ACM recognizes excellence through its eminent series of awards for outstanding technical and professional achievements and contributions in computer science and information technology.

Guidelines for ACM Distinguished Member Nominations

Please be aware that the following changes (implemented in 2013) are currently in effect for Distinguished Member nominations:

  • The required number of endorsements per nomination is a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 5.
    (Item 4. Endorsers)
  • It is strongly recommended, but not required, that the two ACM Member endorsements be from ACM Fellows or ACM Distinguished Members.
    (Item 4. Endorsers)

For questions on the above please contact us


    Nominations for ACM Distinguished Member should be submitted using the Advanced Member Category Submission System for Distinguished Member online. There are three categories for the Distinguished Member grade level. Candidates should indicate which category best applies:

    • Distinguished Educator
    • Distinguished Engineer
    • Distinguished Scientist


    Candidates for Distinguished Member may nominate themselves, or may be nominated by another ACM member except current members of the Distinguished Member Committee.

    Candidates for Distinguished Member must have been an ACM Professional Member (not Student) for at least five continuous years immediately preceding the date of submission of the nomination. Membership information may be verified by contacting ACM Headquarters at +1-212-626-0500 or

    The candidate must have had 15 years professional experience. Educational experience is credited toward that time as follows:

    • 3 years if the candidate holds a baccalaureate degree
    • 4 years if the candidate holds a baccalaureate and masters degree
    • 5 years if the candidate holds a doctorate

    Criteria for Distinguished Member:

    Successful candidates must demonstrate having achieved a significant accomplishment or having made a significant impact in the field of computing, computer science, and/or information technology, in general, and in their selected category, in particular. It is expected that the accomplishments proposed in a nomination would reflect one or more of the following:

    • Substantial job responsibility
    • Significant technical leadership
    • Substantial publication and presentation of results
    • Recognized technical and professional awards
    • Significant educational achievements
    • Service to ACM and the computing community

    Candidates in the educator category should have significant educational achievements; candidates in the engineer category should have significant contributions to technologies, products, or standards; and candidates in the scientist category should have significant scientific achievements. Nominations in each category are considered separately, taking into account all the achievements but paying particular attention to the achievements most relevant to that category.

    With this context, examples of achievements that would be considered for Distinguished Member include:

    General Criteria:

    1. Demonstrates substantial depth and breadth of understanding of the field, including the creation of new ideas and the synthesis of work by others
    2. Serves as a mentor and role model guiding technical career development for others
    3. Exhibits eminence by contributing to the field beyond the norm, including conference presentations or leadership roles within ACM or other organizations

    Criteria for Distinguished Educators:

    • Demonstrates excellence in teaching
    • Devotes exceptional effort to designing, conducting, and evaluation of classroom or other experiences
    • Provides innovative learning experience to foster critical thinking, integration and synthesis
    • Motivates students to excel and mentors students into professional roles
    • Authored a widely used CS textbook

    Criteria for Distinguished Engineers:

    • Responsible for leading the implementation of new technologies, architectures, and/or products
    • Responsible for significant successful technology transfer
    • Holds patents or other evidence of having developed intellectual property.

    Criteria for Distinguished Scientists:

    • Has contributed to the advancement of the science of computing, and to building the knowledge base within the field of computer science
    • Has been published in peer-reviewed scholarly or professional journals or conferences
    • Has received research awards or grants based on innovative proposals

    While a Distinguished Educator/Engineer/Scientist must excel in one or more criteria specific to that sub-category, general criteria, or criteria listed under other sub-categories are also considered.


    Nominators should upload a copy of the Candidate's CV through the online nomination form at the time of their nomination. It is strongly recommended to include in the CV a section listing the most significant achievements (most significant product contributions, most significant publications, most significant curricular activities, etc.)

    Nominators will be contacted after completing the nomination process, with information on how to proceed. This information will include an encrypted url which you will forward to your endorsers and which will enable them to access the endorsement site. After an endorsement is submitted, the endorser will be sent an email from "" with an encrypted url to confirm the endorsement. Please Note: The confirmation of the endorsement is a requirement and must be completed by the deadline. If you do not receive the email after you submit your endorsement, please contact us


      It is the responsibility of the Nominator to secure agreement from a minimum of four to a maximum of five colleagues in the field to endorse the Candidate. Current Members of the Distinguished Member Committee may not endorse a Candidate. Two of the endorsements must be from current ACM Professional Members. It is strongly recommended, but not required, that the two ACM Member endorsements be from ACM Fellows or ACM Distinguished Members; ideally, one endorsement should be from a current or past employer, or client, i.e., from someone to whom the candidate has reported or has been, in some way, responsible for the work reported. Please note that the endorsers' statements are considered to be of particular significance to the Distinguished Member Committee. The character limit for endorsers' comments is 2,500. Endorsers must attest that:

      • They know the candidate and their work
      • That the candidate accurately described the achievements outlined in the nomination
      • These accomplishments meet their best understanding of the criteria for Distinguished Member in the selected category

      The nomination and the endorsements should provide information on how the candidate fulfills the requirements listed for each category in sufficient detail that a person not familiar with the candidate's work will understand the significance.


      Nominations and endorsements for ACM Distinguished Member should be submitted using the Distinguished Member Nomination/Endorsement sites by 12 midnight EDT, UTC/GMT -4 hours, on August 3, 2015.

      ACM Advanced Member Grade Level Nominations and Endorsements must be submitted in English.

      Please consult the "Checklist for ACM Senior Member/Distinguished Member Nominations" page for information needed to submit a Distinguished Member nomination.


      ACM Distinguished Members will receive a certificate specifying the grade category and a specially annotated ACM membership card. There will be an announcement on the ACM Web site and in Communications of the ACM listing the names of the Distinguished Members and their grade category. Upon request a letter of commendation will be sent to the chief executive at the Distinguished Member's place of employment.


      If a nominee is not accepted in a given year, the candidate will be notified. Reconsideration of the nomination the following year is permitted but is not automatic.

      If a nominee is not accepted two years in a row, a wait of one year is required before that nominee can be considered again.

      Resubmission through the Advanced Member Category Submission System is required. While previously submitted endorsements can be reused, it is recommended that the nominator obtain new endorsements, since the candidate information and the ACM membership status of the endorsers may have changed.


      Questions regarding procedures may be directed to