The Richard W. Leopold Prize was designed to improve contacts and interrelationships within the historical profession where an increasing number of history-trained scholars hold distinguished positions in governmental agencies. This prize recognizes the significant historical work being done by historians outside academe. The Leopold Prize is given by the Organization of American Historians every two years for the best book on foreign policy, military affairs, the historical activities of the federal government or biography by a government historian. These subjects cover the concerns and the historical fields of activity of the late Professor Leopold, who was President of the Organization of American Historians 1976-1977.
The winner must have been employed in a government position for at least five years. If the author has accepted an academic position, the book must have been published within two years from the time of the change.