GEO is committed to providing a welcoming community for all and expect our code of conduct to be adhered to. GEO Fellows are expected to take responsibility for their actions at all times. 

Additionally, if someone has been harmed or offended, it is the Fellow’s responsibility to listen carefully and respectfully, and to do what is best to right the wrong.

Anyone who is found to violate this code of conduct will be immediately disqualified as a Fellow. Any paid fees will not be refunded. 
While respect can be generally understood, GEO recognizes that respect in a professional setting means (but is not limited to):

  • Be friendly and patient.
  • Be welcoming: GEO strives to be a community who welcomes and supports people of all backgrounds and identities. This includes, but is not limited to, members of any race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, color, immigration status, social and economic class, educational level, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, size, family status, political belief, religion, and mental and physical ability.
  • Be considerate: The FGE designation represents an honor bestowed by your peers. GEO Fellows are expected to consider the impact of their decisions on the industry and their fellow colleagues and peers. Consideration of language and cultural barriers is paramount in our interaction as a community.
  • Be respectful: Actions intended to cause personal or professional harm are not acceptable. A community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one. Be mindful that social media can also cause unintended harm. When submitting documentation, refrain from plagiarism and always use accurate attribution.
  • Be careful in the words that we choose: GEO Fellows are a community of professionals and are expected to conduct themselves professionally. Be kind to others both within the community and beyond the community. Do not insult, minimize, marginalize, or put down other participants, cultures, or sub-cultures.
  • Try to understand why we disagree: It is important that disagreements, both social and technical, as well as differing views are approached constructively. The strength of the GEO Fellows community comes from its diversity—people from a wide range of backgrounds. GEO Fellows accept that different people have different perspectives on issues.
  • Harassment in any form (verbal/sexual/emotional) and exclusionary behavior are NOT acceptable.


If someone experiences or observes unacceptable behavior by a GEO Fellow—or has any other concerns—please report it in writing by contacting All reports will be handled with discretion. In your report please include:

  • Your contact information.
  • Names of any individuals involved. If there are additional witnesses, please include them as well.
  • Your account of what occurred and if you believe the incident is ongoing. If there is a publicly available record, please include a link, reference, or screenshot.
  • Any additional information that may be helpful.

After filing a report, a GEO representative will contact you personally, review the incident, follow up with any additional questions, and make a decision as to how to respond. The response team has broad latitude to recommend disqualifying a Fellow to the GEO Board of Directors. The Board will review the situation, allow the Fellow to respond and make a final determination as to the Fellows’ status.


  • Plagiarism
    Plagiarism is the re-use of someone else's work, without the permission or license of the author. Claiming someone else's work as your own is disrespectful to the author.
  • Attribution
    The difference between properly attributed work and plagiarized submissions is found in citing source material and permission of the original author. A link back to the original source material or ideas should be included whenever possible.
  • Harassment
    GEO Fellows share a common understanding of what constitutes harassment, as it applies to a professional setting. Although this list cannot be exhaustive, GEO Fellows explicitly honor diversity in age, gender, gender identity or expression, culture, ethnicity, language, national origin, political beliefs, profession, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and technical ability. Discrimination based on any of the protected characteristics above, including participants with disabilities will not be tolerated.
    • Harassment includes, but is not limited to:
    • Offensive comments (or "jokes") related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro-typicality, physical appearance, body size, race, age, regional discrimination, political or religious affiliation
    • Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, and employment
    • Physical contact without consent or after a request to stop
    • Threats of violence, both physical and psychological
    • Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to engage in self-harm
    • Deliberate intimidation
    • Stalking or following
    • Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes
    • Sustained disruption of discussion
    • Unwelcome sexual attention, including gratuitous or off-topic sexual images or behavior
    • Pattern of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others
    • Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease
    • Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent, except as necessary to protect others from intentional abuse
    • Publication of non-harassing private communication