Joy Heath Rush, CEO of the International Legal Technology Association and a veteran legal tech leader and executive, has been named winner of the fifth-annual Monica Bay STEM Leadership Award, given in honor of my friend and former colleague Monica Bay, the longtime editor-in-chief of the the former ALM publication Law Technology News.

The award recognizes outstanding leadership qualities and innovation achieved in the legal technology industry. It will be presented to Rush during Legalweek New York, Feb. 4-6, 2020, in association with the International Legal Technology Association Women Who Lead group.

I had the privilege of serving on the selection committee for this year’s award, together with Gail L. Gottehrer, a technology lawyer and former co-chair of the Privacy, Cybersecurity and Emerging Technologies team at Akerman; Donna Payne, CEO at PayneGroup; Judith Flournoy, chief information officer at Kelley Drye; and Nishan DeSilva, principal engineering manager lead, information protection, at Microsoft.

As ILTA CEO, Rush manages an organization that provides educational and networking opportunities for nearly 25,000 lawyers and legal technology professionals across the globe, overseeing its operations, a global network of volunteer leaders and a professional staff of more than 35 employees.

“I am humbled by this award,” Rush said. “I have admired Monica Bay from the day I first read one of her columns. To be recognized in Monica’s name makes me prouder than I can express. In addition, to join the prior award recipients is truly an honor.”

Donna Payne, a member of the selection committee, said that Rush exemplifies every quality that the award represents. “Her accomplishments in her career, work ethic and dedication to helping others, along with her latest role as CEO of ILTA, make Joy the perfect choice for this award.”

Rush spent 28 years at the global law firm Sidley Austin in a variety of technology and leadership roles. From 2014 to 2018, she worked at Litera Microsystems as VP of client development, with responsibility for global sales.

She also has a long history of leadership in groups associated with legal technology, including as past president of ILTA. Earlier this year, she was named one of 2019’s Women in Legal Technology by the ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center.

Prior winners of the award are Alison A. Grounds, litigation partner at Troutman Sanders (2015); Sheryl Nolan, senior program manager, Office 365 Security & Compliance, at Microsoft (2016); Kate Cain, director of market intelligence and operations at Sidley Austin (2017); and Farrah Pepper, chief legal innovation counsel at Marsh & McLennan Companies (2018).