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Distinguished Contribution to Talent Development

This award is presented in recognition of an exceptional contribution to the talent development field that has had sustained impact. This award can be presented to an individual or a team who is actively working in the talent development field.

Recipients of this award include: Karl Kapp, Jane Hart, Karie Willyerd, Ruth Colvin Clark,Martin Bean, Jeanne Meister, William Bridges, William J. Rothwell, Michael Allen, Beverly Kaye, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, Robert Brinkerhoff, Jon Katzenbach, Jack Phillips, Roger Kaufman, David Cooperrider, Margaret Wheatley, Allison Rossett, Roger Schank, Gloria Gery, Elliott Masie, Dana Gaines Robinson and James C. Robinson, Geary Rummler, Peter Senge, Kenneth Blanchard, R. Roosevelt Thomas Jr., Peter Block, Ned Herrmann, Robert F. Mager, W. Warner Burke, William C. Byham, Malcolm S. Knowles, and Leonard Nadler.


Nominations will be evaluated on the scope and depth of documented contributions to advancing the development of talent in support of individual and organizational success.

  • Evidence the nominees’ work is within the talent development field or a related discipline.
  • Evidence the nominees’ work has had a sustained impact (more than five years) on the talent development profession and the individuals working in the field.
  • Evidence the nominee(s) are thought leaders who have made and continue to make significant contributions to advancing the development of talent in support of individual and organizational success.
  • Evidence the nominees’ work and synthesis of ideas has global application.
  • Evidence the nominees’ actions, ideas, methods, concepts, or approaches influence audiences, organizations, and the talent development industry.
  • Evidence the nominees’ work, ideas, and concepts have helped talent development practitioners—and the organizations for which they work—achieve results.
  • Evidence the nominees’ thought leadership and influence are significant in the field.

Candidates should be individuals or teams from within the talent development or related field. Elected officials are not eligible.

Submission Process:

  • The submission window is now closed.
  • All entries were due by December 31, 2019.
  • Use this worksheet to help you prepare your application. (All entries must be submitted online.)
  • Submit your entry via our online awards portal at:

Submit questions to:
Erin Strider
[email protected]

Selection Procedure:

Nominators will receive notification of the decision regarding their entries by March 30, 2020.

Award winners will be honored at the awards ceremony held during the ATD International Conference & Exposition in May 2020, in Denver, CO. Announcements of the award will be in ATD publications and on the ATD website.