Global Leadership, Idaho-Style: University of Idaho Honors Alumna Sharon Allen

Friday, February 19 2010

Written by Tania Thompson

MOSCOW, Idaho – The boardroom of one of the world's most influential accounting and consulting companies is a long way from Kimberly, Idaho. But for Sharon Allen, chairman of Deloitte LLP and an alumna of the University of Idaho, the achievement isn't a surprise: she learned her leadership lessons well in college and has built on them.

Allen will receive the university's second Legacy of Leading Award on Thursday, March 4, during an event in Boise. The award honors individuals who have made significant contributions in leadership to their communities or to society in general.

“Sharon truly models what we mean when we talk about our legacy of leading," said University of Idaho President Duane Nellis. "She has taken the excellent education earned at the university and applied it to her career, which led her to success on a global scale. The faculty here challenged her to think differently about her role in the business world, to build relationships and to become the leader that she is today. I know that she believes in the power of higher education and its vital role in global competitiveness."

Allen has been named to Forbes list of "the 100 most powerful women in the world" for the past three years. In 2008, she was named by Directorship as “one of the 100 most influential people in corporate governance” and Crain’s New York Business cited her as one of the most powerful business women in New York.

She is a past member of the U.S. President’s Export Council, a member of the Women’s Leadership Board at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a board member of Catalyst Inc., the national board of the YMCA, and the Autry National Center.

Allen graduated from the University of Idaho in 1973 with a degree in accounting and in 2004 received an honorary doctorate in administrative science.

The University of Idaho presents its Legacy of Leading Award to individuals who have made significant contributions in leadership to their communities, the state of Idaho or society in general. Former Sen. Jim McClure received the inaugural award in 2009.

The event is at the Boise Centre, 850 W. Front St., on Thursday, March 4, with a reception beginning at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets are $125 per person; net proceeds will support student scholarships. More information and event registration are available at or call (208) 885-8967.
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About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 130 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. The university is home to the Vandals, the 2009 Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl champions. For information, visit

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit