2013 INSA Achievement Awards Recipients

INSA is proud to announce the recipients of the 2013 INSA Achievement Awards:


Joan A. Dempsey Mentorship Award

Dr. Amber Aiken, U.S. Army National Ground Intelligence Center
Dr. Amber Aiken serves as a Senior Intelligence Officer for Technologies and has been the primary champion of the Mentoring and Coaching Program at the US Army National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC) for the last five years. In 2008 she led a small tiger team that pulled in members from other parts of the organization, including NGIC’s Council of Rookie Employees and Human Capital Officers, to examine best practices. In 2010 her approach transitioned to a directorate-wide program and in 2012 it became an established Center-wide Mentorship Program. One of the mentoring best practices that she uncovered was leadership “shadowing,” a concept that was subsequently adopted by NGIC senior leaders. This practice has illuminated how NGIC functions for many analysts and allowed NGIC leadership to “reverse shadow” these analysts in their own spaces, better understanding their requirements. Amber’s investment in the Center has contributed to an enviable employee retention rate: annual turnover averages are less than five percent. In addition to championing the mentorship program, Amber has tirelessly implemented the basic tenets of the program in her own daily work. Her dedication to the people of NGIC and to the Mentoring and Coaching Program has had a profound impact on the development and retention of a motivated and well-prepared workforce. Her zeal for mentorship is extraordinary and she truly exemplifies the intent of the Joan A. Dempsey Mentorship Award.

Click here to read the INSA Achievement Awards feature about her at WashingtonExec.


Sidney D. Drell Academic Award

Lieutenant Colonel Ian McCulloh, US Army Central Command
Professor Ian Andrew McCulloh worked as an Assistant Professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point from 2004 – 2011, where he taught over fifty different courses and developed an outreach program to conduct advanced computational methods for improved targeting in support of US Special Operations Command, the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, and the National Security Agency. The effort grew into the Network Science Center at West Point, which is now one of the largest research centers at the academy with over 50 faculty researchers. Ian left West Point to establish the Advanced Network Analysis and Targeting (ANAT) course, providing advanced intelligence training in Iraq and Afghanistan and was assigned as Chief of Counter IED Operations in US Forces - Iraq. Currently, Ian leads a multi-million dollar research effort to conduct quantitative research and assessment to design and measure effectiveness of US CENTCOM IO operations, actions and activities. At the same time, Ian is very active in the scientific community; he is on the editorial board of an international research journal, published 39 peer-reviewed articles, authored a text book, works as Research Fellow at Curtin University in Australia and is an Adjunct Professor at the Naval Postgraduate School. LTC McCulloh also continues to maintain a relationship with West Point where he sponsors cadet research projects and supervises summer internships. LTC McCulloh is a one-of-a-kind example for bridging worldwide research with on-the-ground military operations and is well deserving of the Sidney D. Drell Academic Award.


Richard J. Kerr Government Award

Trey Smith, Central Intelligence Agency
Trey Smith is one of the highest performing technical analysts at CIA. His leadership, analytical abilities and work ethic far exceed his grade level and have made him a role model to other junior analysts.  Since joining CIA in 2011, Mr. Smith has made significant contributions to our nation’s understanding of the threats posed by a range of high-priority strategic weapon systems, including precision strike weapons.  Mr. Smith worked closely with the Pentagon on these issues, as these systems pose a direct and lethal threat to U.S. assets, placing the lives of thousands of service members at risk.  Thanks to Mr. Smith’s in-depth engineering assessments of weapon performance and his work with collectors, he has made significant contributions to the Pentagon’s efforts to address our adversary’s weapons.  He briefed his findings to a range of high-level customers in the U.S. Government including the Office of Secretary of Defense, and Senior Department of Navy officials, all of whom were extremely impressed and appreciative of the insight that he provided. His exemplary service to the United States Government personifies the principles of the Richard J. Kerr Government Award. 


