related to digital business strategies and innovation in the Full-Time MBA program.

Sambamurthy took the time to further explain his role as a recipient of the LEO Award and what lead to the honorable bestowment in a Q&A.

How long have you been working on information systems?

It’s hard to believe I have been in the discipline for 28 years. I started my career at Florida State University in 1989, before moving to University of Maryland in 1999 and arriving at MSU in 2002.

 What contributions of yours were recognized when receiving this award?

The Association for Information Systems is the global professional association for information systems academics and professionals. It recognized my global contributions and impacts in four dimensions:

  • Scholarly Impact: Measured in terms of research that has a significant influence on information systems knowledge, research, and practice.
  • Academic leadership Impact: Measured in terms of my membership of the editorial boards of top journals.
  • Industry Practice Market: Measured in terms of my ability to improve IT management practice through practitioner articles, classroom curriculum, particularly in the MBA program.
  • Association Impact: Measured in terms my service on major conferences as Conference Chair, Program Chair or Doctoral Consortium Chair.

How do you feel receiving such an outstanding award?

It is very humbling and gratifying to receive the award because it is the highest level of recognition provided by the association and is very selective. I am humbled because I get to join my mentors who were recognized with the award in the past. At the same time it’s a moment of great delight because academics like to give back in the best way they can, through mentoring and helping develop the next generation talent.


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