Current Committee Members

  • Jim Leebens-Mack, Chair (2025)
  • Stacey Smith (2025)
  • Sean Graham (2026)
  • Selena Smith (2026)
  • Mike Barker (2026)
  • Brenda Molano-Flores (2024), President, ex officio

Distinguished Fellow and
Emerging Leader Award Committee

About the Committee

The Distinguished Fellows and Emerging Leader Awards are two of the major awards the Society provides. Committee members evaluate nomination packages and discuss the top candidates for a final decision. Each year, one new member joins the committee as one rotates off. This committee is chaired by a member serving their third year on the committee.


This committee does not accept student members.

Member Criteria

Committee membership is open to all BSA membership categories except students. Past winners of the Distinguished Fellow Award and the Emerging Leader Award are encouraged to apply, but winning this award is not a requirement to serve on this committee. Committee members are expected to participate and be engaged in committee activities and have a genuine interest in the mission of the committee.

Time Commitment

The bulk of the committee’s work is spent reviewing proposals in March and April, with final award decisions by end of April or early May. Most discussions occur via email, with the potential for one or two conference calls. Members serve three-year terms.

Interested in Applying?

Those interested in being considered for committee service should complete a short application (200 words or less) that includes a statement of interest highlighting your expertise, experience, and interest in serving on this particular committee. Applications are accepted December 1 – February 1 and will be reviewed by the Committee on Committees. Committee appointments are typically made in May to begin in July. Questions about committee membership? Send an email to

To apply to be on this committee, click here and sign in with your BotanyID and password. Only committees that have openings will appear on the BSA Committee Application website. Once you open an application, you should see the blue button "Create New Committee Application." If you do not see the blue button, or need other assistance, email

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