Edwin H. Land Industry Award

Dr. Anton Pfeiffer, Northrop Grumman
Anton Pfeiffer, PhD, a Research and Development Principal Investigator for Northrop Grumman, distinguished himself by pioneering new mission management ideas that are challenging conventional thinking and traditional CONOPS within the Intelligence Community (IC). Anton architected and developed the underlying mathematical model for a novel decentralized resource coordination concept, which may revolutionize how the IC uses its collection resources. This concept provides the capability to rapidly and efficiently satisfy intelligence needs across the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance enterprise and is dramatically different from today’s linear approach. In addition, Anton is spearheading a technology development program to demonstrate affordable ways to manage a new class of agile payloads; enabling significant new mission capabilities. He is a strong advocate for creating non-traditional solutions to currently unsolved problems in mission management. He promotes and fosters a mission planning prototype system that uses multi-player online strategy video gaming to optimize the performance of human mission planners. Through a series of technology-oriented projects, Anton has proven these ideas to an ever-widening IC audience. Recently, IC technology leadership recognized Anton’s expertise by selecting him to chair the mission management panel at a prestigious IC conference. He is described by his customer as a “perpetual visionary with a knack for not only seeing the future, but also the path to get there.” Anton’s commitment to making significant and enduring contributions to the Intelligence and National Security communities exemplifies the Edwin H. Land Industry Award. 

Click here to read the INSA Achievement Awards feature about him at WashingtonExec.


William O. Studeman Military Award

Gunnery Sergeant James Brenneis, United States Marine Corps
While serving as a Special Collections Team Chief and Operator, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, GySgt Brenneis was directly responsible for saving the lives of countless Coalition Force members through the timely and accurate reporting of indications and warnings. He was the first SIGINT professional to provide national SIGINT architecture to the Afghan Commando mission, which directly resulted in the success of 28 named operations against insurgent fighters. The national SIGINT architecture implemented by GySgt Brenneis significantly enhanced the precision and detail of their mission planning and provided accurate targeting information on complex networks associated with the insurgent strongholds in the Helmand River Valley. The resulting operations led to a significant and measurable decrease in insurgent operations throughout the area. In addition to his work as a SIGINT operator, GySgt Brenneis developed and provided instruction on intelligence tactics, techniques and procedures to team members and partner-nation forces. His mentorship greatly increased both his team’s ability to fuse intelligence with operational planning as well as the partner-nation force’s ability to operate independently of Coalition support. GySgt Brenneis has since assumed greater responsibilities as the Special Collections Team Chief for Direct Support Team Bravo where he continues to exceed expectations in preparing his team for their mission essential tasks. Peers, seniors and subordinates recognize him as an exceptional and superior intelligence operator, leader, planner, collector and subject matter expert across all intelligence disciplines. His exemplary service in the Marine Corps embodies the intent of the William O. Studeman Military Award.


John W. Warner Homeland Security Award

Lindsay Hovis, Pennsylvania State Police
As an intelligence analyst within the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) Critical Infrastructure/Key Resource (CI/KR) unit, Lindsay M. Hovis has repeatedly demonstrated her dedication to and expertise in her field. From the inception of the CI/KR unit, Lindsay realized that the unit’s primary mission is to educate and inform the partners of potential threats or known risks to their sectors in order to protect the Commonwealth’s infrastructure, environment and citizens from terrorist actions or threats. Due in large part to the work of Lindsay, the unit has engaged with over 2,500 partners, ranging from CEOs of companies to volunteer firemen. Her tireless efforts to foster coordination with the owners and operators of the state’s critical infrastructure have enhanced the unit’s ability to prepare for and respond to threats. As an example of her ability to work through the partnerships Lindsay established, she recently led an interagency team of state and federal partners to develop a threat assessment for the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg that had an estimated attendance of 200,000. With such a large event taking place in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, she worked with local business owners and residents in the town of Gettysburg to reduce fear while helping law enforcement prepare for potential critical incidents. Her substantial body of work also includes the 2011 and 2012 “Pennsylvania Threat Assessment” and she has researched and played a significant role in implementing the requirements for an all-hazards fusion center. Lindsay’s commitment to excellence has certainly enhanced the national security of the United States and exemplifies the spirit of the John W. Warner Homeland Security Award.

Click here to read the INSA Achievement Awards feature about her at WashingtonExec.