Ritu Agarwal, interim dean of the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, is a 2019 recipient of the prestigious LEO Award, recognizing lifetime achievements in the field of information systems. Each year, the Association for Information Systems honors “truly outstanding” scholars or practitioners who have made “exceptional global contributions” to information systems.
Agarwal received the award at a ceremony during the association’s International Conference on Information Systems in Munich, Germany, on Dec. 16. Established in 1999, the LEO Award is named for the Lyons Electronic Office, the world’s first computer used for business. The selection committee recognizes recipients who are role models to colleagues and students, and regarded as preeminent representatives of information systems community. Honorees are selected for far-reaching professional impact, beyond the field of information systems, and for exemplary integrity.
Agarwal is a Distinguished University Professor, the Robert H. Smith Dean’s Chair of Information Systems, and founding director of the school’s Center for Health Information and Decision Systems (CHIDS). She has published more than 100 papers in top academic journals, testified before government agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Health, and collaborated with Fortune 500 companies, such as Cisco Systems, Johnson and Johnson and Pfizer. Since arriving at Maryland Smith in 1999, Agarwal has taught at every level and has received all of the school’s major teaching awards. Prior to her appointment as interim dean, she served as senior associate dean for faculty and research.
Her current research focuses on the use of information technology in healthcare settings, health analytics, and artificial intelligence applications in health. Her research has been published in top academic journals and she has presented her work the leading national and international conferences. She has served in editor roles for top information systems journals, including a recently completed six-year term as editor-in-chief of Information Systems Research. She has also been a leader in all of the major professional associations.
In 2010 Agarwal started the annual Conference on Health IT and Analytics (CHITA). As a leading research forum at the intersection of technology, analytics and health, the conference attracts international scholars, policymakers and business executives who work to improve healthcare. Agarwal is deeply passionate about using her research capabilities and advocacy to improve the practice and delivery of healthcare.