The 2020 SIGACT Distinguished Service Award is presented to Dieter van Melkebeek for his leadership in creating the Computational Complexity Foundation (CCF) and transitioning the annual Computational Complexity Conference to be run under the auspices of the CCF. This new model benefits the research community in multiple ways, including open-access publication of the conference proceedings and reduced conference costs, while maintaining the prestige of this core theory conference.
CCF has demonstrated financial stability and exemplary transparency. It enjoys broad support within the community and serves as a model that may be emulated in CS Theory and beyond. CCF has the potential to take up other issues of interest to the theory community; as an example, it has already taken over the guardianship of the popular Electronic Colloquium on Computational Complexity (ECCC) preprint service.
The well-reasoned and smoothly executed transition realized a long-voiced desire of the community to become independent. In the face of the formidable legal, financial, and logistical challenges involved in the transition, it took an extraordinary leader to turn this desire into reality. Dieter's vision, determination, thoughtfulness, careful planning, attention to detail, and singular dedication made this transition an unqualified success.