Ancestry Leadership Award

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Established in 2014 through the generous support of Ancestry, this award exists to support our next generation of leaders in state/territory government archives. Nominees will have demonstrated their leadership to the field of government archives and CoSA. Support is offered to mid-career employees at CoSA member institutions to attend the CoSA Annual Meeting to advance their understanding of the field and collaborate with colleagues.


  • Full-time, mid-career employees at a CoSA Member Institution. Particular focus on state/territorial archivists within the first five (5) years of their position and first-time attendees to a CoSA Annual Meeting.
  • The nominee should have responsibility for program development, implementation, and/or staff/volunteer supervision and be on track toward further leadership responsibilities.
  • Participation in a CoSA committee or program activity, such as SERI, within the last five (5) years is desired but not required.
  • Previous recipients of this award may apply again after two awards cycles.
  • Attendance at the 2024 CoSA Annual Meeting.
  • Willingness to submit a reflection on your attendance at the CoSA Annual Meeting and how you applied something you learned.

Nomination Requirements

Award nominations must be made by the immediate supervisor of the individual or the archivist that serves to represent the CoSA Member Institution.

  • Online nomination form - Within the form you will be asked to submit basic information on the nominee and the individual making the nomination (if different). You'll also upload the following documents:
    • Brief Bio including why attendance will further leadership capacity and support your day-to-day responsibilities, and how the recipient intends to share lessons learned to advance government archives.
    • A detailed budget (no more than one page) – the budget should include all travel costs, not just those that will be covered by the award. Funds may be applied to airfare/transportation, lodging, registration, and meals not covered by registration costs.
    • Letter of support from the CoSA representative or direct manager of the nominee at the CoSA member institution. The letter should describe the leadership potential of the nominee or group and expectations about the impact of participating in the CoSA Annual Meeting.
    • Supporting materials (optional) could include a resume or additional background information highlighting leadership roles; illustrations of work product(s) resulting from leadership of the nominee, and other related materials.

Sponsor & Funding

Since 2014, Ancestry has designated a portion of their generous corporate sponsorship to this award as an investment in the future of the profession.


A certificate and a $1000 travel stipend. Up to 5 awards. Funds should be used for approved travel activities.

Selection Committee

CoSA Awards Committee, chaired by the CoSA Past President.

Terms of Award

Recipients of the Ancestry Leadership Award are not eligible for other travel awards. Applicants are welcome to apply for multiple travel awards understanding this restriction. Funds will be awarded after travel is complete unless special exception is made by the Executive Director.

2024 Nominations, Selection & Presentation Schedule

May 17, 2024: Deadline for nominations - 11:59pm Eastern Time

June 14, 2024: Notification of award recipients

September 18, 2024: Award recipients recognized at CoSA Annual Meeting

Award Recipients

Grant Robertson
2023 Ancestry Leadership Award Recipient


  • Grant Robertson, Electronic Records Archivist, South Carolina Department of Archives and History
  • Bryan Collars< Archivist/Supervisor of Information Technology Services, South Carolina Department of Archives and History


  • Kathryn Baringer, Maryland


  • Sarah LeClaire, District of Columbia
  • Layce Johnson, Idaho


  • Cathrine Giles, Kentucky
  • James Watson, Maryland


  • Zachary Jones, Alaska
  • Ali Rahmaan, District of Columbia


  • Jim Kichas, Utah
  • Abbie Norderhaug and Sarah Grimm, Wisconsin


  • Kelly Eubank and Jeremy Gibson, North Carolina
  • Karen Gray and Chris Hieb, Alaska


  • Dorothy Davis, Alabama