CoSA-Ancestry Leadership Award

Ancestry logo

With the generous support of Ancestry™, the Council of State Archivists (CoSA) welcomes applications to support our next generation of leadership. Awards will be made to mid-career employees in state and territorial archives according to the following guidelines:

  • Up to $1000 reimbursement for qualified expenses to an individual
  • Up to $2000 reimbursement for qualified expenses to groups

Funds may also be available to individuals or groups to support attendance at the CoSA annual meeting. Awards should be applied to approved activities to help develop professional virtuosity and prepare for career advancement.

Nominee Qualifications

  • All nominees, whether an individual or group, must be full-time, mid-career employees in state/territorial archives with responsibility for program development, implementation, and/or staff/volunteer supervision and on track toward further leadership responsibilities.
  • Participation by nominees in a CoSA committee or program activity, such as SERI, within the last five (5) years is desired by not required.


  • Individuals and groups must be nominated for the award by their immediate supervisors or the archivist that serves to represent the state/territorial archive with CoSA.

Allowable Award Expenses

  • CoSA and Ancestry™ provide this funding to support professional development of knowledge and skills and to enhance leadership versatility,particularly in the areas of collaboration, interdisciplinary project management, and strategic thinking.
  • Examples of eligible activities include conferences, workshops, seminars,institute registration, course work, travel for qualifying activities, and purchase of materials directly related to qualified professional development.The programs of state and territorial training institutes and various university executive training programs are examples of the types of opportunities appropriate for individuals.

Unallowable Award Expenses

  • The primary purpose of the award is to support training. Reimbursement of supplies, books, or special equipment not directly related to approved training will not be approved.
  • Computers and personal electronic devices are not fundable.

Nomination Packet

Nominations must consist of the following, submitted as a single PDF file:

  • Awards program nomination form
  • Brief Bio (up to one page) articulating the leadership achievements and goals of the nominee(s), why the selected opportunity will further leadership capacity, and how the new skills will be used to advance government archives.
  • A detailed budget (no more than one page). Nominations that do not include a detailed budget will not be considered. The budget should include all costs, not just those that will be covered by the award.
  • Letter of support from the CoSA representative or direct manager of the nominee(s) at the CoSA member archive describing the leadership potential of the nominee or group and expectations about the impact of the chosen opportunity.
  • Supporting materials (optional) could include resume(s) or additional biographical information highlighting leadership roles; illustrations of work product(s) resulting from leadership of the nominee(s); and other related materials.

Terms of Use

  • Funds for training must be expended as outlined in the nomination materials and budget.
  • Award funds may be used for approved opportunities taking place between April 2023 and September 2023. Proposals to reimburse for completed or in-progress opportunities between October 2022 and March 2023 will also be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • An alternate training opportunity may be included in the application, if desired, to account for unforeseen circumstances and expedite approval of an alternative opportunity.
  • The award may not be used for any purpose other than that originally proposed without prior written permission of the CoSA Executive Director.
  • If the nominee is not accepted to the proposed opportunity, decides they would prefer to attend a different opportunity than originally outlined in the nomination materials, received additional travel funds, or otherwise changes their plans for personal or professional reasons, contact the CoSA Executive Director for approval before repurposing funds.
  • When possible, the award also includes limited funding to support travel and expenses according to the most recently approved CoSA Travel Policy to attend the 2023 CoSA Annual Meeting and present to the membership about the completed experience. If the approved opportunity is not complete by the CoSA Annual Meeting, recipients will have the option to share about their experience through a blog post, virtual update, or other approved method,including possible attendance at the next in-person CoSA Annual meeting.

Additional Terms and Conditions

  • The agency of the recipient(s) agrees to publicize the award in conjunction with CoSA and Ancestry™.
  • Partial funding may be awarded at the discretion of the awards committee.
  • The recipient(s) agree to share about their experience with CoSA general membership as agreed upon with CoSA, either at CoSA’s Annual Meeting Work Session and/or Business Meeting or through a blog post, virtual update,or other approved method.

Award recipients will be announced by May 9, 2023.

2023 Nominations, Selection & Presentation Schedule

April 4, 2023: Deadline for nominations - Midnight Eastern Time

May 9, 2023: Notification of award recipients

July 2023: Awards presented 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