Diversity Leadership Award

This award recognizes an SAF member who displays the ability, talent, and skill to lead innovative and exemplary diversity and inclusion efforts. These efforts can be both broad and specific, ensuring that all parts of SAF reflect our deep commitment to fostering an inclusive culture that seeks and appreciates diversity.  

The award includes a $500 honorarium for the recipient, one complimentary SAF convention registration, and up to $500 to offset convention travel expenses. The award is presented at the SAF National Convention.


Nominees must be members of SAF at the time of the close of the nomination period and must not be current members of the National Committee on Professional Recognition. 


Evaluation will be based on meeting the following criteria:


Nominees shall be acknowledged leaders that have demonstrated initiative in addressing diversity and inclusion issues, both within SAF and beyond. This leadership can be demonstrated in many ways, including leadership roles, program development and delivery, communications, training, and engagement activities.


As a direct result of his/her diversity and inclusion activities, nominees shall have effected significantly the manner in which SAF and the forestry profession are diverse and inclusive.


Nominees shall have completed diversity and inclusion work of the highest quality and have demonstrated strict adherence to high professional standards.

Level of Activity

Nominees shall demonstrate:
     •  A record of accomplishments related to diversity and inclusion and must be active at the time the award is given.
     •  Efforts and activities supporting and communicating SAF’s core diversity and inclusion values.
     •  Understanding of how diversity and inclusion is a crucial part of becoming a better professional. 
     •  Sharing, teaching, and communicating about the diversity and inclusion issues embedded in the work of SAF and its local units, committees, and workgroups.
     •  The ability to listen to and carefully consider opinions and perspectives that may differ from their own.
     •  The ability to facilitate inclusion of groups that are not yet well represented in SAF.

Overall Evidence

Nominees shall have had a regional, national, or international impact as a result of their work. Highly specific activities that influence a limited area, while of significant value, are generally not considered adequate to meet this criterion.


Your nomination packet must be submitted through the online submission portal site and include:
     •  Nominator and Nominee information will be completed online.
     •  A letter from the nominator demonstrating that the nominee meets the award criteria, with each criterion addressed separately in a brief paragraph.
     •  Letters of endorsement, not to exceed three (in addition to the nomination letter), on the nominee's achievements with the award criteria.
     •  A biographical summary, not to exceed three pages. 
     •  Recent, digital headshot photograph of a minimum 300 dpi.

Diversity Leadership Award Recipients

Award YearRecipient
2023Dr. Zhu H. Ning69908
2021Mrs. Joann M. Cox75079
2020Mr. Alex A. Singleton75678
2019Dr. Thomas R. Easley68680
2018Ms. Rachel R. Reyna, CF62303
2017Mr. Sam Cook, Jr75288