2011 Nico Habermann Award

Congratulations to Charles Lickel, IBM’s recently retired executive vice president of Global Research Software Strategy, for earning the Computing Research Association’s (CRA) 2011 Nico Habermann Award.

From the CRA:

The Nico Habermann award is given for outstanding contributions aimed at increasing the numbers and/or successes of underrepresented groups in the computing research community.

Charles' accomplishments have had an impact at the national, local, and individual levels for underrepresented groups, and particularly for researchers in the GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered) computing community. Within IBM Research, he developed a series of leadership conferences for the GLBT employees. These conferences led to his appointment by the UCLA Anderson School of Business to create a leadership institute in which employees of companies, such as Microsoft and Pepsi, worked with top professors and business leaders to learn to become effective leaders. His leadership and efforts to develop GLBT leaders and act as their role model resulted in his being honored as one of the Gay Financial Network 25 in 2001.

Outside IBM, in addition to his work at the UCLA Anderson School of Business, Charles also has had an impact on computer science programs within academia – such as Arizona State University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, SUNY Albany, and Pace University – through his work on their advisory councils. In 2009, he was awarded the Harvey Milk Alumni Award from SUNY Albany for his outstanding contributions. He has had a significant impact on the universities, their programs, and the students at these universities. In addition to working for the GLBT community, Charles also has been committed to other underrepresented groups in computing and is highly regarded for his leadership within other organizations.


  1. Congratulations to Charles on this award and his tireless efforts in supporting the GLBT communities to foster inclusion and understanding. A true role model!

  2. How extraordinary and energizing it is to see someone lauded for using their talents and ambitions to do something uniquely wonderful without a concern for it being visible or easy. It's obvious that Mr. Lickel's involvement extends back to the time before his works would have been embraced by popular culture ... in my mind, that boosts him from honoree to hero.