The ASA Outstanding Service award seeks to recognize individuals and / or organizations that have distinguished themselves through their dedication to the ASA’s mission by: facilitating the production of knowledge about Africa and its diasporas; its dissemination within the academy or in civil society; and/or by establishing or supporting collaborations and exchanges between institutions in the global north and in Africa. The awardee(s) receive a plaque and lifetime membership in the ASA.


Candidates for the ASA Service Award must have made outstanding contributions to the ASA’s mission and/or the Association by:

  • enabling scholarship and implementing programming within their institutions and their partners in Africa;
  • promoting and strengthening the teaching of African languages through the development of programs, the development and publication of materials, and the education of instructors;
  • developing and implementing initiatives to disseminate and reinforce knowledge about Africa in K-12 schools, in post-secondary education, and in the media;
  • supporting the preservation and enhancement of archives and libraries in Africa through exchanges and specialized training;
  • initiating and/or facilitating educational exchanges between secondary schools and instructors and/or civil society organizations in the global north and in Africa.


Current ASA members may submit letters of nomination to the Executive Director of the ASA at [email protected] by April 30. Nominations should be made in the form of a detailed letter, stating how the individual and/or organization meet the stated criteria, and be supported by at least one additional letter. The nomination must include the nominator’s name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address, as well as the name, title, and contact information of the nominee or a contact person at the nominated organization. Nominations for organizations must summarize the organization’s activities as they relate to the selection criteria mentioned above.

The ASA Awards Committee may also nominate individuals or organizations for consideration by the entire board.


The Outstanding Service Award selection committee is chaired by the Past President and includes the President, Vice President, and two non-Board members of the Association. The non-Board members are selected by the Award committee and serve three-year terms.

The committee may choose to recognize more than one, but no more than two organizations or individuals in any given year, unless they are part of a team. The committee may also choose not to award the prize in a given year.

2022 Committee

Carolyn Brown (Rutgers University), Chair
Ousseina Alidou (Rutgers University)
Adérónké Adésolá Adésànyà (James Madison University)
Wendy Belcher (Princeton University)
Rebecca Shumway (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

ASA Service Award Winners (2013-Present)

2021 Martha Saavedra, University of California, Berkeley

2019 Michel Doortmont, University of Groningen, John Hanson, Indiana University, Jan
Jansen, Universiteit Leiden, and Dmitri van den Bersselaar, Universität Leipzig, History in Africa

2018 Sandra Barnes, University of Pennsylvania, and Andrzej Tymowski, American Council of Learned Societies

2017 Elliot Fratkin, Smith College and Sean Redding, Amherst College, African Studies Review

2016 Brenda Randolph, Africa Access

2015 Gillian Berchowitz, Ohio University Press

2015 Barbara Brown, Boston University

2015 Ali Ali-Dinar

2015 Kenneth W. Harrow, Michigan State University

2014 Indiana University Press

2014 Association of Concerned African Scholars

2014 Bill Minter, Africa Focus

2014 Aili Tripp, University of Wisconsin

2013 Lynne Rienner, Lynne Rienner Publishers

2013 Kassahun Checole, Africa World Press